Paula Borsetti

Born in:1961, Beverly, MA,USA
Lives in: Beverly, MA,USA
Education:MEd. Arts/Learning from Endicott College Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting from Montserrat College of Art Certificate of Fine Arts from The Art Institute of Boston
Describe your art in 3 words: personal, layered, uplifting
See More Work: Paula's Page on Circle

Good Good Day - Acrylic on panel 30 x 30

"My work is exploration and play. A dance between the idea coming from me and the one coming from the painting. Recently I am working primarily in acrylic on cradled wood panels, Yupo paper and linen. Drawing, collage, transfer, printmaking and stencils also find their way into the painting. Layers are created, thick and thin, often sanding to expose what has come before."

What themes does your current work involve?
Currently I am working on a series around art and healing. I venture to the beach and watch the sunrise. I scour the surface and find what has changed with the ebb and flow of the tide. I am considering words, movement and mark making. Layering words with shape, color, texture, line and form to express what is happening in my world, inside my soul and to the people around me. My current and largest series is about the battle with ALS my dear friend's son is waging. He is in his 9th year fighting this beast. The works are created with words he can no longer speak as a jumping off point. They begin with the words, the words lead to the paintings. Each a different moment in the journey processed through the use of formal elements into works that speak of strength, resilience and hope.
Describe your creative process.
My process is a dance between the canvas and my movement, memories and life experiences. I try to start the day going to the sunrise whenever possible or in my kayak on the lake. I spend time writing each morning before I head into the studio. In the studio the music goes on, I look at the work from the day prior, set about the pieces I want to continue or new surfaces, make a fresh palette. I work in my art journal, just playing with a feeling for the day. Then I start painting. If I am beginning a new series I am working on several pieces at once, feeling the surface, just getting some marks down, something to react to. If I am continuing a series I spend some time with the works in progress deciding what they need then go at it. The work is finished when I can sit with it.
What influences your work? What inspires you? Why do you make art?
My work is inspired by my environment - living on the coast of Massachusetts and the lakes region in Maine. It is also inspired by everyday life and by watching the community around a dear friend dealing with a fatal diagnosis. I am grateful for so much in my life that inspires me. My family, friends, walks in nature, seeing the sunrise, finding rocks, playing with my grandsons, my dogs, kayaking, reading, music, other artists, taking classes, always learning, teaching, connections. I make art because it is who I am, I can’t not do it. That’s not in the equation.
What are your goals and plans as an artist in 2023?
I will continue to work on a series around this idea of healing and raising awareness for ALS. I have an online Solo Show in March with Women United Art Movement, other in person and online exhibits throughout the year including a solo show in November. I continue to learn and explore through my art practice. I paint full time so my studio is filling up. I am looking for gallery representation.
How do recent advancements in technology affect your art practice? How may recent developments in Artificial Intelligence (image generator software) affect the definition of fine art?
Technology is an amazing tool. I use it for research, to stay connected to a global audience. I am able to create digital portfolios and share images of my work easier than ever. I remember having to get slides made! Low tech and high tech tools have been in use for ages. I have not taken the time to dive into AI but I have strong feelings about creating authentic work rooted in human experience and about speaking truth. For me, there is a difference between a photo produced in the darkroom vs. one produced digitally. There is a difference between experiencing a painting in person vs. looking at it in a book or on a screen. There is no substitution for the experience of being there.
What is the role of the artist today?
I have always been an artist, then I became an art teacher. Finally I followed my heart and jumped to being a full time artist. It lights me up, brings me joy and I can't imagine not doing it. It's every aspect of my life. The role of the artist today is the same as it’s always been. To speak your truth. There are a lot of artists but we are all unique individuals with something to say. We can only say it in a way that is true for us and in our own voice. There is someone who needs to hear what we have to say. Art has the ability to transcend boundaries and connect to the human experience. We are connectors, teachers, students, sharing existence in a variety of ways that explore what it means to be human, to be alive and living today.
What is good art? What makes a piece of art great?
I believe that authentic work is created through looking within, getting lost in the process and letting the work take on a life of its own. Work gets better and better as the artist peels back the layers and goes deep within to find that which lights them up. Always a search, looking for that spark. Great work is that which stops you in your tracks, gets you to take a second look, is deeply personal and universal at the same time.
Beneath - Acrylic on canvas 36 x 58
Press Play - Acrylic on linen 36 x 48
In The Act of Living - Acrylic on Yupo 38 x 60
We Interrupt This Regularly Scheduled Broadcast - Acrylic on linen 36 x 48


This interview was published by Circle Foundation of the Arts. © CFA Press ∙ Images are courtesy of the artist

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