Acrylic and oil pastels on paper

About the Artist

I am a mixed media, process painter. I predominantly work on paper because I prefer its smooth surface which feels more suited to manipulation. I like that it is accessible and uncomplicated.

I often start a piece with an outline of a basic drawing which I then fill with oil pastels. This is then layered with acrylic or gouache paint over the top. I scratch away at the surface, either as I go when the paint is wet,or later, when dry. I’m drawn to strong lines and colour. The process is important and I allow myself to work intuitively and allow my emotions to guide me. I occasionally work on an easel but I prefer a flat surface, either on the floor or a table. I am the child hovering over the picture, immersing myself in what it will become. My paint brushes now feral from the crude strokes. I use my hands to smudge and cajole the wet paint over the slippery surface or guide tools to make lines and shapes.

I see that my work is often layered, revealing and concealing. I don’t know what my piece will look like at the end and like a child on Christmas morning, I am excited by what may be revealed, at the end and along the way. Sometimes I am thrilled, other times, puzzled or dissatisfied. It is in this unknown that I am continually propelled to keep uncovering and moving forward.

I know that I am interested in vulnerability, in/visibility and perceived beauty and imperfections and what emerges in my work often display themes of resilience, connection, breakdown, transformation, recovery and power. Throughout my life I have worked with and alongside people with vulnerabilities and I am shaped by these experiences. I also feel a strong connection to nature, wildlife, spirit, and the feminine and these subjects often make an appearance in my art work.

I continue to work part time in social care but you will also find me on my allotment, wondering around in nature, cycling around Brighton & Hove or painting.

If you are interested in any of my art works or working in collaboration, please connect!

Instagram: paula_de_sousa_art
Twitter: @pauladesousaart

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