Artist’s Beginnings: Paula Frojae

Paula Frojae has many dreams but right now her foremost hope is to create free art forums in new mediums. She believes, like I do,  that everyone has an artistic side just waiting to be expressed.

Not that she always created. As a child being raised in La Mirada, Paula was neither a good student nor a musical or visual artist. She had ADHD, needed glasses for astigmatism, and always envied people who played an instrument or could draw, wishing she could do one of them.

Paula did try an art class in high school and enjoyed it but her attempts at pottery and drawing were less than successful.

Then she took a photography course and everything changed. She loved gazing through that lens to see the world in a whole new way. Then, later in the dark room, she could manipulate images to match her visions of beauty.  She grew in her art, filling  boxes with black and white photographs of life and family.

But when the digital wave struck, she began to struggle. Though she knew how to frame a shot and understood shading in black and white, this new digital world of photography was alien to her.

So she sought something new to do in her spare time. To no avail.

Paula was still seeking a means of expression when she broke her foot in 2017. With a lot of time on her hands and unable to walk, drive or go to work, she was at a loss. Then, her landlord  asked if she wanted to learn how to paint with water-color. Hesitant at first, she didn’t know how to respond. She couldn’t draw, was accustomed to seeing art through a lens, and had always worked in black and white.

Would she be able to find her voice in color?

After her landlord set up his watercolors, paint brushes and paper, he showed her how to mix blue and yellow to make green, and red and yellow to make orange.  Over time she learned how to add more blue to make the colors darker or yellow for a lighter effect.

Nervously, she tried to copy a photo of some green hills with water in the front afraid of what the results might be. But when she painted a straight line across the paper, she realized that no drawing was required.

She could do this!

First, she painted the horizon, then, while that was drying, she painted the sky. Next thing she knew she had painted an entire picture. When she stood back, she had to admit that it was pretty good. Her landlord applauded her efforts as did others who saw the picture.

Their encouragement fueled her passion. She began ordering more and more art supplies as she experimented with different subjects.

Months of expression. Plants. Trees. Seascapes. These she took to a print shop to have copied into small unique cards. Those she could share or sell.


In her quest to find the artist within.

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