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Paula Arciniega


Paula Arciniega’s creative career started with music, earning her Masters at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. So it’s only natural that music has become her muse as she’s fallen in love with painting. For the past 10 years Paula has been weaving together these two artistic paths; one as a vocalist and the other as a painter.
Thematically, Paula has moved through a number of projects: The Mahler Project, Postpartum and The Rite of Spring.
The Rite of Spring, Paula's current project, is a series of graphic interpretations of the infamous composition by Igor Stravinsky entitled “Le Sacre du Printemps” written in 1913 for the Paris season of Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes company. Stravinsky’s score for the ballet consists of 2 parts. Part 1, "L’Adoration de la Terre", consists of 7 short movements. And Part 2, "Le Sacrifice", consists of 6 movements. Stravinsky's composition and Paula's collection of paintings are a dovetailing of raw, primitive emotion and nature’s exacting cycle of re-birth.
The Mahler Project
The Mahler Project (2008) is a journey into the mind and music of Gustav Mahler. In this series of abstract paintings inspired by Mahler’s symphonies and Lieder, Paula's compositional instincts are on full display: making deft choices regarding how the subject matter will be heightened with light, what will be cast into mysterious swirls of color and shadow, what color harmonies will support these visionary dramas.
The Postpartum collection is a reflection of Paula's journey through postpartum depression. Several of the paintings from this collection were inspired by the great late romantic composer Richard Strauss, His music provided an endless pallet of tone, color and texture for Paula's artistic interpretation.
Throughout much of Paula's work, the female body is featured: sometimes in quintessentially modern ways (simplified shoulder  lines, breasts distilled as bold brush strokes, disembodied faces that strongly suggest narrative); sometimes in a more representative way (textured, fully embodied women). Paula clearly sees The Female experience as a story of complex truth: true feminine power is never arrived at easily. There is an inevitable potency to the female body's curves and its reproductive power, to be sure. But, in seeking a modern honesty, Paula wants women to define their own truths and seek success on their own terms. 
Paula repeatedly and adoringly comes back to Landscapes – a welcome shift of headspace from her more expressive, abstract works. The act of faithfully, photo-realistically rendering an image with paint, even when the artist takes certain liberties, is a way of seeing unlike abstract work, with its focus on light and depth-of-field and its more visceral connection to land, water and sky. 


Paula’s musical background, combined with her interpretation of sound and colour have enabled Paula to connect and collaborate with world-class organizations and people. Paula’s work was featured as part of TSO Art & Music Series in 2015; the organization featured the work of artists on its programmes.
TSO Programme Arciniega cover
Paula actively seeks out opportunities to combine her colourist compositions with the energy of live music. Paula has installed “art-scapes” with several musical organizations such the Hamilton Philharmonic (Maestro James Sommerville) at the Art Gallery of Hamilton, and in Toronto with Group of 27 (Music Director Eric Paetkau). Paula has also collaborated artistically with musical colleagues such as Achilles Liarmakopoulos (Tbn Canadian Brass) and Grammy nominated New York Piano Quartet (New York Chamber Music Festival). Paula became a member of Toronto’s distinguished Heliconian Club in 2014.

Paula lives and works out of her studio in Toronto with her husband and 3 children. Paula has sold works to clients across 4 continents. Her creative passion never rests.