Ensign, Paula

Community: Bainbridge Island
Phone: 425-894-8791
Email: paulaensign@gmail.com
Website: paulaensignart.com
Media: pen and ink and watercolor

Past exhibits and events with Northwind

2017 Showcase artist (click to see all 2017 artists)

Artist Statement

My unique style of ink and watercolor has developed from years of experimentation. Drawing with vertical lines is fascinating. Using a fine ink pen I can achieve both subtle gradations and bold contrasts within my subjects, which are most often everyday objects that express grace and harmony. The ink drawings are admittedly slow, but I enjoy this part of the process for its meditative and comforting qualities. When the ink drawing is complete, I use broad strokes of watercolor to let colors flow and designs emerge. Within minutes, fluid color adds fresh dimension to the scene. Currently I am experimenting with small bits of embroidery that contribute a sense of discovery and intrigue within the larger drawings. Altogether, the combination offers endless possibilities and exciting results.


From the time I could hold a crayon, drawing and painting have been my favorite things to do. My artistic journey has ranged from graphite drawing to watercolors, to oils and now back to drawing with ink with watercolor. Each successive stage has unfolded both progress and new discoveries.

After majoring in studio art at Principia College I exhibited watercolor paintings in Northwest galleries. Stepping back from artwork while my children were young, I was eager to take it up again once they were grown. I am delighted now to have the opportunity to focus full time on drawing and painting.

I love traveling and getting to know a locale by drawing or painting there. Working on site prompts a keen awareness of detail, value and color. Weather conditions may prompt photographs or quick studies, but always the work is about the look and feel of place.

An important part of my work is sharing my love of drawing with others. I teach several drawing courses and I write an instructional drawing blog, Love-to-draw.com. Helping others discover the joy of drawing is a delight and it has strengthened my work.

My drawings may currently be seen at Bainbridge Arts and Crafts on Bainbridge Island, Crow Valley Pottery on Orcas Island and at select juried exhibitions and shows throughout the Northwest. Memberships include Plein Air Washington Artists, the Northwest Watercolor Society and Urban Sketchers.

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