10 Questions with artist Paula Anastasi-Buehler (Art Spotlight)

This week, Literati Pulp interviewed artist Paula Anastasi-Buehler to discuss her passion for painting…

Paula Anastasi-Buehler started painting at an early age and later studied Fine Arts and Fine Arts Education at both Columbia University and Harvard University. She taught art for years at St. George’s School in Newport, Rhode Island and at Landmark School in Prides Crossing, Massachusetts. She has done a large variety of commissioned art, painting and drawing competition and hunting horses, family pets, and wildlife favorites for both private individuals and zoos.  Her style is extremely realistic, and she captures the fanciful side of many of her subjects.

View all of Paula’s artwork here.

Artist interview

1. What originally got you into painting?

Paula:  My Dad was an artist so I naturally took to painting under his tutelage from an early age and then studied Fine Arts in college.

2. What has been a seminal experience in your painting career?

Paula: After college I decided to concentrate on horseback riding rather than my art as I adored horses and had ambitions of becoming a show jumper… Unfortunately I had a near fatal riding accident that ended my dreams although I did continue hacking out on my horse… that’s when I made up my mind to become a serious painter and specialize in equestrian art as that way I could still be involved in the horse world!

3. How has your practice change over time?

Paula: Over time I decided to branch out and paint domestic animals as most people have pets they adore as well as horses… I also decided to paint wildlife as I love all animals and have volunteered over the years at zoos and wildlife habitats which allowed me to sketch and photograph some pretty amazing animals from zebras to wallabies!!!

4. What other painters inspire you?

Paula: The painters that inspire me most are Sir Alfred Munnings, Paul Brown. Sam Savitt, Andrew Weyth.

5. What’s your favourite art work?

Paula: My favorite artwork is anything by Sir Alfred Munnings as he is the master of equestrian art!

6. Why do you chose animals as the major subject matter? 

Paula: I choose animals as my subject matter as I was an equestrian for years and adore horses… I also did internships at the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo and at the Wildlife Habitat in Far North Queensland Australia where I cared for and loved the animals….and over the years I’ve had dogs and cats which I adored so painting them came naturally to me… I feel as though you should paint what you are passionate about so that your whole heart and soul goes into your art!

7. What do you dislike about the art world?

There really isn’t anything I dislike about the art world as it’s full of amazingly talented and unique people… as a former teacher I realize that everyone has creativity but they just need someone to unleash it for them so that they aren’t afraid to express themselves… I only wish there were more art museums and galleries!

8. What role does the artist have in society?

Paula: I strongly believe that the artist brings an awareness to the general public of the causes he or she believes in… I’ve been sketching koalas and kangaroos lately to bring the plight of the animals affected by the Australian wildfires last year to the general public… the more people see images of these animals the more they are willing to donate money to help them survive…the same goes for animals on the verge of extinction or for rescue pets…the artist can bring this awareness to people so they will help these animals in need…I myself am designing a calendar for the Wildlife Habitat in Australia to help them raise money for there generous work in protecting these animals…. 

9. What is the hardest part about being an artist?

Paula: The hardest part of being an artist is never thinking that your work is perfect enough to exhibit and also not knowing if you can actually make a living by selling your art.

10. What advice do you have for painters just starting out?

Paula: My best advice to painters starting out is to paint what you love and what you feel passionate about and never to give up… just keep painting and you will get better and better!

Huge thanks to Paula for taking the time to talk with us. If you would like to see more of her art or inquire about commission pieces, visit her page at www.paulaanastasibuehler.com.


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