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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Taking A Break

A Welcome Break
A Lesson Learned

Slabs I
48 x48
Acrylic on Canvas

Sometimes it is necessary to change the routine, take a break, do something new and different.  It's part of the process of recharging the creative mind. Sometimes it is difficult to accept what may become perceived as 'down time'.  Over the years I have learned, not easily, to embrace time away from my studio. Let it shut down in effect.

Slabs I

This came with feelings of guilt, and questions about whether or not I would ever return, but there is always a return.  Those of us with creative minds cannot completely turn our back on the process. We are driven. 

Slabs I

So when the creative juices flood back into our being, our minds, our entire person, we can return to the studio refreshed. 

Slabs I

I have been taking such a break, but today the desire to get back in there flooded over me. Sometimes it can be something you see or hear that will stoke those creative juices. Other times it might be a situation as it was today.  When I was notified that Village Interiors, in Incline Village, Nevada sold another of my large Tahoe Rock paintings I felt compelled to place a new canvas on the easel.  I think visually revisiting the pallet of rich earth tones and translucent blues,  the deep dark fissures and shadows in and on the boulders struck a creative cord.  Thanks to Village Interiors for the sale and for the nudge causing a return to the studio.

To contact me click HERE
To visit my web site HERE

Tuesday, January 17, 2017


Tell Me A Story:  Women In The Arts

This Thursday, January 19, is the opening of the exhibition, Tell Me A Story:  Women in the Arts. This promises to be an exciting exhibition, showcasing 95 females presenting themselves as artists, how and why.  Not only will each exhibit a work of art, but a statement about themselves and their work.  La Quinta Museum will house the show from January 19 to April 30. Put it on your calendars and make sure to spend time seeing and hearing the voices of these women.

Let Me Tell You A Story - With Book of  Faces
Mixed Media
18 x 24

My work, Let Me Tell You A Story - With Book of Faces is one of the 95 works.  Below is my statement that accompanies this mixed media piece of work.

This is a story of the responsibility to tell a story.  I was tapped on the shoulder and inspired by a mother who claimed a previous life as a tribal member, tapped on the shoulder when, as a basket weaver myself, I learned about Native weavers, tapped on the shoulder by the invisible hand of the tribal weavers , given the responsibility to tell the story.  The story that took place across the land, the story of an art form passed from mother to daughter, of cultural history, artistic vision, and innovation;  the story of women working with natural fibers producing utilitarian containers.   The story of women who honed their basket making skills from childhood, developing a close relationship with their natural environment, creating vessels designed to carry burdens.  But the story changed and the burden shifted with the influx of settlers who appropriated the land. It shifted as the basket makers became domestic employees in settlers’ homes. The art and skill of basket making came close to being sacrificed to the advance of the settlers’ alien civilization.   Eventually the settlers recognized the skill and artistry required to create these beautiful baskets, and tribal women began to create baskets for the Curio Trade.  This is the story of innovation as the basket weavers recognized how to have their designs appeal to a non-native consumer, utilizing traditional techniques, relying on what their mothers’ and culture taught while developing artistic expression within the baskets.  Their baskets became emblems of heritage, statements about cultural evolution, sought after by collectors, dealers, museums.  What started as an art created out of necessity evolved into a form of expression.  Today we see their spectacular basketry¸ but we do not see them.  This is the responsibility to tell their story.

Tell Me A Story:  Women in the Arts
Thursday, January 19
5:30 -7:30
La Quinta Museum

Hope to See You There!

To contact me click HERE
To visit my web site click HERE

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

A New Year

New Beginnings

Work in Progress

A new year brings fresh, new beginnings, unless you have an unfinished painting, so this morning I find myself standing in front of the easel working towards completion of this painting before starting something new.  Do you remember this was originally begun for entry in the Invitational Exhibition at the La Quinta Museum?  It was put aside so I could focus on a different creation that forced it's way into my mind.  Let Me Tell You A Story - With Book of Faces was the result and  the work that will be shown in the exhibition that opens next Thursday, January 19.  

Let Me Tell You A Story - With Book of Faces
Pamela Hunt Lee
Mixed Media
24 x 18

The invitational exhibition is titled:  Tell Me A Story:  Women In Art and will run from Jan 19 to Mid April.  This is a celebration of women's art and promises to be filled with fabulous stories and creations.  

Until the opening of the exhibition I will be working on bringing this painting to completion, so I can actually move into the new year and begin something new.

To contact me click HERE
To visit my web site click HERE

Monday, January 2, 2017

Invitational Exhibition VI

The Work is Completed.

original art by Pamela Hunt Lee
Let Me Tell You A Story - With Book Of Faces
18 x 24"
Mixed Media

The work has been turned over to the La Quinta Museum for the upcoming invitational exhibition

My piece of art is a mixed media work which has been created for the La Quinta Museum invitational exhibition noted above.  With stretched canvas as a base, acrylic pigment was added, cut out canvas shapes, snake skin and the Book of Faces made with paper.  

Let Me Tell You A Story - With Book of Faces
18 x 24 "
Mixed Media

Every shape and design element inspired by baskets weavers from the Coachella Valley, women who lived and worked from the mid 1800's into the mid 1900's.  Faces of these women depicted in the Book of Faces along with names of many of the women.  

The exhibition opens Thursday, January 19.  Hope to see you at the reception 5:30 - 7:30.  The 95 works of art will remain on exhibition into April as a celebration of Women in Art and Womens' History Month.  Mark your calendars.

To contact me click HERE
To visit my web site click HERE

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Invitational Exhibition V

The Project Advances

A picture is worth 1000 words.  You've heard that before, and it certainly is a true statement.  So here are several photos showing more progress on my piece for Women In Art:  Tell Me A Story, the invitational exhibition at La Quinta Museum which will open in January.

Adding the butterfly cut outs.  Painting in the lizard shapes.

Introducing white  pigment along the butterfly wings and along the side of the lizard shapes.

Using paper cut outs to work towards additional design elements.  Also working out the final placement of the Book of Faces.

Close up of the butterflies.

Book of Faces has been attached.

Side view of the pages in the Book of Faces.

Now that the Book of Faces has been attached to the canvas there are additional design elements to be added as well as some small correctional details.  The project advances towards completion.

To contact me click HERE
To visit my web site click HERE

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Invitational Exhibition IV

Working the Canvas

If you read the last post, you know my Book of Faces for this invitational exhibition at the La Quinta Museum, Women In Art:  Tell Me A Story, was completed and the work on the canvas which would support the book began.

The 18 x 24" gallery wrap canvas was painted with hues used in the faces and a composition similar to other paintings in this series, Native American Basket Weavers. Shapes inspired by actual designs used on baskets created by these women were added.

Cutting out stylized butterflies to paint and adhere to the canvas.

Because this has become a mixed media piece, snake skin was added as a representation of basket design work.  The creation of the canvas design is still on going.  Come back to watch it all come together.

To contact me click HERE
To visit my web site click HERE

Monday, November 28, 2016

Invitational Exhibition III

Next Part of the Process

Once the statement for Tell Me A Story:  Women In Art was complete (it was included in my last blog post), it was time to begin the actual work of art for the exhibition. Requirements: 1.  Must be specifically created for this show, 2. Must be presented on an 18x24" gallery wrap canvas.

My thought was to create a painting in a style similar to the last two Basket Weaver paintings completed;  Madame Butterfly and Guadalupe Arenas, Snake Weaver.  

Madame Butterfly
40 x40

Guadalupe Arenas, Snake Weaver
48 x 48

If you follow my Facebook Artist's Page you have seen photos of the beginning and progress of the new painting. 

Beginning of new painting

Additional progress on new painting

New painting with stylized basket designs used by Delores Patencio circling around her.

However, every time I stepped up to the easel I had a nagging thought that this painting just wasn't right.  It wasn't the painting itself, it was the idea behind the painting.  This is Delores Saneva Patencio, an historical, basket weaving member of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians.  She would be a perfect subject and one I have painted several times. Eventually I realized my problem was connected to the statement.  The statement that will be exhibited with the painting talks about telling the story of the women, not one woman.  This work needed several faces, not just one.

It was a break through that brought additional ideas.  If I was to paint several faces, representing several different women, why not present them in book form?  After all, this is telling a story, and stories are found in books.  This required book making research.

Creasing 140 lb. cold press paper with a bone folder.

Punching holes to facilitate stitching the pages together.

Sewing the pages together with waxed thread.

I decided I would present eight faces, eight actual women who lived in the Coachella Valley and are known as basket weavers from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. I created one book of 8 pages, but before painting these pages thought I would paint on loose sheets and then perhaps create another book, with the painted papers, after the paintings were done.  This so I could paint freely, not worrying about mistakes, and have the option of using one or another.  After more research about basket weavers and hours of time in front of the computer to locate photographs, I selected the following seven women and painted them in large, rapid brush strokes: Ramona Lubo, Rosa Lugo, Guadalupe Arenas, Mary Kintano, Delores Saneva Patencio, Maria Los Angeles, Mercedes Nolasquez.

First a black and white palette with the thought of 'bringing the women out of the shadows'.

Then Raw Umber added into the palette,

Burnt Sienna added, 

Burnt Umber introduced, 

and finally Yellow Ochre was added.

For the cover sheet of the book I created a compilation of the women:

Back to the process of actually making a book out of the painted sheets of paper.  This time I used a raffia type of material to sew the pages before gluing the spine and attaching snake skin as the binding. Both the raffia and snake symbolize materials and designs used by these basket weavers.

Now that the paintings were actually in book form, names of many noted Coachella Valley basket weavers were added to the cover, circling the head of the woman.  Designs were added to her head scarf which symbolize those woven into some baskets.

As you can see, I also ripped the pages to obtain an undulating, wide, deckle edge which would allow the successive pages to peek out beneath the top page.  With this book of faces in hand I had to address a very blank canvas and figure out how to attach the book and what to create behind the book.  Stay tuned....

To contact me click HERE
To visit my web page click HERE