Paula Gustafson—Paintings and Illustrations


It is the love of painting combined with the love of nature and the built world that drives my work. I rarely paint inside and opt to paint on location Plein air. Only very cold Minnesota weather keeps me in my studio. Painting outside also provides lively stories that seem to go with every painting that I do. In fact many of those stories are catastrophic events that range from weather challenges to animal and bug encounters to sometimes having to follow my easel and painting into a lake, taking a bath, as it were, for arts sake.

What promotes me to paint one scene verses another is the search for that special quality. That quality can be as simple as a blue shadow in an alley or as complex as light dancing on moving water. I cannot describe exactly what that special quality is until I see it, but I know it when I do. I am constantly looking for that visual spark whether I am actively painting or just going about my general activities. My objective is to show that the environment around us is extraordinary and by observing carefully special beauty can be revealed.

Maryland Institute College of Art,

Baltimore Maryland (B.F.A.)

School of the Art Institute of Chicago,

Chicago Illinois (M.F.A.)

If you have any questions or are interested in purchasing a painting, or just want to chat, you may contact me:


Larch Creek          12” x 16”                           Oil on Linen Panel