Remembering Paul Tappenden: Art Exhibit Opening at Nyack Library on May 5

Photo provided by Kathy Tappenden

An award-winning artist, Paul Tappenden’s creativity varied over a career spanning 45 years. He was a scenic artist who worked on Broadway sets, television and film; created stunning Hudson River landscapes; was a noted muralist and developed two unique painting techniques. Once featured in Rockland County Times, he was awarded honors from government and organizations as a champion of the arts.

Paul studied music and art at Milton Keynes College (a division of Oxford University) in  Buckinghamshire, England. After earning his degree, he taught in England and Bermuda  before coming to New York in the mid-seventies. His work includes pen and ink drawings, etchings, watercolors, and oil and acrylic paintings  and murals. He developed two unique painting techniques called Fresco Découvrir and  Modellier Massé, bridging the gap between painting and traditional fresco. 

Paul’s subject matters range from portraiture, landscape, still-life and architecture.  At one  point in his career, he developed a reputation for paintings of the Hudson River Valley and the  quaint Victorian village of Nyack where he lived for 43 years. You can see some of his notable paintings at Nyack Village Hall and La Fontana restaurant.

He was a member of the United Scenic Artists painting scenery for Broadway plays such as Cats  and Evita, TV including a year on Saturday Night Live, and over fifty movies including Cotton  Club, Legal Eagles, Trading Places, and The World According to Garp. 

Later in life, Tappenden studied herbs, natural health and foraging, becoming an expert  forager sharing his knowledge through workshops, foraging expeditions and The Rockland  Forager blog. He published two books, The Edible Plants of Nyack, and The Edible Plants of  Nyack and Beyond, which is more extensive and in its second edition. Tappenden’s work will also be displayed at the Blue Hill Art & Cultural Center from April 16-October 14.

Tragically, he died in 2021 from COVID-19 and kidney disease, leaving his wife Kathy of 45  years and daughter Kelly. “He was the posterboy for transparent recipients.” said his wife Kathy. She hopes that his legacy will bring more awareness to kidney disease, and stresses the importance of organ donations. She continued with, “He wasn’t ready to leave us, so I’m doing whatever I can to keep him going.”

In commemoration of Tappenden’s artwork and legacy, there will be an art exhibition held for him starting on May 5 from 6:00 PM- 7:30 PM at the Nyack Library. The art exhibit will be available for one month. For more information about Tappenden’s work, you can visit his website: and his blog at:

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