Paula Gasparini-Santos

Paula was born in Vitória, Brazil and has lived her life between many cities and countries. Paula lived in Miami, FL where she graduated high school, then moved to California for college. During her college career Paula was drawn to deepen her experience and understanding of her cultural background and her art, and so she moved to Parma, Italy to reconnect with her ancestry and roots. Paula then moved to Hana, Hawaii where she spend 5 years reconnecting from the land. Many of her metaphors written in her artworks come from this work with the soil, farming, and cultivating gardens. In Hawaii she worked as a K-5 art teacher, a arts non-profit executive director, and eventually became an mental health counselor providing art therapy to those suffering from drug addiction and trauma. Paula moved to Boulder, CO to complete a Master degree in Art Therapy at Naropa University. During this time, Paula painted about trauma, healing, and violence as she paralleled her artwork to the work she did as a domestic violence victims therapist. Paula is currently a registered psychotherapist with a private practice called Fresh Start Therapy, working with women and children towards empowerment. In her art and her counseling, she hopes to help clients make meaning of life through creativity. She is passionate about the realm of art and believes that each painting gives the opportunity to outpour vulnerability and map out a personal, yet extremely human journey. Paula’s hope is that her work reaches and relates to a variety of audience members, especially those who appreciate and desire to touch into the rawness of life.

From the Artist... On canvas, poetry and images meet to tell stories and express emotions of human existence. My work invites us to look deeper, to ask questions, and comforts us with the relatedness of the experience of life. Bright colors come together to create visually tempting and satisfying palettes that stand out on walls and draw in attention. My work stems from a sense of rawness and authenticity I strive for both as an artist and in my private practice as a mental health clinician. My work tends to display strokes of abstract expressionism mixed with the calligraphy of graffiti and journaling. My colors pair with one another to resemble the colorful lyrical heritage of my home country of Brazil. My figures stand alone in landscapes that seem to crave a horizon, entrapped by words and thoughts. I paint every painting without a goal or desire, I paint simply to try and encapsulate what I am feeling at each given moment. My paintings have been known to take hard emotions and transform them into peace. The artwork witnesses confusions and transforms it into wisdom. Pain is revealed, only to be transformed into beauty. Colors become gateways into life, and the images are doors into the human existence. My artwork is personal, and yet expansively human and its source of inspiration is always the life of others and that within myself.

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