Paul Surber was born in 1942. While growing up in Redlands California, he saw his first real Native American in a parade at the age of five. Immediately, he went home and started sketching images of the elaborately decorated Indians he had seen. From that point he was hooked on anything Indian, including books, movies, articles, art, etc.
This began his lifelong collection of books and other reference material which he uses in his historically accurate paintings. As a youngster Paul's mother would often pack him a lunch and drop him at the Natural History Museum for the day, where he could wander amongst the Native American displays and artifacts.
Then at the age of sixteen he sold his first painting. But it wasn't until after a stretch in the army and various jobs such as the meat packing business and the oil fields that Paul finally found himself as a full time artist in 1977. He has spent many years living on and near various reservations where he could be near the great peoples he admires. Although Paul had no formal education beyond high school he is a self made authority on the plains Indians and prides himself on his historically accurate paintings.
Only rarely does Paul attend art shows, he generally prefers a low profile lifestyle. He really enjoys collecting Colt and Winchester guns as a hobby, which he shares with his two daughters.