Artist Profile: Paula David
Artist Profile: Paula David
After a long career as a senior-level marketing executive and brand strategist in financial services and higher education, Paula David has rediscovered her love for painting and fulfilled her lifelong dream of being a full-time artist on Cape Cod. Along the way, she found a new definition of success and fulfillment. “While my corporate jobs fed my family, my art life fills my soul,” she exclaims.
David cherishes her childhood memories of visiting Cape Cod, which include camping at Marconi Beach, marching along to the Fourth of July parade and feasting on lobster and fried clams. As an adult, David and her husband brought their children to the Cape for vacation every summer and eventually purchased a quintessential 1920s cottage in Brewster, complete with an adjacent art studio. “I lived for the weekends when I could go to my studio and paint,” she recalls.
As David contemplated retirement from the corporate world, she began to actively pursue her dreams of being an artist and focused on building her skills and relationships. “I took classes from some of the top artists on the Cape and spent every weekend in my studio using what I learned to cultivate my own style,” David explains. “I went to art receptions and introduced myself to the artists and gallery owners.” It was at one of those receptions that Paula met Sherry Rhyno, owner of Gallery 31 in Orleans, and struck up an instant friendship. Rhyno, a fellow artist, was generous and thoughtful with her advice and guidance and gave David valuable and honest critique of her work. The day Rhyno asked if she could hang some of David’s paintings in the gallery was the beginning of David’s second career as a professional artist.
Inspired by her love of Cape Cod, David wants her artwork to relay a story to the viewer—to capture a moment in time and allow one to hearken back to a cherished Cape experience. “I paint landscapes and seascapes as well as slice-of-life moments like a little girl eyeing the penny candy at The Brewster Store, a dog frolicking in the water at Tonset Beach, or even my favorite nap spot on the front porch.”
Working in both oil and pastel, David often chooses vibrant colors that reflect the hues of the Cape’s light. Her training in design gives her a strong foundation in color and composition, and her marketing background helps her to choose compelling and relatable subjects for her paintings. “I learned the fundamentals of drawing at an early age and was taught to really look at shapes and forms, value, and perspective. These skills serve me well, especially when painting the human form,” she explains.
A frequent visitor to the Brewster flats, she is drawn to the ever-changing light and how the pull of the moon creates patterns in the sand. “There’s so much to paint there. The lone boat on the sandbar waiting for the tide to come in and set it free; the pinks, the corals, and rusty browns of the sand at sunset; the oyster farmer harvesting at dawn; or children chasing sea gulls.”
Her paintings are a perfect keepsake for visitors and year-rounders alike as they evoke memories of cherished, familiar moments and images of a place they love. “My paintings are a way for collectors to take home a bit of the Cape. When vacation is over and life is hectic, it’s nice to have something to bring back that relaxed Cape feeling.”
David is proud to have her work hanging at Gallery 31 in Orleans. Her award-winning artwork has been juried into many national and regional art exhibitions and she served as a member on the Board of Directors of the Pastel Painters Society of Cape Cod.