Fine Artist To The Stars: Paul Treleven

Portrait of Celine Dion by Paul Treleven
Portrait of Celine Dion by Paul Treleven

In the world of fine art, it is  rare treasure to discover an artist with such a natural gift; he almost makes it look easy. Introducing Paul Treleven, the fine artist to the stars who has painted the portrait of Celine Dion, and has been commissioned by a well-known Hollywood movie star. God has gifted a unique talent to Paul Treleven who only discovered his affinity for painting after a near-death experience. He proves that sometimes blessings in disguise can set you on the right track to pursue your true calling, and that at any point in your life, you really can become who God has created you to be.

Fine Artist To The Stars: Paul Treleven

Beverly Hills Magazine: Please tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from, where did you grow up, any training or education background?

Paul Treleven:  I was born in Johannesburg, South Africa. I attended West Ridge High School, Roodepoort.  After completing my military service in the South African Air Force, I trained as a Paramedic/ firefighter. I joined the City of Roodepoort Emergency Services, and served as both senior paramedic and firefighter. I became a flight paramedic on an EMS helicopter service during this time. I later took up a spot as Station Commander – Sandton Fire Department, and headed the Lonehill Firehouse.  After numerous close calls on the job, I finally left the service in 1994 after I became lodged in flooded storm water pipes during a swift water rescue attempt. I was hospitalized as a near drowning, and shortly thereafter I left the service. I moved to Ohio, USA to continue studies in emergency medicine, and it was during this period I decided to try my hand at painting in oils. I did my first painting one weekend, and after showing it to a few friends, and I had an offer on the painting. I sold this very first painting and the rest is history. I found more and more interest in my work and I gave up on the studies and approached  John Travolta to try interest him in a painting. I got to do a really large aviation painting for him, and this set me on my path as a full time artist. I came back home to South Africa, and have now been painting for 23 years .I have no formal art training, I am totally self -taught.

Beverly Hills Magazine: When did you discover your talent as a painter?

Paul Treleven:  I could always sketch in pencil. I purchased oil paints, which lay in the back of my cupboard for months. Then one weekend in 1995, I had nothing to do, so I tried my hand at it, and that’s where it all started.

Fine Artist To The Stars: Paul Treleven

Beverly Hills Magazine: How do you prepare for each new piece?

Paul Treleven:  I research the subject thoroughly , and in consultation with the client, I come up with a scene that client is happy with. If it’s a historic painting or of a particular area of object, I ensure I get enough reference material to ensure it is as accurate as possible. I recently did a painting for the U.S AIR FORCE SPECIAL OPERATIONS COMMAND 8TH SOS SQN. The research between the squadron, Boeing and myself, took three months to finalize.

Beverly Hills Magazine: What inspired you to paint, of all the mediums to choose from out there?

Paul Treleven: I have only ever worked in oils and pencil. I love the way one can play with oils for days before it dries and blending and shading is such a pleasure. I remember a guy in an art supply store in Chicago telling me OILS ARE KING. I’ve always remembered that and stuck with the ‘king.’

Beverly Hills Magazine: Where do you get your inspiration?

Paul Treleven:  I am trying to match or better the best artists doing photo realism, and when I get a commission or create my own painting, I always try beat the best.. that’s what pushes me.

Fine Artist To The Stars: Paul Treleven

Beverly Hills Magazine: What is your art signature…What makes your work unique?

Paul Treleven:  I try to create extreme photo- realism and I love using bright colors in my work.

Beverly Hills Magazine: Why do you think art is such a valuable collector’s item?

Paul Treleven: Art is as valuable as what a collector is prepared to pay for a work. I guess it’s really down to how much the collector likes and appreciates the work, which influences how badly the collector wants the work, and ultimately what the purchase price will be.

Beverly Hills Magazine: How are collectors an important part of the art world?

Paul Treleven: Collectors bring hope for all artists. If a collector shows interest in one’s work, one’s name gets known and this increases the value of your work.

Fine Artist To The Stars: Paul Treleven

Beverly Hills Magazine: What message do you hope to convey through your work?

Paul Treleven: My work is mainly client brief based, so I want my clients to be really happy with the work, and to be able to enjoy looking at the work each time they pass it for the rest of their lives.

Beverly Hills Magazine: What advice would you give to aspiring artists out there?

Paul Treleven: Never give up. Never trash a half done painting, always finish the work. Put your mind to it and teach yourself to always create a work that you are happy with. Work on it until you are happy.  I have never trashed a painting I’m working on.. I always see the project through.

Fine Artist To The Stars: Paul Treleven

Beverly Hills Magazine: Have you discovered a personal purpose in what you do?

Paul Treleven: Besides this being my profession, hence my living, I enjoy seeing how much my clients enjoy their completed paintings.

Beverly Hills Magazine: Where can readers buy your artwork or contact you?

Paul Treleven:  I can be commissioned directly via You can also visit my website or find me on Facebook. I paint most subjects, ranging from portraits, wedding portraits to trains, ships, aircraft, animals. etc

Beverly Hills Magazine: Anything else you’d like to add or share?

Paul Treleven:  I keep my pricing very affordable, as I believe in getting my name out there rather than charging extremely high prices. I like to build a relationship with my clients and ultimately continue painting for them over the years. Being based in South Africa, I ship the canvas rolled in a tube to clients and I travel to the USA as often as required.


Jacqueline Maddison
Jacqueline Maddison is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Beverly Hills Magazine. She believes in shining light on the best of the best in life. She welcomes you into the world of the rich and famous with the ultimate luxury lifestyle.
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