Tuesday, December 9, 2014


Pastel, 12 x 8
© 2014 Paula Somma.  All rights reserved.

I am fascinated with trees and thoroughly enjoy painting them.  Some stand out more than others to me symbolic of character or emotion.  This one was on the road out to Julian awhile back and looks as though it's younger years endured quite a bit of harsh winds and weather to form it's trunk this way.  What interest me most is that the roots must run deep and be anchored to solid ground in order for it to hold this posture and still flourish.  A truth in life.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Christmas Time is Here

Pastel, 9 x 12
© 2014 Paula Somma. All rights reserved.

For our Christmas card this year, I wanted to create something less traditional yet still bring glory to God for His amazing gift to us all.   My hope is that this peaceful image, although a tree, will still point to the birth of Jesus, the true meaning of Christmas.  The Evergreen tree has been known to represent everlasting life for it's endurance of life through the dead of winter.  The triangular shape also symbolic of the Trinity and points all to heaven.  With the sun setting behind the tree, I wanted the hints of light to decorate the tree in place of manmade lights, for it is God's handiwork and ability to shine and reveal Himself through His creation.  I placed the tree in an open field to represent that there is nothing that hinders us from freely coming to Christ, His invitation is to all and for all through His immeasurable love for us.

Have a wonderful Christmas!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Eucalyptus and Grapevines

Pastel, 9 x 12
© 2014 Paula Somma.  All rights reserved.

Inspired by a walk with my mom while in Ojai last month.  Those fond memories still looming in my mind, take me back to that place and time... relaxed, spontaneous, adventurers we were... seeking out the hidden treasures there.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Ojai Lavender Field

Pastel, 9.5 x 9 - SOLD
© 2014 Paula Somma.  All rights reserved.

Nothing like the sight and scent of walking through a field of fresh lavender.
This is a field up in the quaint town of Ojai, CA.

Monday, November 3, 2014

On the Ojai Conservation Trail...

Pastel, 12 x 9
© 2014 Paula Somma.  All rights reserved.

My mom and I took a road trip to Ojai last week for a few days.  What a beautiful time of year to explore that area, and what an adventure seeker my dear mom was.  As we entered the winding road to our B&B, we came across this conservation trail.  Those fiery orange/yellow/red trees caught our eye immediately and we just had to stop and take a stroll through the tree lined paths.  More Ojai inspired paintings to come soon.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Fall Succulent

Pastel,  16 x 12
© 2014 Paula Somma.  All rights reserved.

I enjoyed observing the shapes and shadows here with the subtle gradations of colors shifting from blues, greens and lavenders.  The warm pink tips of the petals were like putting icing on the cake for me.  This was painted on a black sanded surface allowing many layers to carve out the shapes, retaining the contrasted shadows and leaving some of the surface peeking through to add texture through out.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

SC Art Association Fall Show

Pastel, 9 x 12
© 2014 Paula Somma. All rights reserved.

I am honored to have received 3rd Place in the Pastel Category for SC Art Association's Fall Show.
"Leaving Linda Lane"

Monday, September 15, 2014

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

End of August Moon - 2014

Pastel, 27 x 18.75
© 2014 Paula Somma.  All rights reserved.

A moment captured on our early evening beach walk the other day.  

I can't quite get the color and contrast to represent the painting accurately here. 

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Color of Summer...

Pastel, 12 x 9 - SOLD
© 2014 Paula Somma.  All rights reserved.

With summer coming to a close soon, I thought I'd try to capture the lighting and colors of the season.  Fall is beautiful here too, but the light will soon shift, shadows will change and colors won't be quite as warm.  Here we have the color of summer...

Monday, August 4, 2014

Morning View at The Montage...

Pastel, 9 x 10.5
© 2014 Paula Somma.  All rights reserved.

With misty mornings come softer hues… a peaceful view from the Montage in South Laguna, CA.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Beach Trail Pano

Pastel, 27 x 11
© 2014 Paula Somma.  All rights reserved.

San Clemente's beach trail after the sun has set.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Cabrillo Playhouse

Pastel, 12 x 9
© 2014 Paula Somma.  All rights reserved.

The local Playhouse in my home town of San Clemente has so much character.  On this clear sunny day, it caught my eye with all the color and contrasts.  I really enjoyed painting it and the finishing strokes were adding the telephone wires.  I almost left them out, but they were there and it added some interest to the sky by scratching them in.  The playhouse opened in 1966 and is still active today.

I'm honored to share that this painting was awarded 3rd place in the San Clemente Art Associations Members Paint San Clemente Event.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Mission Lily

Pastel and graphite, 12 x 7
© 2014 Paula Somma.  All rights reserved.

I enjoyed working more spontaneous and loose with this one.  Allowing the terra cotta surface to peek through more and adding some graphite gestures in the end.  I might try this again with another color of lily just for fun.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

"Morning at the Mission" - The Mission San Juan Capistrano

Pastel, 16 x 12
© 2014 Paula Somma. All rights reserved.

I took a walk through the Mission in San Juan Capistrano the other morning right when it opened.  It was so peaceful and the light was warm and still a bit low casting nice cool toned shadows across the lawn and pathways.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

A Peek Between the Palms

Pastel, 16 x 12
© 2014 Paula Somma.  All rights reserved.

I took the coast to run a few errands and the ocean was so blue I had to stop and take it in.  This view of Dana Point Harbor caught my eye between the palm trees with their interesting cast shadows.  

Sunday, May 18, 2014

San Juan's Open Space

Pastel, 12 x 9
© 2014 Paula Somma.  All rights reserved.

My mom and I took the scenic view home last weekend and as we entered San Juan Capistrano, we stumbled onto this Open Space preserve of the Avocado and Orange groves.   What a gorgeous day to view this Open Space.  The focal tree I believe is an Avocado tree.  The distant trees are orange trees midst the mustard grasses.  I loved how the sun lit up the mustard and contrasted the shadows of the trees.  I can remember when I was about 11 years old, riding horses with my friend Janna through the orange groves here.  I'm so thankful they've preserved this area for the public to enjoy.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Saturday, May 3, 2014

At the Mission Fine Art Gallery today...

At Mission Fine Art Gallery today.  Such a pleasant place to be and it's such a joy to watch people stroll through and enjoy the art.  If you are ever in San Juan Capistrano, the Mission Fine Art Gallery is in the breezeway next to Starbucks across from the historic Mission.  

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Morning Shore

Pastel, 16 x 12
© 2014 Paula Somma.  All rights reserved.

Bob and I went for our first morning beach walk since my surgery which was almost a year ago.
What a beautiful morning to celebrate this milestone.
I couldn't quite go the whole distance, so I took pictures at the shoreline while Bob continued on.
This wave had perfect form - no artistic enhancements here at all.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Brush strokes from Heaven

Pastel, 12 x 7
© 2014 Paula Somma. All rights reserved.

Some sunsets are as though God took a brush and swept it across the sky just for us to enjoy.  This image was inspired by a photo Bob had taken about a year ago.  I painted it once before, but came across it recently and felt drawn to paint it again.  So many layers of colors and textures, but nothing quite like standing on the beach that Spring evening last year.  Truly spectacular.

I'm honored to share that this painting was awarded 2 awards at the Pastel Society of So. California's 5th Annual Members' Exhibition - 2014:  3rd Place Miniatures category by Juror Marla Baggetta and 2nd Place Miniatures category Popular Vote.  

Friday, April 4, 2014

Palisades Tree

Pastel, 16 x 12
© 2014 Paula Somma.  All rights reserved.

We will often take the drive along the coast on our way home.  I love looking up at the cliffs, especially late in the afternoon when all the colors turn rich and warm.  This tree caught my eye as we passed the Palisades area.  What a spectacular view this tree has facing the ocean.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Childlike Wonder

Pastel 12 x 9 on ColourFix

This little boy didn't even know I was taking his picture.  He was completely enthralled with the waves and all that he was finding along the shoreline.
Oh to hang onto that childlike wonder as we walk through life.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Sunset Waltz

Pastel 12 x 9, SOLD
© Copyright 2014 Paula Somma.  All rights reserved.

Some evenings it looks as though the clouds are dancing a slow graceful waltz.  
This was one of those nights.

Exciting News!

Mission Fine Art Gallery has invited me to join their wonderful group of artists.  There are 12 total artists that show their work in this lovely gallery.  I am humbled and honored to be a part of this gifted group.  The gallery is located in San Juan Capistrano across from the Mission and next to the Starbucks, between Starbucks and Cedar Creek.  Please stop by if you are in the area and enjoy taking in some of the unique original artworks in the form of paintings, ceramics, sculpture and jewelry on display.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Hello from the sea (finished)

Pastel, 16 x 12 on Colourfix

I had started this one back in August but never was quite satisfied with the background.  My friend Jennifer reminded me of it yesterday, so I put it back on the easel and reworked the background pulling warm tones in over the earthy green/browns that were there.  I wanted the background to look like the wet sand on the shoreline with a cast of warm late afternoon sunlight, yet still keeping the shell the focus with it's unique colors of summer.  Happier with this one, I will call it finished.  
Thank you Jennifer! :)

Monday, February 24, 2014


Pastel on ColourFix, 12 x 9 - SOLD
© Copyright 2014 Paula Somma.  All right reserved.

Another peaceful day at Linda Lane.
The crowds have vanished, and I want to share this beautiful stretch of beach with you today.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

It's a New Day!

Pastel on ColourFix,  12 x 6.5
© Copyright 2014 Paula Somma. All rights reserved.

I love how with every sunrise is a fresh start.  A new day.
What treasures await in the opportunities the new day brings?

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Beyond the Point

Pastel on ColourFix,  12 x 6.5
© Copyright 2014 Paula Somma.  All rights reserved.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Chilly Toes

Pastel on ColourFix,   12 x 5.5
© Copyright 2014 Paula Somma.  All rights reserved.

This little girl was having so much fun running around at low tide.  She didn't have any playmates, just her mom and dad that stood close by.  She sure didn't seem to miss out on any joy... just her and the ocean was all she needed to be entertained.

Monday, February 10, 2014

San Clemente Pier

Pastel, 12 x 9 - SOLD
© Copyright 2014 Paula Somma.  All rights reserved.

I love the pink glow that consumes the sky just after the sun sets.
It creates a variety of luminous color in the reflection on the water that I never tire of observing.
I look forward to a fresh new palette of color with it's own variations at the end of each day.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Lavender Fields

Pastel on ColourFix, 12 x 8.75
© Copyright 2014 Paula Somma.  All rights reserved.

I was looking through a few paintings I had done earlier last year and came across this one that needed a few tweeks to call it done.  A friend of mine, Kristy, had shared some photos of her road trip to Montana and this one beckoned to be painted.  I loved the way she captured the low light and the vantage point from her laying low in the field spanning across the lavender to the hills in the distance.  The strong contrasted tree line that opens on the right welcome us to venture to that far off field. 

Sunday, January 26, 2014

All To His Glory

Pastel on ColourFix, 9 x 12
© Copyright 2014 Paula Somma.  All rights reserved.

"And the sky above proclaims His handiwork".
Psalm 19:1b ESV

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Grace and Power

Pastel on UArt, 18 x 12
© Copyright 2014 Paula Somma. All rights reserved.

This evenings observation offered a gentle rolling in of calm, perfectly formed waves.
The backlit spray caught my attention and drew me into it's entertainment for awhile
 as they rolled in one after another in a mesmerizing rhythm.
Graceful in it's form and movement, yet powerful.  

Saturday, January 18, 2014

One Fine Day...

Pastel on ColourFix, 12 x 6.75
© Copyright 2014 Paula Somma.  All rights reserved.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Evening Catch.

Pastel on ColourFix, 12 x 16
© Copyright 2014 Paula Somma. All rights reserved.

In loving memory of my brother Doug Watts.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Leaving Linda Lane

Pastel on ColourFix, 12 x 9
© Copyright 2014 Paula Somma. All right reserved.

An unusual view for me to paint with the ocean to my backside.
This caught my eye with it's interesting angles and cast shadow shapes
along with the warm late afternoon light.
Challenging but a joy to paint.