Artist's Statement

Typically, my paintings and prints attempt to create lyrical interpretations of the landscape. Nature, and particularly water, is a constant theme, connecting me to many early experiences and memories.

My paintings range from impressionistic representations of the natural world to complete abstractions. I seek to evoke a mood or sense of place rather than striving for a literal description.

I begin with a gesture and continue, driven primarily by intuition, to add and subtract elements until the work achieves a balance that I find satisfying. I strive for a varied, personal calligraphy and a sense of rhythm.

Paula Schiller - Artist

Biography

Sometimes I like to reflect on the threads of my artistic life that have led me to the present. I grew up in a small town, surrounded by nurturing extended family. I spent much time outdoors, exploring nature and the waters near our summer lake house, as well as during our seasonal camping trips to the White Mountains in New Hampshire. I was always encouraged in my creative endeavors - drawing, dancing, sewing.

I went to a small elementary school with one classroom on each grade. If we finished our work early we were allowed to go to the back of the room and paint on large poster boards. A traveling art teacher came perhaps once a week, but I don't remember any of her lessons. I do know that I was always considered one of two "class artists".

My aunt gave me a copy of Jon Nagy's drawing lessons and some charcoal when I was 10, and a whole new world opened. I did not visit an art museum until high school - the beauty that I knew came from objects, fabrics, and the countryside. Most of my art making is an attempt to give form to my earliest memories - of the beauty and awe that I experienced in nature.

I graduated from college with a BA in English, but during my senior year a science professor gave an art class in the basement of the girls dorm, and that was when I realized how much I missed making art. After moving to New York, I soon began studies at the Brooklyn Museum Art School and continued them at the National Academy of Design, The Art Students League, and the Art Center of Northern NJ. While working and raising a family, I also earned a Master's Degree in Art Therapy from Pratt Institute and certification in Art Education form Montclair State University. Teachers who have influenced me include Bruce Dorman, Wolf Kahn, Miriam Beerman, and Michael Dillon.

Education

Merrimack College, North Andover, MA:  BA English
Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY:  MPS Art Therapy
Montclair University, Montclair, NJ:  Art Teacher Certification

Additional Study

Brooklyn Museum Art School NY,   Art Students League NY,   National Academy of Design NY,   School of Visual Arts NY,   Montclair University NJ,   Art Center of Northern New Jersey,   and Old Church Cultural Center NJ

Awards

First Prize (First Prize (Oil), "Celebrating Bergen County's Diversity," Juried Show, ACNNJ, 2016). "Celebrating
Clara Shainess Memorial Award for Innovative Artist, National Association of Women Artists Annual Members' Exhibition 2015
Second Prize (Professional Oil), New Jersey Statewide Juried Show, 2013
First Prize (Professional Oil), Bergen County Juried Show, 2013
Second Prize (Professional Acrylic), Bergen County Juried Show, 2011
Second Prize (Professional Printmaking), Bergen County Juried Show, 2011
Second Prize (Professional Oil), Bergen County Juried Show, 2009
Best in Show, "Celebrating Bergen County's Diversity," Juried Show, ACNNJ, 2008
First Prize (Professional Acrylic), Bergen County Juried Show, 2007
Best in Show, Salute to Women in the Arts, Waltuch Gallery, 2007
First Prize (Acrylic), "Focus New Jersey" (Andrew Lukach, juror), ACNNJ, 2006
Honorable Mention, ACNNJ National Juried Show (Tracey Bashkoff, Guggenheim Museum, juror), 2002
Honorable Mention, Salute to Women in the Arts Biennial Juried Exhibition (China Marks, juror), 1998
Winner, First Emerging Artists Competition, ACNNJ, 1995

Affiliations

Piermont Fine Arts Gallery, Piermont, NY
ArtSuiteNY Gallery
Studio Montclair Inc, Montclair, NJ
National Association of Women Artists (NAWA)
Painting Affiliates, Art Center of Northern New Jersey
Salute to Women in the Arts
chevron-down