Paul F. Black, 62: Talented artist loved family, friends

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SOUTH PORTLAND — Paul Francis Black, 62, died Nov. 19 at Gosnell Memorial Hospice House in Scarborough.

He was born to parents John Black and Marcadais Drinkwater Black on Dec. 31, 1951, in Bangor. He grew up there, making many childhood friends who remained close throughout his life.

At a young age, Black was recognized as a gifted artist, and he later played in various bands while attending Bangor High School. After graduating, he attended the University of Maine.

Despite pressure to pursue other careers, Black had a deep love for art and was determined to make a living through his painting. He began to show his work in small galleries and art shows and eventually became very successful. After moving to Portland in 1987, he painted landscapes of the Old Port in winter, scenes for which he became well-known. He often showed his work at the Fore Street Gallery in Portland and the Redfield Gallery in Southwest Harbor.

In 1996, Black met and married Irena Holtz. Together, the couple worked to renovate a house Paul had recently bought in South Portland, and later they made it their permanent home.

In 1997, Holtz gave birth to the couple’s only child, Holly. Black and his daughter grew to share a passion for music, and one of his greatest joys was watching her play the violin. Meanwhile, he continued showing his art work in the studio behind his home, and frequently hosted art openings and parties where his friends could gather, eat and listen to music.

For 11 years, he enjoyed annual summer trips with his family to Monhegan Island. There, he painted and connected with other artists. He loved spending time with his wife and daughter, and the family also made many trips to destinations such as Bar Harbor, Boston and Kennebunkport.

Black loved to golf, was a generous supporter of charitable organizations, and never missed any of his daughter’s basketball or volleyball games.

He is survived by his wife, Irena; his daughter, Holly; his brothers, Hugh and Peter; his sister, Mitzi Paul; and his many friends.

A memorial service for Black was held Nov. 22 at Hobbs Funeral Home.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to the art and music departments or the girls’ basketball program of South Portland High School, 637 Highland Ave., South Portland, ME 04106.

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