As a child, Paula Heisen played outside in the bright sunlight of Southern California.  Inside, she sat transfixed watching film noire on the new black and white TV. This combination of sharp contrast between light and dark is an on-going presence in her still life paintings … A Fleur Noire.

Heisen says of her work:
“The still lifes are created in my Long Island City studio.  The fabric I use establishes a mood and an atmosphere, a sort of psychological weather.  I use spot-lights to create slashing areas of light and dark.  The intersection of these two paths lies in the perceptual and emotional appropriation of light: I hope that the precision of tone and color creates the vivid, slightly hallucinatory reality of an irrational dream.”

Heisen received a BA from UC Santa Barbara, studied at the New York Studio School and received an MFA from Yale University.  She has received numerous awards including a Joan Mitchell Emergency Grant, an Elizabeth Foundation Grant, a New York Foundation for the Arts grant and an Ingram Merrill Foundation Grant.  

Heisen lives with her husband Chris in NYC and the Catskills where she has a studio and an ever-expanding garden.