Pamela has worked in mixed media and experimentation for over 35 years and her philosophy is based on “play”. As a teacher she previously taught in high schools and at Cromehurst Special School, Lindfield where she became involved with Art as Therapy for special needs children from age 5 – 20. This was enormously rewarding and taught her a lot! Many couldn’t read or write but could express themselves visually. From her experiences at Cromehurst she co-wrote a book, ‘Paintworks’, which described the unusual techniques, media used and philosophy of her art program. These included many materials, not just paint & pencils – water pistols filled with ink and fired at a cardboard covered fence, toilet brushes used as paint brushes, spray guns etc, also adding sand and sticks. All great fun things.
Pamela now at her many workshops, teaches more about expression than technique and experimenting with new materials encourage the ‘inner child’ as you are not worried about the end product. Many people think this is relaxing but it can be exhausting. You just have to enjoy the ride. She never knows how a piece will turn out.
Watercolour is her first love but she also experiments with drawing, was well as acrylic and collage, which adds texture and colour. When creating her watercolour works, she sometimes uses dry pigments and hot wax – like batik, using a hot wax needle. Japanese papers are among her favourites as they easily allow colours to bleed into each other. She often will do watercolours and then cuts/tears them up and re-arranges these pieces. Sometimes “You have to destroy to create!”.
Pamela enjoys working with scrapers, combs and rollers rather than brushes and uses just about anything else: makeup sponges on the end of a brush, other sea sponges ,credit cards and even bubblewrap to create textures in her multilayered pieces. Other tips included : Acrylic medium will work as a glue for fine papers and Acrylic paint also acts as a glue for papers and textures. Pamela uses Liquitex and Golden paints, both good USA brands with a nice texture. She always uses a medium with acrylic paints to keep the colours intense, as she loves colour!
Traveling is another of her passions. She recommends using a Landscape sketch book in extra long panorama format, when traveling as it can be used portrait or landscape. Gator board (from Art Scene), prepared with acrylic gesso, is great for mixed media and for travelling as it is light and can be cut to size. It is also useful as a drawing board.
She uses photos for inspiration along with other pictures and sketches which she cuts up, folds and reinterprets. Pamela doesn’t just “paint”, she spends a lot of time thinking about what to paint and planning ideas.
Pamela was captivating and enthusiastic which generated many questions about her techniques and was extremely helpful to the excellent rollup of members. So to find out more about this incredibly creative and inspiring artist please visit her newly created website. Thank you Pamela for an entertaining and inspiring evening.
Pam’s painting inspired by a village scene along the Mekong River