Paul Gerhardt Trost is a North American painter and craftsman who draws inspiration from spiritual, biblical and natural influences. A lifelong artist, Trost enrolled in a drawing course at the Chicago Art Institute when he was 12 years old. He decided to pursue his passion for painting after three years of study at the University of Michigan. He earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1992.
Trost's painting "Blessed are the Merciful" received an award of distinction from the National Catholic Reporter. His paintings are present in homes and churches throughout the United States. Trost works with oil, acrylic, and mixed media in natural light. His work is inspired by both Western and Eastern elements.
A major influence on Paul's art is the life and courage of his beloved wife, Shelly McClain Trost, who died of cancer in 2015. Shelly had served as a source of gentle inspiration and encouragement in Paul's work for many years. Her presence in his art continues to this day.
Trost prefers not to use models or photographs in the creation of his work. Rather, his paintings are inspired by life and nature and drawn from introspection, intuition, and imagination. When asked about his painting "Meditating Jesus," Trost commented, "The painting was created during a period of loneliness and isolation that I was experiencing at the time. But out of that sadness came a beautiful image that I hope will encourage people as they develop their own relationship with God." Through his art, Trost seeks to convey the reality of hope and the beauty, wonder and mystery of life in the face of the world's contradictions. As a craftsman, Trost hand-carves icons and crosses for churches and private collections. He lives in Sheboygan, Wisconsin.