Is it possible to pinpoint when straight and curved lines were invented? The contours of ancient rock paintings give us organic lines and line is evident in the motifs of early Greek vessels and Egyptian Funerary art. Renaissance artists were lauded for their invention of perspective, a system contrived of straight lines that extend to infinity. Modernists isolated and formalized gestural line as subject. I strive to extend this conversation by painstakingly mixing and repeatedly laying down up to 100 gradients of color in my attempts to contemporize line.

Sacred Geometry - You're Invited

Please join us for the closing reception and artist talks for “Sacred Geometry” by Phyllis Gorsen and I at Hot Bed with custom horticultural designs by Bryan Hoffman on April 6, 2019 from 6-9 pm. Our new, 2019 paintings are featured in this exhibition along with Bryan’s designs. The exhibit is curated by Bryan Hoffman and James Oliver Gallery. James Oliver Gallery will also host the closing reception for “Reconstruct” with works by Mike Tanis and Benjamin Weaver that evening. Hot Bed and James Oliver Gallery are located at 723 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia. You can learn more here, view opening hours, or schedule a private visit.


Phyllis Anderson's Mountainscapes

Phyllis Anderson, Acrylic on Canvas,  Rockies , 40 x 30 Inches

Phyllis Anderson, Acrylic on Canvas, Rockies, 40 x 30 Inches

Phyllis Anderson’s paintings create a tumultuous sense of movement as they present viewers with the energy, degradation, and beauty inherent in the landscape.  She achieves this by straddling the line between abstraction and representation with a myriad of energetic mark making and rich, jewel-like color. Phyllis describes herself as “sometimes ambushed by the postcard beauty of the landscape” as she strives to communicate the dark side of the western US terrain.  Perhaps, her occasional failure to resist that beauty is what draws us in and communicates the landscape more accurately, in all of its splendor and foreboding.

Splendor, foreboding, and energy characterize the recent series of mountain paintings that depict Phyllis’ experiences of the western landscape as she divides her time between Philadelphia and her Colorado mountain home. For example, Rockies (40 x 30 inches, acrylic) pulls us in with a blue, grey sky and snow-capped mountains, twilight lit in shades of pink and white.  Dark painterly areas indicate trees, foliage, exposed ground, and mountain ridges. Perhaps this is a ski slope situated on a cliff with mountains in the near distance.  One of the most striking aspects of this painting is that the entire scene is set on a diagonal axis, creating a dizzying sense of downward movement. It’s hard not to imagine careening down this slope or falling off of a cliff despite being drawn into the beauty of this painting.

Mountain Lake (24 x 30 inches, acrylic) seduces us with marks in beautiful shades of blue that are sun lit with green tones, depicting a lake in the foreground.  We move back into an intermediate space of mountains demarcated by grey tones of energetic brush strokes, or scribbles, as Phyllis calls them. This mountainous space gives way to a gorgeous sky built of blue and green  brush strokes looming above and moving forward with urgency. That sense of urgency is paramount in this painting and reminds one of the urgent, global climate crisis.

Phyllis Anderson,  Mountain Lake,  Acrylic on Canvas, 24 x 30 inches

Phyllis Anderson, Mountain Lake, Acrylic on Canvas, 24 x 30 inches

Phyllis Anderson,  Sugar Loaf Fire,  Pastel on Paper, 19 x 24 inches

Phyllis Anderson, Sugar Loaf Fire, Pastel on Paper, 19 x 24 inches

Fire, a consequence of climate change, is depicted in Sugar Loaf Fire (19 x 24 inches, pastel on paper).  Again, we are drawn in by a foreground of beautiful blue and green marks. This time, the foreground quickly gives way to a cataclysmic buildup of marks and smudged pastels in grey tones punctuated with hot orange and yellow. A forest fire blocks our view of any background or horizon and keeps us trapped in a shallow space very close to the burning:  beauty and danger all wrapped up in a single image.

Sugar Loaf Fire, Mountain Lake, and Rockies exemplify Phyllis’ extensive vocabulary of drawing and paint strokes derived from the nuances and rhythms of classical music played almost constantly in the Anderson home. Through music, rhythms and movements are recorded and they begin to represent the feeling of a place. Her intent to portray the sheer energy, degradation, and immensity of the landscape is accomplished with an exuberant array of “scribbles” and color that climax into a mixture of splendor and foreboding.    

Phyllis Anderson lives with her husband, Allen Anderson, an accomplished pianist.  Phyllis graduated from the University of Texas, Austin with a BFA in painting. She is a recipient of a Ford Foundation Grant and her work has been exhibited regionally as well as in Texas and Colorado. Her paintings and drawings are currently on exhibit at the InLiquid Gallery, Crane Arts, Philadelphia, and the Noyes Museum at Stockton University, Hammonton, NJ.  Phyllis is a member of 22 Gallery in Philadelphia. You can learn more about Phyllis’ art at

Philadelphia Open Studio Tours - Saturday, October 13

Please join me when I open my studio Saturday, Oct. 13 from Noon to 6pm. This is my fifth year at the Crane Old School and in honor of this milestone, for the first time ever, I'm offering a discount of 30% on all paintings in my studio through October 14. This includes my very affordable works on paper. If you can't make it to POST, you're welcome to schedule a private studio visit and shipping is available. Adult refreshments and beverages will be available. Many studios and galleries will be open at the Crane Old School and Crane Arts. I hope to see you there! For more information: and


"Arrangement" and "Insomnia" at the Delaware ContemporaryI'

I'm honored to announce that Arrangement and Insomnia were selected by Michael Kalmbach for "Strong Lines" at the Delaware Contemporary with esteemed, regional artists Brian Conaty, Phyllis Gorsen, Suzy Kopf, and Gregg Morris.  Please join us for the opening reception May 4, 5-9pm.  Exhibition continues through July 28, 2018.  You can read the press release and learn more about the Delaware Contemporary here:

Arrangement,  Oil on Canvas, 48 x 48 inches, 2017

Arrangement, Oil on Canvas, 48 x 48 inches, 2017

"One Eyed Fiona" selected for "Dig"


One Eyed Fiona, Oil and Graphite on Linen, 60 x 48 in, 2014

I'm happy to announce that "One Eyed Fiona" will be exhibited in "Dig" at the Hamilton Street Gallery in Bound Brook, New Jersey from March 18 to April 26.  "One Eyed Fiona" was awarded an honorable mention by Lydia Panas in the GoggleWorks 2016 Annual Juried Exhibition.  It is a part of the "Darkness Project" and it represents some of my earlier explorations in abstraction.


Transforming Jazz - A Visual Journey - Art Gallery at City Hall


Havana to Key West, Oil on Linen, 36 x 24 inches, 2017

I'm excited to announce that juror, Leroy Johnson, selected "Havana to Key West" and "0078" to be a part of "Transforming Jazz - A Visual Journey" in the gallery at Philadelphia City Hall to celebrate Jazz Week.  The exhibit will be open March 28 to May 4, 2018. 

In "Havana to Key West," I strive to simultaneously subvert the seascape and linear abstraction.  The catalyst for this piece was digital music composed by musician and art theorist, Janet Brooks.  Janet's digital compositions include jazz and latin components that I visualized and transformed into line for "Havana to Key West."  While Janet's song is titled, "Havana to New York," my painting is informed by my childhood experiences of visiting relatives in the Florida Keys and hearing tales of travel to Cuba prior to the travel restrictions imposed by the United States Government in 1963.  

Copyright Paula Cahill 2018. All rights reserved.