self.jpg

BIO

Paula studied at the Tyler School of Art of Temple University, Philadelphia, where she received her BFA degree and at the Tyler School of Art in Rome, Italy. She earned her MFA from Indiana University, Bloomington IN. Paula is currently an instructor at Greenfield Community College, Greenfield MA, at IS 183 Art School of the Berkshires, Stockbridge MA and at Northampton Center for the Arts. She also teaches at her studio in Cummington MA. Her art can be seen at her private studio and at the R.Michelson Galleries in Northampton MA. Her work is in many hundreds of private and public collections around the world. She has lived in Western Massachusetts since 1979.

ARTIST STATEMENT

"Paula loves to paint" was written on my kindergarten report card. This remains as true today as it was then. My paintings are as much about paint as they are about person, place, and time. I am fascinated by light, by the interplay of light and shadow, by the tactility and flow of paint, by color. Nature is nature. Paint is paint. Nature inspires and informs my vision but I'm not interested in solely replicating what I see...rather, using paint to transform and resemble my perception of what I see and feel.  Painting has always been a passion I can't ignore...not that there haven't been a million struggles and obstacles. My paintings are constructed to appear simple and easy to enter, yet they are a complex weave and distillation into essential elements of composition, color and shape. Each one contains a particular experience of being.  When I paint a landscape I am preserving a vanishing treasure. The act of painting is, for me, an act of deep connection and joy.

 

Paula's Resume

 
 

Interview with the Artist

 

Art Maker: Paula Gottlieb | Painter

 

Cummington artist Paula Gottlieb, 68, is about to have her first solo show since 2007 at the R. Michelson Galleries in Northampton. Included will be some 20 paintings — mainly landscape paintings in oil and watercolor, although she is working on some portraits. Each, she says, is constructed to appear simple and easy to enter, yet they are a complex weave and distillation into essential elements of composition, color and shape. Each one contains a particular experience of being.

Hampshire Life: H.L.: What is your creative process like?

Paula Gottlieb: The oils in this show are painted mostly by using my photos for reference and inspiration. I enlarge or crop the photos, do some tracing and sometimes use an opaque projector. Generally, I employ a washy underpainting, then build it up with layers of thicker paint and glazes. Usually, I use watercolors outdoors, on site, because the transparency and fluidity of the paint are like the light and movement I experience in the landscape.

H.L.: Does is start with a “Eureka!” moment?

P.G.: Occasionally. But mostly it simmers for a while.

H.L.: How do you know you’re on the right track?

P.G.: When I feel at one with the paint. Nature is nature. Paint is paint. Nature inspires and informs my vision, but I’m not solely interested in painting what I see — rather, using paint to transform and portray what I see and feel. Also, the painting needs to work as an abstraction.

H.L.: What do you do when you get stuck?

P.G.: I rarely get stuck. I don’t have time to get stuck. But when I do, I meditate. I listen to podcasts of dharma talks by my favorite meditation teachers. I read Adrienne Rich poetry. I look at paintings by artists I admire. I go for a walk deep in the woods.

H.L.: How do you know when the work is done?

P.G.: Usually I just know. It is a knowing informed by years of looking and making choices and decisions. Sometimes I need just one more paint mark to complete a painting. Sometimes I check in with my wife, friends and students.

H.L.: What did you do today that relates to your art?

P.G.: I watched the trees move in the wind. I taught a watercolor class. I played with the cat.

H.L.: Why do you paint?

P.G.: Painting has always been a passion and a bit of an obsession which I can’t ignore. It took over early in life — not that there haven’t been a million struggles and obstacles. It is a privilege to be able to live my life as a painter and I have great gratitude.

— Kathleen Mellen

“Spirit of Place,” new paintings by Paula Gottlieb, will be on view through Dec. 31 at the R.Michelson Galleries at 132 Main St. in Northampton. There will be an artist’s reception Dec. 11 from 6 to 8 p.m., with a gallery talk from 7:30 to 8 p.m. For information, visit www.rmichelson.com or call 586-3964.