Sacramento native Paula Wenzl-Bellacera is a
contemporary artist who is a painter and print maker. She works in oil,
mixed media, and photography. Ms. Bellacera received her art and training at
various colleges and universities in Northern California after completing a
Ph.D. in experimental psychology at Tulane University in New Orleans,
Louisiana. Since 1990 she has been exhibiting her work domestically and
internationally including in Chicago, Katmandu, San Francisco, and Seattle.
She has won several awards and has been published in books and magazines.
She has received public art grants and been commissioned to create
collections of work. Her pieces are included in private and corporate
collections throughout the country.
Ms. Bellacera comments about her latest series of
cactus paintings, “As an artist, I am often aesthetically inspired by the
day-to-day world in which I live. I find uncommon beauty in the most
ordinary subjects. I spend much time reflecting in my garden, which happens
to contain mostly cactus and succulents. After years of observing these
hardy denizens of my yard, I found myself drawn to the mystery and primitive
aspects of these plants.” In some of Ms. Bellacera’s cactus paintings, the
close-up view is taken to the point of abstraction. The repetitive patterns
of spines set up a sequential, rather obscured, idea of space. In other
paintings the cactus plants appear more figurative as the paddles seem to
kiss and caress in tender moments.