Featured Artist Paula DeStefanis

Artist Paula DeStefanis paints for the sheer joy of it, filling each canvas with bold colors and contemporary shapes. View more of by visiting her website.

 

Abstract painting by Paula DeStefanis

“A Change of Scenery” Acrylic on Canvas, 12” x 12”

 

Artistic practice has always been a large part of my life. I can’t recall a moment where it wasn’t. I was extremely fortunate as I grew up in a home where the arts were vital to life itself. My parents, both Italian immigrants, surrounded me with all the materials to grow and develop an artistic practice.

 

Abstract painting by Paula DeStefanis

“Suffragette” Acrylic on Canvas, 12” x 12”

 

I have worked in all mediums and fields of art, both in my professional art career and in studio practice.

 

Abstract painting by Paula DeStefanis

“Femininity in Circles Again” Acrylic on Canvas, 16” x 20”

 

Two major life occurrences have changed the path of my art history.

 

abstract painting by Paula DeStefanis

“Change is All Around” Acrylic on Canvas, 12” x 12”

 

The first was twenty-seven years ago, the sudden murder of my father. He was robbed at gunpoint and never survived the ordeal. That moment changed everything for me. I completely stopped painting for some time. Sadly, this occurred during a period where my art had been just taking off and I had representation with the best gallery in my area.

 

Abstract painting by Paula DeStefanis

“Fortitude Found” Acrylic on Canvas, 8” x 10”

 

There was no art left in me, so instead I began teaching art to children—a completely unconscious decision, yet one that would steer my life’s direction. From that decision, I went on to found and run a nonprofit art academy for twenty years which focused primarily on arts education for children.

 

Abstract painting by Paula DeStefanis

“Trying Hard to Change” Acrylic on Panel, 12” x 12”

 

The second major life occurrence was nine years ago, when I went through an extremely bitter divorce. During this horrible experience I gave up representational art and began working in abstraction. The idea of focusing on subject matter was tedious and I wanted to experience the act of painting itself only. I adored the action and exploration abstraction provided, and became much more interested in creating interesting works of art that were unique to me. Ever since this change I have never looked back.

 

Abstract painting by Paula DeStefanis

“Suffragette II” Acrylic on Canvas, 12” x 12”

 

Now I paint abstract paintings both in acrylic and oil. Interestingly enough, both mediums create completely different outcomes for me—something I use to resist but now embrace.

 

Abstract painting by Paula DeStefanis

“Color Wind” Acrylic on Canvas, 18” x 24”

 

I no longer worry what people say, or at least I try my best not to. When I use acrylic, I often create geometric works that are influenced by my training in design. My canvases are vibrant with color. I do believe my use of color is one of my strongest attributes.

 

Abstract painting by Paula DeStefanis

“Color Fury” Acrylic on Canvas, 18” x 24”

 

In my current work shown here, I am instinctively creating maps of my journey to this point. I spend weeks creating each layer, eventually bringing the entire canvas into focus to create the final outcome. I believe my works are best when my canvases have a strong tonal variety with strong contrasts between light and dark.

 

Artist Paula DeStefanis in her studio

Artist Paula DeStefanis in her studio

 

I have personally found that I am more satisfied with my art now than ever before. I feel more certain of myself and more eager to share. All the moments that have occurred in my life have brought me to where I am now. I look forward to seeing where this current process will eventually take my art. As I often say to my students, for me it has always been about the process, not the product.

 

Artist Paula DeStefanis invites you to follow her on Instagram.

 

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Comments

  1. These are all interesting. My favorite is Color Wind.

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