The work is influenced by a fluctuating stream: dreams of gorgeous colors, nightmares of lost friends and family members, the zeitgeist, the last president bragging of sexual assault, textile patterns, the sound of the rivers, memories of mom working long hours, oblivious to all else, in her ceramics studio, my photographs, the writing of Elena Ferrante.  Life is sometimes incoherent and absurd. Beauty is counterbalanced by spooky, sinister with boring, fun with forlorn. The dark side can reflect our shameful society today; our shocking willingness to beat down the vulnerable, while the lighter side evokes our chance, our hope, shining forth, when time is taken to look more closely. There is a tension between the two that creates energy.
Born in Northern California, I spent my childhood making little animals in my mom’s ceramic studio, playing for hours in the woods, and concentrating fully on imaginary characters I invented. Before painting, I was an editorial fashion and portrait photographer in NYC and London for 18 years, a rare woman in a very male-dominated field, working for the best mags. I was trying to capture the female figure and attitude in the form of a narrative. The story was usually fantastical and sometimes absurdist – a theme that I continue to explore in paint. The animals protect others in the artwork, like a charm or pact. They soften the strangeness that is allowed to creep into the juxtapositions. Their participation adds goodness and loveliness. Familiars; part of a person’s soul in animal form, but having their own agenda as well, undefined but potent. The prehistoric animals in some of my paintings seem recognizable yet odd-looking. They are extinct, so their beauty is lost forever.
Allegorical and narrative, the paintings present heroines and animal-heroes balancing feelings of mystery or foreboding with a sense of celebration. They have some kind of task or important mission. The images are about the hardest part of the trip; the intersection between potential and conflict.

HANGAR Art Research Center residency, Lisbon, Portugal 2021
Oregon Arts Commission Grant, 2021
Chalk Hill Artist Residency, Sonoma CA 2021
Brush Creek Artist Residency, WY 2018
Kala Institute of the Arts, Berkeley, CA 2018
Playa Summer Lake, OR 2018
Djerassi Artists Program, Woodside, CA 2017
Ford Family Foundation Grant 2017
Ringholtz Award 2016

instagram: paula_bullwinkel

OPB Postcards From The Pandemic video on my artwork 2020

PBS’s OPB Oregon Art Beat article “Artist Paula Bullwinkel Takes on Donald Trump” October 2020



2021      Brouhaha, Transmission Gallery, Oakland, CA,  July/August

2019      25% Americans Approved, Franklin Crossing Atrium, Bend, OR

2018      The Poet is a Thief of Fire, Franklin Crossing Atrium, Bend, OR

2015      Play It As It Lays, Bend Art Center / Atelier 6000, Bend, OR

2014      Hastings Cone Gallery, Vashon Island, WA

2011      Virginia Inn, Seattle, WA

2009      All the Fun, The Pines Gallery, Hood River, OR

2006      Gallery 3.5, Montclair State Univ., NJ

1997      Hudson Grill Gallery, New York, NY

GROUP select

2021        San Diego Museum of Art Artists Guild Summer Exhibition

2021        Solitude, Arc Gallery, Chicago, IL

2020        Gesture and Motion, Site:Brooklyn Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

2020        A Generous Kingdom 4, Verum Ultimum Gallery, Portland, OR

2019        Drawing, Site:Brooklyn Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

2019        Emerging, Arc Gallery, Chicago, IL

2019        Figuratively Speaking, At Liberty Arts Collective, Bend OR

2019        Artists’ Annual Show, Kala Gallery, Berkeley, CA

2019        Winter x Winter, Bend Art Center, Bend, OR

2018        Déjà vu, Bend Art Center, Bend, OR

2018        Chasing Ghosts III, Verum Ultimum Gallery, Portland, OR

2018        Rise: Empower, Whitney Modern, Los Gatos, CA

2018        10th Annual Nat’l Juried Show, Prince Street Gallery, NYC

2018        Imprint, Salem Art Association, Salem, OR

2017        Spring Show, Portland Art Museum Rental Sales Gallery, Portland OR

2017        HeArt of The Matter, Franklin Crossing, Bend

2017        Faculty Show, Pence Pinckney Gallery, COCC, Bend OR

2016        Fall Show, Portland Art Museum RSG, Portland, OR

2016        Ube Art, Berkeley, CA

2015        Monument for Bicyclists; A Day In Paradise, collaborative project in conjunction with Portland Art Museum, OR

2015        Faculty Show, Pence Pinckney Gallery, COCC, Bend OR

2014        Franklin Crossing, Figurative Painting, Bend, OR

2012        Beyond the Demos, Jordan Schnitzer Museum, Eugene, OR

 Q&A The Bulletin (censored work), April 2019
Censorship, The Source Weekly April 2019
Exhibit review: The Bulletin April 2019

Bend Magazine Interview 2018
Cascades Arts and Entertainment Interview 2018

Review: Cosmo Ceramics, The Source, December 2017
Cascades Arts and Entertainment: Interview 2016
Political Art, group show 2017 Review