Paula Butterfield was born in New York City, but raised in Portland, Oregon, trading in hot summer evenings sitting on the stoop of a Brooklyn brownstone for riding a bike to school through the cool, green woods. A writer since she could write, her first works were plays performed on a window seat where her little sister was relegated to playing a dog when she refused to stick to the script.
As an art history student, Paula was struck by the fact that her textbooks contained very few women artists. Was it possible that none were worthy of mention? But being introduced to the life and work of Frida Kahlo during a year in Mexico disabused her of that notion and initiated her curiosity about other women artists.
Paula earned her MFA in Professional Writing from the School of Cinema at the University of Southern California. Later, she worked as a story analyst for United Artists where, again, she came across few stories about women. But in the process of developing and teaching college courses about women in the arts, she discovered a wealth of stories about fascinating and accomplished women. Some were sketchy but so tantalizing that she felt compelled to write about them, earning a Moondance International Film Festival award, the Chanticleer Book Reviews Chaucer award for best women’s historical fiction, and a Kay Snow award from the Willamette Writers Conference.
Paula lives with her husband and daughter in Portland and on the Oregon coast. Still committed to sharing women’s stories, she is currently working on her next book about the women of the Abstract Expressionist movement.