Paula Ensign

June 27, 1951 – Dec. 30, 2019

Paula Ensign was born June 27, 1951 to Robert and Louise Ensign in Pasadena, California, and she passed away Dec. 30, 2019.

Paula grew up in Wilbraham, Massachusetts, where she found her passion early on—she loved to draw. She drew everything she could and always said she drew things over and over, so she could do it better. This passion led her to a B.A. in Art and Art History from Principia College in Elsah, Illinois, and to start showing her work in galleries shortly after graduating.

Paula wanted children for as long as she could remember, and she had four: Benjamin, Christa, Hillary, and Siri. Paula devoted herself to raising her children, taking a step back from art, so she could get them to and from soccer practice, flute lessons, and dentist appointments. She instilled them with her values—crafting something is better than buying it, all holiday food must be made from scratch, and helping each other is a top priority. Single motherhood requires nothing short of heroism, and Paula gave it everything she had. She raised three beautiful, talented, and intelligent women, while keeping the memory of her son close to her heart.

You would never hear Paula say she was a gifted artist, but everyone around her knew she had something special to offer the world, and she is well-known throughout Bainbridge Island and the Pacific Northwest. She painted in watercolor, oil, and developed her own signature style of ink drawings with vibrant washes of watercolor. Paula loved living life as an artist, creating artwork and sharing her passion through teaching others the joy of drawing and painting. Loving the outdoors, she spent much of her career painting in oil en plein air, out on location in nature. Nature inspired her; she considered the mountains her home and the Oregon Coast a favorite canvas. And nothing could keep her away from the combination of nature and drawing—you’d often find her driving across the country in her camper van with her dog, Tucker, on a painting adventure.

Paula extended her creativity into other talents—piano, calligraphy, writing, sewing, knitting, and many other crafts. She was always willing to share her gifts to support others.

Paula was a member of the First Church of Christ Scientist, Bainbridge Island. She was very active in her church and devoted in her faith, and even served a term leading her church as First Reader.

Paula is survived by her daughters, Christa, Hillary, and Siri, her grandson, Evan, and her brothers, Tom and Greg. A celebration of life will be held Saturday, Jan. 18 at 3:30 p.m. at the Bainbridge Island Senior Community Center.

In lieu of flowers, her family requests donations be made to the Clark Hulings Fund.