by Michael Accorsi
On June 2nd, Oakland ProArts Gallery gallery helped host East Bay Open Studios which promoted the work of over 400 artists from Fremont to Richmond. The event was fantastic. Garages, studios, houses, apartments, warehouses were full of art. Seemingly, every street and alley had something vibrant and creative happening. It validated the cliche Art is the only thing left in the world as it brought people together.
I wrote up a brief summary in an earlier blog post if you would like to read more. Of the hundred or so artists that I saw at Open Studios, the expressive paintings of artist Paula Boas stood out with their movement and depth. Artistically, her work reveals a sense of natural tension as elements of simplicity-complexity and competing styles of clean edges-expressive strokes vie for your attention. I had the pleasure to meet and interview Paula about her work - so sit back with a fruity summer drink and enjoy the colorful abstract paintings of Paula Boas.
“My works are expressions of motion created from handwriting. Each of the paintings start with examples of handwriting, the design of handwriting – the shapes, forms, type of line whether it’s bold, thin, the effect and our reaction to handwriting.”
“In the work titled Growth I have multiple layers of handwriting and the movement of the letters, showing through. The object is to be able to see things coming up through the canvas underneath the painting surface.” “I tend to be non-objective in most of my work but like the painting Spring IV (above) - leaf symbolism gets into my work, I didn’t plan this, the painting kind of evolved this way. I like how the yellow green work the form of the leaf that comes across in this painting.”
An example of the process behind Paula’s work is shown in the photograph above, Underpainting for Floral Essence. Boas states, “I am interested in the visual effects of using text and script as line, shape or pattern. My lyrical works evolve as I reveal, obscure and re-expose layers of paint, script, graphite, and paper to create subtle yet complex surfaces. I start with an idea or color sense, but then improvisation takes over and the paintings move in new and sometimes unexpected directions.”
“In the painting Floral Essence I incorporated the word indubitably into to the painting as when I was working on this piece my nephew was using the word endlessly. I worked in more flowing shapes and movement, then quiet the painting, constantly eliminating.”
“In the painting Escaping (pictured below), is another way of using form and shape in handwriting. Its an improvisational process - bright layers of paint, then I lift it through, you can’t paint that line the same way you can lift it out or scrape it.”
“In the painting Tranquil Message it’s about using the elements of the water’s edge. Bringing into it a lot of writing, pulling together a drawing point of sea to sky, all of these elements bring forth a sense of movement in their abstractions.”
As an artist what I appreciate the most about Boas’ work is her sense of balance and control with her media and subject matter. I studied her work for sometime prior to meeting with her, and felt the punctuated points of each painting. Abstract work communicates familiar and powerful messages that make our right brain work and search for explanation, clarity, and purpose. Paula Boas paintings give much to study - some improvisation and expressive movement, off-set with clean contrasting edges.
Paula Boas is a former engineer who has been painting for over seven years. Originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania she studied engineering at the University of Maryland. Currently her work is available at Lafayette Gallery, Valley Art Gallery, and Art Conceptsin Walnut Creek. You can also contact her directly to beautify your home or business with one of her beautiful works of art.
Artist Paula Boas at East Bay Open Studios
On the Edge, acrylic on Canvas, 40 x 64 in. (background paintings)