Born in North Vancouver, Canada, Paula grew up influenced by a family of creative, expressive people. Her father was a seascape painter and her grandmother was both a visual and performance artist – in the days before women were encouraged to pursue such endeavors. At the age of 12, her family moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in California where she spent time vacationing at her cousin’s home. Her cousin was married to the famous Italian sculptor Benni Bufano and Paula fondly recalls “growing up running around his wonderful statues.” For Paula, there was never a question about the naturalness of the need to express oneself. She began painting as soon as she could hold a brush, sometimes painting all day in her night clothes.
From 1982 to 1998, Paula owned and operated a large quarter horse ranch and developed several champions. This love of the ranch life, especially for the animals, and her fondness of bears is reflected in her painting today. Paula is best known for her “Bear” paintings which is a favorite with collectors in the US and Canada.
Since devoting herself to painting full time in 1992, Paula has taken many workshops, specifically focusing on Russian Impressionism. She has been highly influenced by William F. Reece, the international artist and humanitarian, who she considers her mentor. Other notable artists Paula has trained under include Carolyn Andersen, Ovannes Berberian, Louise DeMore, Steve Seltzer, Ralph Oberg, Jack Hines, Jessica Zemsky, Gary Carter, Bill Moyer, Loren Entz, Jim Norton and Cowboy Artists of America, which is a juried only organization. She recently joined the American Woman Artist.
Paula has also studied other art forms. She took a year off to study porcelain painting and also worked as an interior designer, completing 60 homes. For fun, Paula and a friend even “collaged” her friend’s station wagon, bumper to bumper.
She laughingly explains that it has taken many years of life experience to unleash the whimsical loose style, which has made her distinctive oils a favorite among her collectors.
Through it all, Paula has remained true to her childhood inspirations. She is “absolutely captivated by the spirit and soul of living creatures- people, animals, and flowers.” She endeavors to capture the essence and feeling of an individual spirit and express this through her painting.
Paula resides in Bozeman, Montana in the company of her beloved dogs.
As a child, Paula was also fascinated by bears. She would spend every weekend at the zoo, watching and learning about these magnificent animals. This interest would later emerge in her adult painting.