Posted by Penny Tristram
Paula- I attended art college for just a few months. Unfortunate family circumstances meant I was unable to continue. But saying that I don’t think I would have stayed, they wanted you to do things their way and seemed to have no interest in helping you to develop your own style.
How did your interest in painting develop?
For as long as I can remember drawing and painting have always been one of life’s pleasures. A means of relaxation.
I love your still life paintings of clothing and accessories. How did you develop this idea?
I have always thought of still life paintings as being be boring ! A bowl of tired fruit on a table or a vase of stiff looking flowers.
I wanted to challenge myself and take everyday objects and bring them to life, not just with colour but with light, shadow, texture, transparency and reflections. To look a little closer than usual and give a simple composition a ” story”, something that can be related to. Traditional themes with a contemporary feel. When I finished “She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not” I was delighted to be bombarded by people wanting to know what happened next, did the relationship work out? It was a reaction I did not expect but it meant that I had achieved part of my challenge!
Could you describe the process you go through in imagining, planning, and creating a painting?
I don’t know how to describe the thought process that starts a painting. Sometimes it’s a colour, an emotion, a sentence, a view…… Usually the idea just comes into my head and then there is a “no rest” period until it has been created on canvas, it’s like a sugar rush but with paint!
What are your favourite types of paints to use?
I used to paint with watercolours then one day I was given a box of acrylics. Wow! Such colour and vibrancy! I have been hooked ever since. They can be harsh and awkward but once you get used to them they will do just what you want. I paint in thin layers and build up the depth of colour finishing off with the highlights that bring everything to life.
Who and what are your main inspirations?
Inspiration comes from life around me. We often take things we see every day for granted , rushing here and there we miss so much. Take a little longer to look and you will notice so much more.
What other jobs have you had?
Most of my working life has been in high street retail. Not exactly art-related but as a self promoting artist the experience within the area of sales, customer relations and a general understanding of business has definitely helped.
Do you every get creative blocks, and if so, how do you deal with them?
Luckily I don’t get creative blocks. I tend to have a constant list in my head of “things I want to paint”. Between each painting I try to ensure that I do something completely different for a couple of days, it gives the brain a rest and seems to free up even more ideas!
What advice do you have for young artists just starting out?
If I was to give advice it would be to stay true to what you enjoy painting, don’t paint to please others, paint what makes your heart sing, that is where you will develop your individual style. Don’t let negative comments hold you back. Everyone is different and you can’t please all the people all of the time.
See more of Paula’s evocative paintings at her Art2Arts page.