Paul Leighton with the mural he painted on the side of Rick’s Roadhouse in Providence. “It was my first,” he said, “and I’d love to do more.”
This line drawing of a Marine with a child is the kind of work that launched Paul Leighton’s artistic career, and it remains his favorite medium.
Paul initially began sketching scenes in Afghanistan, and his black and white military-themed illustrations remain his passion. But his sister Marie Leighton, who is the marketing director and graphic designer for the Chow Fun restaurant group, recently approached Paul with an interesting proposal. Providence restaurant Rick’s Roadhouse had a large, and frankly ugly exterior wall, that was highly visible due to its location next to a parking lot. Marie thought her brother’s skills could make that wall something to see.
Paul had never done a large mural before, but he welcomed the challenge. “I’m not one to say no to any opportunity,” he said. “Also, it was a ton of fun to do, and it is a positive addition to the neighborhood.” He enjoyed it so much, in fact, he’s keeping his eyes open for more opportunities in this medium.
A 2001 graduate of Barrington High School who left to join the Marines “literally, the day after graduation,” Leighton has had no formal art training, though he did grow up in a house full of artists, and as the son of a RISD-trained landscape architect. He can be reached at email@example.com or through his website at jpleighton.com.