Paula Blasius McHugh has created a series of paintings inspired by the titles of traditional fiddle tunes and folk songs. Beginning with a musical title she researches the history behind it, using historic photographs she creates her compositions that tell the story.

She is also fascinated with the idea of blending different art forms together. In the Time Travelers performance the art forms of storytelling and music enhance her paintings so the viewer “audience” enjoys a rich experience they would never have in a gallery.
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Artist Paula McHugh in front of her original oil painting

Background on the title Highlanders Farewell: Upon a bleak moor near the village of Culloden in April 16, 1746, an English army defeated an army assembled from the clans of the Highland Scots who hoped to return a Stuart to the Scottish throne. Soon afterwards, the British authorities banned the wearing of clan colors and plaids. Highlanders were evicted from their ancestral lands in great numbers. Many of them emigrated to the mountains of Pennsylvania, Virginia, and North Carolina. They brought with them their music and folkways but also a longing for their lost home in the Highlands of Scotland.

Born and raised in the midwest, she studied fine art at Edinboro State College and at the Museum School of Fine Art in Boston. From 1979-1988 she worked as a glass artist designing and creating stained and etched art glass pieces for private residences, businesses’ and museums in Pittsburgh, Pa. Teaming up with her husband she has illustrated and designed several books along with producing two award-winning radio-drama based curricula for use in elementary and middle schools. Together they founded their own publishing company, Calling Crane Publishing for which Paula has served as graphic artist and web designer. Paula’s most recent work has been a series of oil, watercolor and egg tempera paintings based on the evocative titles and history behind traditional American fiddle tunes.

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