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The Dark Side of Cosmic Ceramics 

COCC Instructor has a brand new bag of arty tricks

Paula Bullwinkel paints a new type of fairy tale—one that inspires you to make up your stories, choose your own heroes and imagine your own adventures. Filled with bunnies and giraffes and foxes and ravens, her fantastical creations don't shy away from the dark side of storytelling, and yet still leave viewers with a feeling of intrigue and whimsy.

Bullwinkel's most recent project, called Cosmic Ceramics, is a collaboration with fellow Central Oregon Community College Art Professor Bill Cravis. He created five 18-inch tall bottles onto which Bullwinkel painted her interpretation of five of the seven deadly sins and seven virtues. Each bottle is painted with a sin and a virtue wrapped together. There is wrath with kindness, gluttony with temperance, greed with charity and humility with pride—which features her first depiction of the current president.

This was a new medium for Bullwinkel, and one she says she came to enjoy. "Paintings are not as tangible, but the ceramics are. It is a new way to connect with people," Bullwinkel shares. She hopes to create more in the future and even move into large platters.

Bullwinkel recently returned from a month-long residency with the Djerassi Resident Artists Program in northern California, where she was immersed in a new work of large 48-inch by 64-inch paintings—the largest she's ever painted. She built the canvases prior to leaving and shipped them to the ranch. Her studio was so large, she could simultaneously work on multiple pieces at once, a treat for Bullwinkel.

While the residency provided space and food, Bullwinkel also received a grant from the Ford Family Foundation to help with travel expenses. "It felt good to be recognized. That what you do is important, " says Bullwinkel. When the final large paintings are finished, she'll find a place for them to be displayed.

COCC Faculty Show

2600 NW College Way, Bend

"Cosmic Ceramics" on display in the Grand View Building through Dec. 15

Available for purchase at:

Bright Place Gallery

909 SE Armour Rd., Bend

About The Author

Teafly Peterson

For the last 20 years, I have been working as an artist and an educator. Some days I am better at one than the other. The good days are when I am excellent at both simultaneously. I love those days. I teach a variety of mediums– painting, drawing, photography, writing, film making. Mostly what I teach is how to...
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Speaking of Artwatch, Paula Bullwinkle


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