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Signpost photo by Wendy Spence
Artist Paula Mould holds up her portrait of Chuck from Supernatural in her Dorchester backyard.


Dorchester resident pursuing full-time art career

by Wendy Spence
THE SIGNPOST

     They broke the mould when they made her. Dorchester resident Paula Mould is multi-talented – she is skilled in both right- and left-brain endeavours. The owner of design and development company Mould e Media - the production company that powers TumbleBookLibrary - is now pursuing her true love, making art her primary career. The mother of three is also a weightlifter and is in training for Tough Mudder Toronto in 2017. Mould’s work was featured at the ARTS Project on Dundas Street as part of the Pride London Festival. She’s very busy and working full time in both careers, with her artwork getting more and more attention. One of her dreams is to open a teaching studio and gallery in the village she loves. “We need a draw [to the community] and I want to be part of that draw.”
     Last July Mould made a decision to make art her career. After 22 successful years in programming, she started working on the transition and a one, three and five-year plan. In September of 2015, she did a “30 days, 30 paintings” challenge because she had to have a consistent body of work to show. Without applying to be part of the show, Forest City ComicCon called and invited her to show her work. It was perfect timing. Her acrylic pop artwork was well received and she started signing up for more shows. Because of her Internet track record, Mould also created an impressive website.
     Her upcoming events in the area include the Illumine Gallery Show SCI in St. Thomas, which runs from August 18 to September 15; FanExpo and London ComicCon in September and one that she is no doubt very much looking forward to, the Supernatural Convention in Toronto in October.
     She describes herself as an impressionist portrait artist specializing in pop culture subjects. “The stories and characters that shape our culture are what I’m documenting.” People can see that happening in front of their very eyes. Mould tries to paint five days a week and shares the sessions live on Facebook (Paula Mould: Painting People, Painting Things) around 7 p.m. She is a huge fan of the television show Supernatural and says she is interpreting the scenes in her own way. The Dorchester resident is in the process of painting at least one scene from each of the 241 episodes, a project she estimates could take around two years to complete. She enjoys the show - a story about brothers, family, love, loyalty, honour, betrayal and hope. She has posted videos showing her working on the Supernatural paintings she’s done so far on her website, paulamould.com, and keeps updating the post as she adds to the collection.
     Mould says that her choice of scenes to focus on is kind of instinctive. “I figure what moves me generally moves other people.”
     She starts by taking a picture of a scene, then works with the images in Photoshop for about an hour. She decides on the colours she will use while she’s painting, and adjusts the composition of the scenes and more. The mother of three explains that while she prefers to work on 12 by 24 inch canvases because it reflects the wide-screen images on the TV show, she will work on other size canvases as well.
     Some of the other artwork she features on her website are from Star Trek, Doctor Who and Star Wars. Supernatural may be her current focus, but it isn’t the only one. Her pieces are also for sale at Uber Cool Stuff on Dundas Street in London.
     The local resident was inspired by the depth of the work of science fiction authors Isaac Asimov and Ray Bradbury from the 1930s and 40s. She says it’s zen for her to paint. “When I get into the zone it’s a whole different thing. It’s like meditation.” Mould also finds that painting is a great confidence builder. “Even when it’s at its lowest, I just focus on painting and creating and my spirits lift.”
     She remembers being interested in art from a very young age. “I didn’t put my crayons down when everyone else did, I just kept going.” While taking several diploma courses for art, illustration and graphic design at Sheridan College, Mould was told that she wasn’t talented enough to pursue a career as a full-time artist, so after graduating she focused on programming as a career just in time for the explosion of the Internet.
     That career took off and she developed her first website in 1994, starting online before the Internet really hit the public consciousness. One of the hallmarks of her success was developing the very first Hudson Bay Company e-commerce website.
     The artist recalls that she painted in the background while doing programming. Her two-year-old daughter, who is now 16, got her back into it. “She’s astonishingly good at art,” Mould says proudly. Her daughter attends H.B. Beal in London for art and graphic design. Her younger children, Northdale Central students, are starting to show an inclination towards art as well.
     She lived in various cities in Ontario and also in Quebec before moving to Dorchester with her husband and children in 2007. Mould did a lot of research before choosing the village about services and other amenities available. She liked the fact that Dorchester isn’t too big or too small and there’s a sense of community. “It really feels like the village I grew up in, in Lachine Quebec. There’s a sense of home.”
     Mould hopes to get involved and share her talent with others in the village. She has outgrown her space at home and is looking for a larger spot to lease to work out of. It needs to be at least 1,000 square feet with parking available. Contact her at hello@paulamould.com. You can also connect with her via her website, Facebook, Instagram (PaulaMould.instagram.com) and Twitter (@PaulaMould).

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