Work samples

  • relaxing into brown
  • sacred earth
  • unspeakable
  • what could have been and what was

About Paula

Baltimore City
Paula is an artist based in Baltimore, MD who explores her creative musings through photographs and photo painting to create digital collages and illustrations. She is most inspired by her journey to nurture her mental wellbeing, her loved ones, reflect on her travels, and use her art to connect with viewers in a way that allows them to see themselves. She would call herself an expanding artist/artivist with hopes to share her work, and therefore herself, with the world. 
Jump to a project:

relaxing into brown

Are we, ourselves, the art? Our ability to love, to feel deeply, to express, to heal, be healers, this all feels like art.

I express mental wellbeing and trauma healing, representation, family healing, my Creator, our natural world (madre tierra; Mother Earth), and reclaiming my cultures as a transracially adopted latina. This process is one of decolonizing, de-constructing and re-constructing my understanding of my life and experiences. As I explore artistic themes and ideas, I connect to generations before me, who are indigenous to lands of El Salvador and Mexico, and of Spain, and beyond, before that. I create art to understand, to express, and most of all, see hope. And this art making feels sacred. A form of resistance. Bright colors and deep jewel tones are meant to celebrate the beauty of expression, regardless of heavy or painful subject matter and natural earth colors and nature images symbolize our connection to madre tierra. Collage allows me to re-imagine and blend reality with dream.

Some of my most recent works focus on themes of representation, existence, depth, and strength of brown women of the latinx diaspora. My self-portraits are meant to focus on my/the brown body, physical features, strength and expression, and meant to celebrate loudly the beautiful and awe worthy existence of women of color, our strength, resistance and resilience that already exists within us. Other recent works focus on themes of the traumas of loss, disconnection and yet, healing, that flows from my transracial adoption experience. Other pieces focus on spiritual connections and connections to Creator, and healing protection for my family and loved ones, biological and by adoption. In my art making, I connect with my place in my family, those who came before me, and my larger communities. I believe in the interconnectedness of these layered relationships, and therefore, the interconnectedness of our mental, spiritual and physical healing. To explore these many themes, I weave knowledge and wisdom and nurture a spiritual practice. I read and research (elder wisdom authored by persons of color), I reflect, and I explore, seeking to practice humility in my learning and art making.

I am growing in my awareness of the privileges I carry with me – like access to healing supports & health care, and educational and professional opportunities that have inevitably influenced my ability to make art and develop as an artist. I create art to elevate healing that comes from exploring our mental wellbeing, raise awareness of mental health challenges, and inspire reflection and conversation around injustice in mental health care access. I work in public health with a focus on mental wellbeing and aim to bring this passion into my artwork. I create art also to re-imagine mental health care to celebrate and protect liberation and resilience of Black, Indigenous, and people of color and the many other identities that society marginalizes. La lucha, llena de arte, sigue. (The struggle, full of art, goes on).

GRATITUDE

I have many identities that I also hold in my artmaking – as wife & life partner, sister, daughter, friend, adopted latina exploring her indigenous and mestiza roots, creative, of living experience with mental health challenges, and as a public health professional with focus on mental wellbeing. I wish to thank my Creator, my husband Nick, my sisters and brother, my parents, my friends, and my therapist, who support my art making and exploration of many healing related themes. Your love is with me and within me.

  • thinking, being
  • Afternoon sun
  • hope of earth surrounds
  • Untitled_Artwork 15.jpg
    ancestral land imagination
  • untitled

grief series

  • warmth of the sun while resting in ancestral connection
  • sacred being, wounded soul
  • ancestral grief

soul sister strength & healing

  • strength together
  • sister strength
  • strength in imagined ceremony