Paula McHugh, painter and musician, has created a series of oil, egg tempera, and watercolor paintings inspired by the titles of American fiddle tunes and folk songs. Traditional American music played on the fiddle, banjo, guitar, and dulcimer is a lively and informal music that is learned by ear and that has been passed down faithfully through the generations. It weaves together the musical legacy of America. Like the Regionalist Movement artists of the 1930s, Thomas Hart Benton, John Steuart Curry, and Grant Wood, Paula McHugh conjures up iconic American images from the past using musical titles as her muse.

“I love the artists of the Regionalist Movement, Thomas Hart Benton, Grant Wood, and John Steuart Curry, the best known. At the height of the Great Depression these artists embraced the American Heartland in their works. I have followed in their footsteps with the musical title Waterbound. Remembering the Midwest storms of my youth, we once had a terrible flood in our basement, I put together this composition of a chaotic moment after a terrible storm for a Midwest family.”  ~Paula McHugh


I went late one night; the moon and stars were shining bright.

Storm come up and the trees come down; tell you boys I was waterbound.


Waterbound Oil painting by Paula McHugh

Waterbound – Oil on Canvas – 20″ x 16″

The Dancing Bears framed


Prints are available through Fine Art America. They offer high quality prints on paper, canvas, metal, and wood. They also have a large selection of mats and frames. 

The Oak Tree by Paula McHugh

T-Shirts/Coffee Mugs /Tote Bags and More…..

Fine Art America prints Paula McHugh’s designs  on all sorts of fun things. (Look for the Products link on the Shop page)

Can’t find it?

Tote Bag with Maybelle Carter and guitar
Dancing Bears Coffee Mug

Time-Lapse Videos

It’s always fun to watch an artist at work so Paula put together several films with time-lapse photography of a painting in progress. About a weeks worth of time in just 3 minutes. Plus some of the fun storylore behind the musical titles. This one is The Dancing Bears. Dancing bear music courtesy of Rodney Miller.

Highlander’s Farewell

Artist Paula McHugh – Oil on Canvas 16″ x 12″

Horse and rider in the Highlands of Scotland. 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.

Fiddle – Joe McHugh  Banjo – Paula McHugh