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Cowley plays with his work

Paul J. Cowley welcomes SACA tour into his home studio

When Paul J. Cowley coined the catch phrase, "Relax you're in the village," he meant it. Why? Because Skaneateles represents a bit of an escape, as he was once a summer camper.

Raised on the westside of Syracuse, Cowley spent summers on several area lakes, such as Keuka and Oneida. Then his family discovered Skaneateles, which he refers to as, "The Greatest of Lakes."

He and wife Gail, operate a communication design firm that flies under his name in Syracuse. Being a commuter, Skaneateles represents homebase, an oasis, a switch.

Cowley who is on the board of the Skaneateles Area Counsil for the Arts is among 11 artists who are opening up their studios to the public this weekend. He said he has connected with many other artists through the SACA.

"It's been great," he said.

Cowley's home studio

After owning two other Skaneateles housess, The Cowleys recently built a home tucked in off of West Lake Road in the village. Paul's studio is nipped into the backyard. Whether it is called a studio, an office, a garage, a barn, a music room, a library, a weight room, a workroom, a greenhouse or a shop, it is essentially a cave. A homeplace where a man goes to wander around in his own imagination while getting something else accomplished. Often in these areas items are created, constructed, painted, sculpted, spun, tweaked, whittled or thought up.

So, what does Cowley accomplish in his studio? He thinks, he researches, he relaxes and he arranges, most of which result in works of art. These days big multi media canvases, splashed with color from acrylic paints, cut out photographs and more ideas. Earlier works were realistic landscapes of the area.

Cowley studied graphic design in an art school in the Flatiron building on 23rd and second Ave. in Manhattan, then on to the School of Visual Arts. He stayed and worked in Manhattan for several years in the art world before coming home to Central New York.

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