Paula MacArthur is a painter. Her work has matured into an increasingly painterly style, with bold use of colour and a commitment to naturalistic draughtsmanship. Working quickly and instinctively she places colour onto the canvas working with wet on wet glazes, merging oily translucent layers with the brush and dropping colour onto the canvas allowing it to bleed and grow into the surface.
MacArthur is currently working on a series of large scale canvases based on gemstones photographed in the Natural History Museum. In the museum context these gemstones are presented as scientific specimens, yet it is impossible to escape the monetary and symbolic value we all give to these perfectly polished fragments of crystal. Striving to describe the transitory sparkling fire and raw seductive power held within the dense permanence of each perfect structure, she captures the passion contained within a cold, hard faultlessly honed object. Like a magpie MacArthur holds a deep fascination with jewels; tiny objects loaded with such powerful symbolism and overwhelming emotion. Their various associations are constantly vying for position - love, eternity, jealousy, temptation and greed.