Digital artist Paula Ogier’s bold, bright interpretations of Boston’s urban scenes are charged with life and emotion. View more of her artwork by visiting her website.
My artistic aspiration is to highlight and transform elements of the city, such as architecture and street life, via my own admittedly romanticized views of them.
I am working toward growing my portfolio of city imagery, which is mainly set in Boston where I live. Toward that goal, I experiment with ways to visually express my admiration for urban settings I find lively or endearing.
Digitally painting my own photographs and mixed media collages, I work evocatively with color to express an emotional connection to places and scenes.
I have begun to merge digital painting with more tactile techniques, incorporating my carved stamped row house images into collaged scenes. I also plan to continue experimenting with layering my hand drawn abstract designs onto the sides of buildings.
I’m currently working on three different digital paintings that are placed in Boston. One showcases the bright, voluptuous pink and white magnolia tree blossoms that inhabit the downtown neighborhoods of Boston in the springtime. Another incorporates a 1960’s-inspired psychedelic motif within an 1850’s Victorian row house street scene. The third focuses on an intriguingly curved building in Chinatown.
Rarely do I ever work on just one piece at a time. I’m also putting together a coloring book of Boston’s South End neighborhood. It has required me to rethink how I translate my ideas to the page, because black and white line art is a very different process from my usual way of working.
Sometimes I feel as though I’m getting color therapy treatment when I’m working on a piece! The imagery is of course very important to me, but the color is what drives me and expresses the very heart of the piece. It sets the mood, lifting the scene out of the ordinary.
I’m eternally photographing things that capture my attention. It’s one of the reasons I like moving through the city on foot. Architectural details and the juxtaposition of styles from different centuries are very exciting to me. I stockpile these images and periodically go through them for inspiration.
The process of getting the color just right in print is always interesting and sometimes a challenge. I work closely with a printer to get the right effect. Seeing the work go from a digital file to a beautiful giclée print on paper is fun and motivating.
An element of surprise often inspires my work. A tiger peeking out the window of an old brownstone building, for example, or a sky made up of blue cobblestones. These unexpected elements are usually unplanned, but once they appear I can’t resist surprising the viewer, too. In part, this spontaneity reflects my notion of the city as a place where surprise and wonder are always just around the next corner.