Paula Mills

South Africa / Melbourne

I paint things I love to look at, often flowers, as I am drawn to their rich colour, organic shapes, forms and lines. I work from observation, in my home studio, in a variety of mediums. I paint in oil and acrylic on canvas or board, as well as on paper in ink and water colour. Often the subject matter is feminine and tender which I capture with strong colour and bold marks. I apply paint in broad brush strokes, building texture and layers in my paintings. My work is also inspired by pattern and colour and everyday beauty, and is influenced by the many past and present artists from the different countries in which I have lived. These include Irma Stern, Henri Matisse, Vanessa Bell, Margaret Preston, Grace Cossington Smith and Elizabeth Cummings.
I was born in South Africa in 1973 and immigrated to Melbourne, Australia in 2007. I studied commercial art and design in Cape Town, which led to a career as an art director in advertising in London. I have travelled extensively in Europe and Asia. My career as a freelance illustrator started in Melbourne in 2008. My illustration work is published and produced in Australia and internationally. I feel grateful that I can be in my studio every day, continuously developing and evolving my painting practice.