I have enjoyed art all my life. I love both the challenge of representational art and the freedom of abstract art. To me there is no bigger “high” than to see that blank white canvas become a beautiful work of art. I enjoy working in oil, watercolor, acrylics, and pastels, finding that each has their own magic and beauty. I am interested in a wide variety of subject matter ranging from landscapes and still life to portraits and abstracts. I let the subject and mood of the subject dictate the style and feel of the painting ranging from impressionism to realism. My landscapes tend to lean toward impressionism while my portraits and still life are usually done in a tighter manner. With my landscapes I try to show the viewer the poetry of the scene emphasizing the play of light and shadow. I enjoy trying to recreate the mood and emotions I felt as I looked at the scene. With my portraits I try to capture the soul and personality of the subject (whether it is a person or a pet). My goal with my portraits is to create a lasting work of art that will bring a smile to the lips or a tear to the eye of the viewer for years to come.
Paula was born and raised on the plains of West Texas in the small town of Slaton, TX but now resides in beautiful East Texas. She has been interested in art since her early preschool days of drawing her own paper dolls and designing their clothes. Coming from an artistic family she always had help and instruction from her mother, father, and older sister. She learned at an early age about perspective, shadows, colors mixing, etc. She graduated from Texas Tech University with a major in Mathematics and a minor in Art. She began painting in oils in the 70’s whenever she could squeeze in the time from her full time job of teaching secondary math. In June of 2000 she retired from teaching and soon after began to devote her energies to her painting. She has won numerous awards at both the Palette of Roses Art Shoe and the Mineola League of the Arts Show. She works in oils, watercolor, acrylics and pastels. She is a member of the Palette of Roses Art League, the Mineola League of the Arts and the Mount Pleasant Art Society. She has studied under Nancy Berkhouse, Bruce Peil, Matt Smith, Ann Templeton, Bob Rohm, and Rusty Jones.
Artist Interview: Paula Hodge
What are your earliest memories related to art?
I remember Mother sitting with my sister and I drawing paper dolls and their clothes. Mother first showed me how to make the folds of my paper dolls skirt look real… from then on I was hooked on trying to make everything look real.
How and when did you start becoming an artist yourself?
I have always done some kind of art. I minored in art in college but only seriously began to try to develop my skills in 2003.
What was the evolution like toward finding your current voice and visual vocabulary?
I began just painting on my own but quickly found I needed more direction. I began taking lessons first from Nancy Berkhouse and after that was lucky enough to study for 4 years under Bruce Peil of Athens where my work improved tremendously. I have also taken workshops under Ann Templeton, Bob Rohm, Rusty Jones, and Matt Smith.
What is your process like?
My process varies depending on the medium I am working with. In general when painting a landscape I try to plan ahead for the best composition for my piece. After that if time permits I like to paint a small 8×10 study before I begin on my studio work. I do my oil paintings in layers to help give a deeper and richer color.
Is there anything from your artist statement that you wish to expound on, that you normally don’t have the chance to discuss?
I especially enjoy doing me commission portraits … whether they are of a grandchild, grand parent, or family pet. I love to see the look of joy on the face of the client when they first see the finished work.
What do you try to control in your surfaces, and what do you leave to chance?
I like to choose a canvas that has enough tooth to show through the layers of paint.
Where do you see your work going from here?
I hope to continue to take workshops and strive to improve my work. I hope to become more well know for my portraits and to get more portrait commissions. I so enjoy doing portraits of children and pets. I would also like to develop a body of work in both my abstracts and watercolors.