Paula Mitchem, aspiring artist

My interest in art was sparked at the age of 11 at the Clark AFB Hobby shop in the Philippines, however because we moved shortly after it wasn't until I was in high school before I was able to dabble in art again. I won a couple of awards in high school and went on to enroll in the art program at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. After about 3 years I became disillusioned with the art program so changed my major to Medical Technology. I have worked in both human and veterinary labs performing microbiology for 33 years until 2020 when I retired.

I began watching YouTube videos in 2018 in order to get back into learning art. I started building back my skills in painting during the summer of 2020 using acrylics but later switched to oils. While I have been able to improve well enough that I have had a couple of friends commission paintings from me, I feel I still have a lot to learn in both technique and the business side of art.

I primarily paint landscapes, however, I also love still life. I want people who view my landscapes to feel that sense of calm and well-being that nature provides. Sometimes its that shimmer of light on water or that golden evening light raking across the landscape that excites me. For my still life paintings, I love painting texture and the dance of light and shadow across surfaces and I hope viewers love that as well.

Artists that have inspired me are Richard Schmid, David Leffel, Sherrie McGraw, John Singer Sargent, Qiang Huang, Scott Christensen, and many others.