2018 self portrait

Paula DeStefanis Artist Statement 2018

I am currently focused on Abstraction.  I work in both acrylic and oils.  What both mediums have in common for me is the starting point.  My canvases are journals, each start with an entry.  The type often becomes the composition for the canvas.  I work by doing a series of paintings with the same concept running through each piece. This allows me to explore approaches in the work. As the artist making the work, the unpredictability and potential sense of discovery is very exciting and one of the main reasons why I do what I do.

In acrylics my graphic design background shows the most.  My canvases are geometrical and architectural.  In oils the paintings show a sense of struggle and discovery. I am drawn to recreate distressed surfaces in my oil paintings. I love the physical process of applying paint to canvas. There is a real sense of freedom in allowing a spontaneous application of color and line to the prepared surface. There is energy in my painting that works towards connecting my spiritual as well as my emotional being.

I have always subscribed to the theory of “paint for paint’s sake” by celebrating the physical qualities of the medium while including the images or textures that move me. My goal is to create stunning pieces of art that will engage the viewer and foster a dialogue that is invigorating, educational and rewarding.


Paula Destefanis works between acrylic and oil painting. Each medium renders an unique response.  In acrylic, she draws from her daily experiences, beginning each canvas as written journal. The acrylic paintings are mult-layered and often very geometrical.  In oils,  she is drawn to the patina and decay of aged surfaces. Painting many layers with unconventional tools and often scratching away to find what lay beneath.

Paula is a Milwaukee-based artist, who holds a BFA from the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design and following course work with the Museum School in Boston. A practicing artist for 30 years.
Her work is in private collections world wide. In addition her work can be found in corporate collections including; Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design, Thorsen School, Richards School.
Select exhibitions include: Museum of Wisconsin Art; Milwaukee Art Museum, Tory Folliard Gallery, The Arts Mill, The Brickton Art Center, Wustum Art Museum, WI Lutheran College.
Paula is also active in the local arts community through her work with North Shore Academy of the Arts and the Arts Mill where she is the Director. She has taught as the Milwaukee Art Museum, West Bend Art Museum, MIAD and the Wustum. She was recently awarded her second Mary Nohl Suitcase Award, which allowed her to exhibit in the UK in August 2017.  In 2010 she was elected to a 3-year appointment to the Village of Grafton Arts Board. In 2012 she was the recipient of a Mary Nohl Suitcase Award, with those funds she was able to travel to New York and exhibit her work. In 2012 she exhibited in Chelsea London.
Her newest adventure is as co-managing director of The Cooperativa Studio Gallery in the Third Ward, a space for artists to create, produce and develop their artistic practice.

Paula DeStefanis 2018

All designs and photos 2009-2018 ©Paulaspalette™ All Rights Reserved
Reproduction rights do not transfer with sale of items.
Use of photos/designs without permission/licencing is not allowed, please contact me with questions/inquiries.


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