About Paula MacMillan Perich
Here's a bit about me. If you want to read more about me, keep scrolling...
Firstly, my name is Paula MacMillan-Perich, and I'm a widely exhibited and practicing artist, designer, published book illustrator, avid Art Journal-er. I'm a university qualified Visual Arts teacher, and practicing artist. I combine my passion for all things arty and practical art experience, in both the art classroom and in creative workshops & retreats. I have an art supply obsession & love to create & experiment with various new and different media. I am and Australian world traveler, married with three wonderful children and beautiful Bearded Collie, Buzz. I am based in Shanghai, one of China’s most vibrant and fast-paced cities where something amazing happens every day. I run an inspiring art program in my Art School called Dream Arts, teaching and nurturing students from age 6 to adults realise their potential and follow their creative dreams.
How I got started...
Did you just wake up one day and realise you wanted to be an artist?
Yes, I probably did but I would have been a child of only 4 or 5. I have always had a passion for the people and places that make up my world and landscape, in particular the ‘here and now’, capturing illustrations and dialogue, about where I am on my life’s creative journey.
Now in my art studio, journals and sketchbooks line my shelves recording moments of a place or time, through landscape, people, everyday life, and everyday images. From natures landscapes captured in travel journals, to sketches of ancient man made ruins, buildings, and interiors, and to people and faces. Art is a celebration of life to me, and my passion for art is interwoven with my everyday life, through drawings, photographs, illustrations, paintings, sculpture, prints, interior design and writing.
I started sketching designs...
At school I was always the kid sketching and doodling. Although I didn't formally start studying art as a curriculum subject until my final two years of high school, I had two fantastically talented art teachers that encouraged an inspiring environment where I couldn't get enough. My books were all filled with fancy font headings, and magazine collages, sketches and thumbnails, and I continue this trend today. Continuing my passion in art became an outlet where, before I knew it my sister and I were cooking up dye pots and silkscreening T'shirts for a
Paula's journey has taken her traveling overseas outside her home country, Australia, since 2001. She is on a visual
quest, teaching art, and creating an international life with her beautiful family, and giant dog Buzz, (#buzzthewonderdog), from which she frequently revisits & runs art workshops and retreats. She lives next door to where she works in her studio/classroom as a
full-time artist and teacher. Since 1987, Paula has had her work exhibited throughout
Australia and internationally. Her work has featured in galleries, newspapers, libraries, magazines and in Splash Central Coast NSW Events magazine, and was most recently featured in Dulwich College Shanghai with her donated mural paintings at the disabled Community Centre, Jin Qiao. Her work is represented in a wide range of media
from painting, drawing, illustrations, pottery and sculpture, to the more commercial silk screened T'shirt From The Art designs, public murals, outdoor mosaics and published text
book illustrations. In 2011 she was commissioned by the Children's Book Council Australia, (CBCA), to design and illustrate their annual national Australian writers award. Now in it's 5th year, the award recognizes Australian unpublished authors, named in honor of her great-great-great-great-grandmother, Charlotte (Waring) Atkinson, who wrote Australia's first published children's book: A Mother's Offering To her Children. You can read more HERE. She has a rich and proud family history interwoven with artists, writers, photographers, naturalists, illustrators, authors, potters & teachers.
In 2008, Paula opened her first art gallery in Beijing, China, called ARTS Inc. Gallery, in Chao Yang, and it was home to her original art, prints, jewelry designs, art supply kits, home wares and gift ranges helping to make her artwork and designs accessible to the public. This is where she also ran weekend workshops.
In 2012, Paula returned to Australia after 11 years abroad, and opened another small gallery in a 50 year old
abandoned gas station building, bringing a new lease of life to an old shack
which three decades ago was once a petrol station. "It was wonderful to
hear the locals' enthusiasm, for the rejuvenation of this old site and for bringing life back to this landmark historic building. With Free Coffee Fridays I would get visitors popping in giving positive feedback and comments about my artwork, workshops and gallery!" Her own Great-Grandfather Herbert Wood, Founder of the former Mount Penang Boys Home, Gosford, ironically makes reference to the very street it is situated on his turn of the century memoirs.
has been privileged to work amongst and exhibit with some amazingly talented artists and teachers from Australia, as well as global teachers from international schools in Singapore, Beijing and Shanghai.
Through teaching art she found her love of art journaling. "Keeping a progressive record
of creative thoughts and individual processes is a necessity in developing programs, ideas and techniques. The body of work, notes and creative energy dedicated to developing ideas that go into these sketchbooks, makes them works of art in themselves." While recognising and artists' journal or progressive sketchbook is different to that an art journal, which is a work of art in itself, there are many crossovers between the two. Paula is always looking for opportunities to push artistic boundaries.
She has been described as an extremely passionate, dedicated, patient and talented art teacher and successful practicing artist. When she is not teaching or painting, she has her own line of her home ware designs :100% Linen aprons, funky ruffled aprons, and hand printed fabric wares, hand painted ceramics, T'shirt designs, artist totes, and poster and card ranges featuring her artwork.
Paula also the principal designer of Mad Rox Jewellery, using genuine South China Sea pearls and semi-precious gemstones and crystals to create wearable works of art. You can see her creations when you can catch her at Avoca Beach Markets.
Paula volunteers her talents to her children's schools and gets students motivated and involved in creativity.
She has recently completed a mural in the disabled Community Centre in Pudong. You can see more of her creative adventures and learn about her artistic life in
her Facebook Pages, Instagram, Blog and Gallery pages.
Paula is among the very talented in the creative industry. It would be her pleasure to have you commission a painting or artwork, and to put her extensive experience to work for you.
Send her a commission inquiry.
We hope to see you again! Check back later for new updates to our website. There's so much more to come! This is just the start of a wonderful online journey!
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