038 / Pandemic Artwork Stories
038 / pandemic artwork stories
WITH PAULA CHRISTENSON
Where are you painting from and what have you been doing to keep busy?
I paint from my house in Houston, Texas. Officially, the game room of my house is set up as my custom art studio. I also paint outdoors when preparing the backgrounds of my pieces, which involves the use of different paints and natural tools to create texture.
I have been taking art classes at The Glassell School of Art, where I'm pursuing a certificate with a focus on painting. I also stay busy creating new artwork. I have always enjoyed doing big projects, so murals are my latest challenge. Doing these murals takes so much time and effort, but I enjoy the challenge. I like to walk and bike for exercise, and enjoy quiet moments during the day when I allow myself to relax, drink a mate (a popular Argentine tea) and reflect on life.
I'm a member of LAWAH (Latin American Women Artists of Houston). Our mentor is an extraordinary artist, Arielle Masson, who is also an instructor at Glassell. We meet regularly to learn about different topics, interview other artists/gallerists, and plan projects that will show our work and make our city stronger through art.
How did you find inspiration from your surroundings for it?
My piece, Dreamweb 6 (DW6), is my second 6'x18' mural using acrylic on unstretched canvas. When I started working on the background for the piece, my plan was to use the colors of an Italian village by the sea as inspiration. The COVID-19 quarantine and the loss of my grandmother, Angela, in Argentina during 2020 contributed to the end result. I believe the sense of conflict in DW6 is balanced by a sense of resoluteness and courage. This is just one interpretation. My work allows the viewer to be immersed in an atmosphere of abstraction, where shapes, colors and lines encourage imagination and varied interpretation. It is my favorite one of the three murals I have done so far.
What is one positive that has come from this experience for you?
One of the positives has been the feeling of community I feel participating in this project. 2020 was a historic year, and making a record of it through our artwork is a legacy for future generations.
What is one of your favorite pieces in the collection from a fellow artist?
Learn more about Paula's artwork and story here.