Paula Cahill

Artist Q&A with Paula Cahill

Paula Cahill is a contemporary American artist. She is known for her dark blue paintings composed with a single, continuous line reminiscent of the bioluminescent light that emanates from sea-life at deep, dark depths. Born in Detroit, Michigan, Paula relocated to the Northeast where she received merit and academic scholarships while pursuing an education in the arts. She holds an MFA from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and a BFA from Tyler School of Art and Architecture. She also studied at the Art Students League of New York and Parsons School of Design as a transfer student.

“Awry”, oil on panel, 24 x 24 in | 61 x 61 cm, 2021

Who is your favorite artist of all time?

I have so many favorite artists, but if I could have one famous painting, it would be a van Gogh.

How did you become a professional artist?

I attended art school later in life. After graduation I spent several years experimenting with abstraction. In 2017, I created a body of work that I felt comfortable with and began to seek out opportunities to exhibit and offer my work to the public.

What are the influences and inspirations in your work?


Paula Cahill, self-portrait.

How is your work different than everything else out there?

My work is composed with a single line that changes color and often connects back to itself seamlessly. I’m sure it’s been done before, but I haven’t seen any paintings quite like the current work.

When is a piece finished for you?

When I’m satisfied with the composition and examined every inch of the surface to make sure that the edges are clean, the colors are right, and the paint application is correct. It’s a very labor intense process.

What’s different about your current body of work?

I have been working on this body of work for over four years. That is the longest span of time that I’ve committed to one series of paintings. The work demonstrates a marked departure from my previous paintings. I started out as a figurative painter and as I transitioned to abstraction, I used a lot of color fields, some dots, some lines, but none of the hard edges or gradients that you see in the current work.

“Cartouche”, oil on panel, 24 x 24 in | 61 x 61 cm, 2021

Tell us about a few of your career highlights or moments that have greatly affected your career?

When someone’s eyes sparkle while they track the line in a painting.

What’s coming up for you?

Right now, I’m working on a magazine feature for 2021, and my work is in a couple of group shows including the magnificent non-objective show Truth in the Face of Reality at Robert Berry Gallery.

 What advice would you give to an artist just starting out today?

Never give up!

Who are some of your favorite under appreciated artists that you don’t think get enough attention?

Ninety year olds who are still working.

“Cartouche IV”, oil on panel, 40 x 40 in | 102 x 102 cm, 2021

To learn more about Paula and her work, please visit