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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Art and Philanthropy.

Gifting and The Arts

Pineapple painting by artist Pamela Hunt Lee
Pineapple Welcome
7" x 5"
Original Acrylic Painting on stretched canvas

Every artist has opportunities for charitable giving, and every year I select a few.  There are so many ways to help others, so I find that a focus is important.  Because I am involved in the arts, because I feel that an education in the arts is important for young people, I select programs that earmark art education.   I also look for programs at the local level, in the areas where I live. And then I usually donate art that can be auctioned or sold to generate funds for the programs.

Prickly Pear Blossom Painting by Pamela Hunt Lee
Prickly Blossom
7" x 5"
Original Acrylic Painting on stretched canvas

Currently, as in the past, I am painting for the Palm Springs Art Museum Artist's Council event, 99 Bucks.  Artists and others who are famous or perhaps infamous create small canvases, all 5"x7", that are exhibited anonymously and sold in one evening.  Each canvas is 99 Bucks.   This is a crazy fun evening filled with high energy and a large crowd of buyers.  Funds generated help provide art education and opportunities for youth and adult in the Coachella Valley in California. The event is Saturday, April 21 and it is free admission! Read more about it by clicking  Here.

Rock cairn painting, It's All About Balance,  by Pamela Hunt Lee
It's All About Balance
7" x 5"
Original Acrylic Painting on stretched canvas

The sawdust rock cairn, Human Nature, that was just shipped to PlacerArts, in Auburn, CA, and has been the focus of this blog for the last few posts,  is also part of a fund raising effort.  Outside The Box is the event.  The art can be viewed beginning April 12.  A live auction to sell the art takes place on May 19.  Read more about this by clicking HERE.

Sawdust rock cairn by artist Pamela Hunt Lee
Human Nature
Sawdust Rock Cairn
21" x 9"

If you are in either of these  areas in California I hope you will get out to the event and support the arts.

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

Friday, March 23, 2012

Outside The Box, Completed.

The Rock Cairn is Completed.
It's ready to be shipped.
Off To PlacerArts it goes.

sawdust rock sculpture for Outside The Box art event at PlacerArts
Human Nature

Juggling and balancing the 'rocks', creating the proper visual sequence, and then skewering them along a steel rod all played into the final steps of creation.  A drill press, a band saw and a buffing machine were used to make the steel and aluminum armature.

rock sculpture for PlacerArts Outside The Box exhibition

To make sure the stones would remain the way they were placed, a bit of adhesive was used.

A few more dabs of pigment, the addition of 'mica' sparkle, and it is complete.  

Off it goes to PlacerArts.

Outside The Box
The 5th annual Outside the Box Show is a fundraiser benefitting PlacerArts. In February, 2012 regional artists were issued a "deconstructed" wood box and given two months to come up with whatever creation the mind can imagine. The results are a must-see! The completed Box Art debuts at The Arts Building Gallery on April 12 during Auburn Art Walk. 

Special viewing starts at 4:00pm on April 12, until 9 pm. Also, mark your calendar for the Live Art Auction on Saturday, May 19 from 7 - 11 pm. 

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

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Outside The Box

Thinking Outside The Box

When I was contacted by PlacerArts to participate in an upcoming event named:  "Outside The Box"
I accepted.  

Outside the Box is an annual fundraiser benefitting PlacerArts. Each piece of art in the Outside the Box show is inspired by a plain wooden box. One hundred participating artists are given two months to create a work of art, with just two rules: the final product must fit through the gallery’s front door, and be able to stand on its own or be hung on the wall.  

I requested my box be shipped to me and when it arrived I was most surprised.  Why, you might ask?  I did that assumption thing we are not supposed to do, and I just assumed I would receive a tidy little box, and then I would paint on and in it, typical of my style.

What arrived was five slats of wood tied up in a tidy bundle, that quite obviously could be made into a box.  Well now, thinking outside the box is to think differently, unconventionally or from a new perspective.  It requires novel, lateral and creative I did just that, thought about how I could create something different while staying true to my muse, true to my work, true to my style.

If you are familiar with my work you know nature is my muse, it's the natural environment that appeals to me, that drives my creative thoughts and actions. Nature, the natural environment not altered by human intervention.  One of the elements in nature that captures my attention is rock.  The power and permanence of stone is represented frequently in my work, it's a recurring theme.  Sometimes I like to take the inspiration of unaltered nature and present it in an unnatural composition so that in fact, it is altered.  The theory behind this is to get the attention of the viewer and to encourage thought about nature. 

Recently I have been painting cairns, definitely altered rock.  Stacked rock to be exact.  So my outside the box thinking took me straight to painting a rock cairn inside the box and perhaps attaching rocks on the outer surface of the box, maybe creating a small cairn inside the box in front of the painting. It would be an interesting work of art, but not exactly lateral thinking.  I kept looking at those slats......and after a couple bike rides through some very rocky terrain with wheels spinning, both mine and the bike's, I decided I would sculpt with the box.

The 'box' went off to my favorite wood worker and came back to the studio inside a cardboard box.  It had been shaved into sawdust, every single inch of board, sawdust.

My plan was to sculpt with this sawdust, so I need to figure out how I was going to do that, because I haven't done it before.  Several chat rooms and web sites later I discovered I should use wall paper paste as a binder.  Off to Lowe's for the paste.

Let me tell you, sawdust and paste are a gooey, sticky mess.  I managed to get it everywhere;  on my painters apron, on my clothing, on the counter, on the floor, on the door handles, on my phone, on my cats.  Everywhere.  

Eventually sawdust, paste and fingers worked together and  the shapes I wanted started to appear.

After several days of drying I brought out the paints to turn these sawdust patties into something that might look like rock.

After a great deal of experimentation with paints and mediums the rocks are complete and ready to be stacked.  

And trust me, it wasn't easy.  It was a frustrating experience, an experimental experience, a time consuming experience.  I went through moments of complete dissatisfaction with what I was creating, then ah-ha moments, and now, finally,  I am ready to begin the stacking. It will happen this week and I will post photos later in the week, so check back to see the completed project. In the meantime, take a look at PlacerArts and specifically at Outside the Box.

PlacerArts is the Arts Council of Placer County, a nonprofit, public benefit catalyst for the arts and humanities and the State-Local Partner of the California Arts Council for the County of Placer. 

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

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Delivered and Installed.

In a Gracious Ocean Front Home

48" x 60"
Acrylic on Stretched Canvas

It is a gift to an artist when a commission comes in with very few restrictions and limitations.  This was the gift received when asked to create a palm inspired painting for a new, lovely, Southern California, ocean front home, designed by architect Alan Sakimoto.  Everything about the painting was left up to me.  The painting was delivered and installed yesterday to enthusiastic recipients who immediately commissioned a second large painting.  Take a look at just a little bit of the gracious home:  

The wood used in the home is abundant.
The philodendron leaf print on the pillows may influence the next painting.

Spectacular coral chandelier.

Glass tiles and granite in the Kitchen.

Charlie, the Golden Retriever, lounges in the living area that looks out at the beach.  Bamboo insets the ceiling treatment.

This gracious home is lived in by wonderful people.  I am honored to know them.  It's a gift.

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

Friday, March 9, 2012

More Painting.

The Rock Cairn Begins to Take Shape

However, before I started painting the cairn I realized I wasn't satisfied with what would become the background.  

One entire large tube of Titanium White and most of a tube of Quinacradone Gold later, it was more to my liking.  That's quite a bit of pigment for a 30" x 24" canvas.  

After more scoring and carving through all that paint the canvas had additional texture. After 24 hours of drying it was time to paint the cairn.

Using a very diluted Titanium white, I sketched in the design for the cairn.  Brush work began at the top of the canvas and using a very limited palette the cairn took shape.

 Some additional glazing of color created rich layered tones.  The cairn painting for the Truckee Cancer Center represents Balance, Clarity, Permanence, Purity, Hope, and Positivity.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Another Commissioned Painting

Working on a Painting for The New Tahoe Forest Cancer Center

48" x 30"

The cancer center is under construction in Truckee, CA.  As a state-of-the-art rural treatment center,  it will host patients and their families from a wide area in Northern California and Northern Nevada.

The Art Selection Committee contacted me and commissioned a painting that will be influenced and guided by my Sticks and Stones series of works, an example is shown above.   The completed work will represent balance, clarity, permanence, light, and  positivity.  

I began with black under painting on the canvas.  Then I lay on explosive color.  

After those dry, I over paint with a combination of two pigments and then score through the paint to allow some of the under paint to show through.  This gives the work a more interesting and textural visual, and it creates the background for the rock cairn.

You are invited to return later in the week to see the rock cairn as it begins to appear on the canvas.

Click Here to be guided to the Sticks and Stones gallery on my web site.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Completed Palm Painting.

It's Ready for Delivery & Installation!

60" x 48"

Though I have been posting photos of this painting for about a week, it has actually been on the easel for a few months.  Before that I was sketching and out in the field observing.  I am still staring at every palm I see, doing a visual dissection.

When I am preparing to work on a particular subject, I conduct research, find the subject to sketch, immerse myself in that subject.  It's interesting to see how the research can influence the way I paint. 

I do want to tell you a bit about palms.  Do you know that they inhabit almost every type of habitat, from rain forests to deserts?  They appear in fossil records from 80 million years ago. 

And do you know that in many historical cultures palms have been symbols for victory, peace and fertility?

Take a closer look at the next palm tree you pass.  It may surprise you to see the textural detail, how the tree grows, how it is maintained.

This painting is scheduled for installation on March 12.  It is going into a graceful, Pan Pacific influenced, ocean front home in Southern California.  For now, I get to live with it...just a while longer.