Placer County Artist Paula Amerine
Gallery: Art of Paula Amerine [4 Images] Click any image to expand.
Known for her illustrative work in The Art of Real Food cookbook, Paula Amerine often paints food and farm scenes, using oils, acrylics and mixed media. Displaying her work at OLAS Studio as well as Sparrow Gallery, Amerine is busy creating artwork to be used by Auburn’s One Book One Community to help advertise their event this year, as well as preparing for General Gomez’s California exhibit next month. “I’m well respected for the artwork I produce and people have been very supportive—[even putting my paintings] in their homes,” says Amerine, who’s passionate about advocating for local farmers through her artwork. “I have worked hard to create a volume of work that captures the spirit of where I live in Placer County.”
HLB: Tell us about your experience studying art in Spain as a teenager.
PA: My parents hired a Spanish painter to teach me oil painting, so I’d take a bus into Madrid near the Prado Art Museum on Saturday mornings. I’d arrive early due to bus schedules, giving me time to have a creamy hot chocolate before stopping at an art supply store. My teacher’s apartment was very small and always filled with aromas of freshly made breakfast tortillas, [as] his wife cooked while I painted. For two hours, I painted from postcard photos and learned various oil techniques. He’d demonstrate then leave the room, and I would continue to paint with him checking in every now and then. The experience allowed me the independence to learn that I could produce artwork when support and instruction were provided.
HLB: How did your time abroad have an impact on your art?
PA: I was in a college prep program and couldn’t fit art classes into my daily school schedule, so I’m grateful my parents supported this additional enrichment. I think these lessons inspired me to study art history at the university level, having learned the importance of history on the choices we make in our personal lives. I was intrigued that this artwork was preserved for the future, and that it was of such value that artists spent hours, even lifetimes, striving to better [their] technique and communicate powerful messages.
HLB: Do you have recurring themes in your work?
PA: My recent themes are local produce and farm animals. I hope people learn what grows in our region and how fortunate we are to live where there’s such an abundance of real food. [Because of my work], folks have learned the names of fruits they never knew existed or how great that fruit tastes. Even different types of potatoes are exciting to paint, because of the many shapes, colors and textures. I like to think I advocate for farmers and work toward educating people about how their lives can be enhanced by seeking out what grows in a field next to their home.
HLB: What do you love about this community?
PA: I settled in Auburn because I was hired to teach art classes at Del Oro High School. The longer I lived in Placer County, the more I started to appreciate what it had to offer me as a teacher; and as a lifestyle, I appreciate it daily. It’s a beautiful location, and I’m grateful for the folks who dedicate their time to making it a pleasant and safe place to live.