Paiement grew up in a small mid-coast town in Maine in the forties and fifties. Exposure to art was minimal at best. Paiement states, "In my mid twenties, while working as an aerospace engineer in Los Angeles, I was invited into an abstract painter's studio. I was overwhelmed by the beauty of his work. Simple colored shapes of tissue paper placed seemingly arbitrarily and glued to large plywood panels. Everything about the studio and work excited me. A door of perception was opened and my life was redirected".