Paul Lutonsky followed all the rules that the art establishment had set before the aspiring young artist. It seemed, however, the more he followed the prescribed pattern, the further he got from the rewards the professional artist. Like Alice in Wonderland, the more steps he took towards his goal, the faster and further it receded from him. Originally from Fort Worth, he had gone to college in northern Texas, later obtaining a Masters degree in Fine Arts at the University of Texas in Austin. His first job as a paid professional, teaching at the National Cathedral School in Washington D.C., brought him into the proximity of the East Coast art establishmentIt seemed however, that his five there would mark the beginning and the end of his art career.
"My own experience with modern art, especially painting when I was teaching and trying to paint, left me disturbed and dissatisfied. The business of art (critics, reviews, shows) was so overwhelming and political that I left Washington and the East Coast fed up with painting."
Back in the West, he began an antique business and through it came in contact with American folk art. He was especially attracted to decoys. He liked the fact that they were functional and a direct honest appeal. He began making decoys, later attempting other animals and birds. Unlike the contemporary art scene, animal making brought him immediate satisfaction. His work appealed to ordinary people, it was not pretentious, and didn't require written or verbal explanations to assure its place or meaning in the art world. When he first began making the snakes in February of 1985