Paula McArdle Biography

Paula McArdle was born in 1971. Her style has its roots in Naïve art. Naïve art has no past and no future. It captures the “now”. Whereas the trained artist cannot ignore the art of his predecessors and contemporaries, naïve artists work as if on a desert island, creating images of the world around them mingled with their imagination, without the barrier of tradition. The art of Paula McArdle springs from a sense of joy and bemusement of the world around her. Sketching wherever she goes, she translates what she sees into her language of imagery, leading us gently into her insight into the curious and sometimes ungainly figures which people her world.

Her humanity is never far from the surface. Every scene has a discreet tongue in cheek feeling behind it. A gentle mockery of our sentiments is ever present, but at the same time her art shows a love and compassion of a heart touched with a discreet wonder. Even her colors have a discreet feeling. Her preferences for shell pinks, soft grays, bluey greens and warm brown, show emotional significance. They are clues to the nature of the images. Her delight in texture, having worked in textiles, is ever present and serves to give an underlying richness to the picture, creating sometimes a life of it’s own as certain areas of the picture become almost three dimensional. Above all, the art of Paula McArdle, like all innocent Naïve Art, is a pure manifestation of joy, which takes us back to the Garden of Eden, into which we where all born and perhaps, in the words of Picasso, has been hidden from us by knowledge.

The work of McArdle springs from a sense of joy of the world around her. She has created a unique visual world much akin to a language. Her works suggests a dream-like place, where humor and subtle interplays of her characters take place. She will often mix images of our immediate world with an era suggestive of her grandparent's time, often portraying her characters in antiquated clothing. Her works have a childlike quality and a sense of wonder and innocence presented from the perspective of a child.

Often one finds the relationship between men and women portrayed and adults and children. Paula frequently creates imaginary images of couples in sporting activities like golf, tennis, fishing and boating. Her work has an immediate charm, warmth of mood, and an appeal that reaches to collectors of all ages. Her work is represented in galleries throughout Europe and the United States.