"Paint what you see - not what you think you see"
Paula Henchell began taking classes at Swinton's many years ago and in no time developed her own style. She began teaching as a substitute for other instructors and did such a great job that when a full-time spot became available she was the natural choice for the position. Now, as one of our premier instructors, she has gone on to some great artistic feats:
Winning first place in the landscape category at the Calgary Exhibition and Stampede 2006 Art Show; Painted in the "Artist's Window" at the 2007 Stampede; September 2008 Paula was a finalist for the art competition "Still Life and Florals - published in the International Artist Magazine, October 2008; In November - accepted as a member of the International Guild of Realism - a prestigious group of artists that promote the art of Realism all over the world.
She's outgoing, lively and has a willingness to share all she has learned. She is one of the reasons Swinton's has become such a great place in which to learn and create.
I give you Paula...
Some of my early childhood memories are of sitting at the kitchen table drawing and colouring. I really loved sketching and would sit for hours making pictures. I had no doubt in my mind that I would have a career in art and would definitely be going to art school. I just didn't know it would take so long. The latter I achieved but somehow art school just didn't meet my expectations - maybe because it was in the mid seventies and there were some pretty wild people at the art school. So slowly I drifted away from painting and a career in art. Thirty years later I was persuaded to take up art lessons again by a very encouraging artist, Nancy Lynne Hughes. I couldn't believe how much I missed it. I went from painting to painting, strength to strength. In just a few years a job opportunity opened up to teach some beginner watercolour lessons where I myself had been taking lessons. Doug Swinton, owner of Swinton's Art, persuaded his wife Donna to give me the job and they encouraged me at every step along the way. I have never looked back and am so thankful that I have art back in my life full time.One of my all time favorite quotes, is "Paint what you see - not what you think you see" - so true! I have always painted in quite a realistic and detailed way; I never really considered painting any other way it's just what's right for me. My favorite artist of today is Susan Harrison-Tustain from New Zealand, a wonderful painter in both watercolor and oil.Painting gives me peace of mind. If I go without painting for a few days, I have an overwhelming urge to get to the studio as soon as I can. To be all alone in my studio and paint without any time restraints is my idea of ultimate joy.