Fun with Flowers Demo Artist Paula Kehoe

Fun with Flowers Demo Artist Paula Kehoe

This week local artist Paula Kehoe will lead participants Pastel Painting Workshops (SOLD OUT) at the Denver Art Museum designed to spark creativity and a passion for art. Below, Paula gives some insight into what inspires her creative process.

This summer, the DAM is celebrating work inspired by the beauty of flowers. Do you find inspiration in your surroundings?

Yes. Definitely, Most of my ideas come from nature. With all the rain this spring, we had a wonderful show of spring flowers, even in unexpected places (off the highways). I have a lot of perennials in my garden and love to see how each plant unfolds as the weeks pass. In my own garden, I was totally inspired this spring starting with crocus, then daffodils, tulips, iris, and poppies. Roses and daylilies will be coming soon. I can’t wait!!

Do you have any favorite spots or inspirational spaces?

I love my flower garden and to see how other homeowners and public places create flower gardens. I always enjoy a trip to the Denver Botanical Gardens…it really motivates me.

How did you get started working in this medium?

I found pastels over 10 years ago and was amazed at how quickly and easy it is to work with. I found that kids and adults alike could enjoy this medium. I love the way I can use pastels to create so many effects. It’s a dry medium, so if I make a mistake, it’s easy to change.

What drives your current work? Do you have any passion projects?

I enjoy taking pastel workshops from some of the top pastel artists in the country. I find that learning new ways to use materials drives my passion. I find it empowering to take advanced methods and readjust these methods to teach beginning students. I love to see how happy people are after they take my workshops when they see what they can accomplish. If I can ignite other people’s passion for art, I feel successful too.

These workshops are a great way to engage with the local community. What do you hope people will take away from your workshop?

That they feel like an artist and want to do more. That they can learn to take their ideas and bring them to the physical world. I believe we all have the capacity to create beautiful art. I want people to feel successful when they leave.

Do you have any current or upcoming projects that you are excited about?

Yes. I will be teaching this fall and creating some public art projects as well. I’m also marketing my book The Super Cool, Ultra Fun Kids Activity Book: A Creative Book for Creative Brains, which won a silver medal for children’s interactive books with the 2015 Independent Publishers Award. The purpose of the book is to ignite and inspire children’s creativity. I’m happy that I could create something that ignites others’ creativity.

Erin Cousins is associate manager of creative and public engagement in the department of learning and engagement at the Denver Art Museum. One of her favorite exhibitions that has been on view here is Joan Miró: Instinct & Imagination.

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