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Monday, December 30, 2013

Jewelry Design

My Addiction.

Jewelry Designs by Pamela Hunt Lee

Frequently I tell people painting is my passion and jewelry design is my addiction.  I love to look at and touch fabulous stones.  I spend hours working with suppliers all over the world to select unique, unusual stones and other elements to include in my jewelry designs. When I travel I am always on the lookout for what I might bring back to my design table.  Look at some of what arrived this week:

Pink and Purple Agates

Blue, Grey and Multi Hued Agates

The shapes, color and texture!!!  WOW!!!  The addiction kicked in.  I put my brushes aside and spent time working with the new stones.    

I approach the design of jewelry the same way I approach the creation of a painting.  A woman's neck is the canvas, the stones are the creative materials used to enhance the canvas.  Composition of the total piece is a critical part of the design, taking into consideration color, line, shape, and texture as I would in a painting.  Shine, matt finish and luminosity of the stones influence the final design. All of these elements must work and flow together to present a visual that is unique and pleasing as well as comfortable to wear.  

 This is the first completed necklace utilizing some of the new stones.  Large slabs of grey agate combined with Peruvian Andasite, Druzy Quartz, Moonstone, Carved Agate, Carnelian and a Removable Antique Enameled Butterfly Pin.

This is an addiction that is acceptable.  

To contact me click HERE
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Monday, December 23, 2013

More Holiday Art

It's A Holly Jolly Christmas

original painting by Pamela Hunt Lee

As promised, the second inspiration.  It's a long story, but I will attempt to shorten.  For years, since I was a very young girl, I have drawn and painted holly.  In fact, for my very first commission ever I created baker's dough, clay wreaths with holly leaves and berries (I was 13, and that is a completely different and long story).  Almost always I used three leaves and three berries which would show up on homemade gift tags, note cards, decoration on stationery.  It was just a way to add a little holiday color to what ever I was doing, not art, just decoration.  Doodles, almost.  I never thought of painting this subject.

A couple weeks ago while listening to Holiday music the notes and words to Holly Jolly Christmas filled the air.  The snow wasn't falling, in fact it was very dry outside, not much snow on the ground, and the thought of painting more snowmen just wasn't going anywhere.  While the music played I was standing at the kitchen sink looking out through the window at a large, lush holly bush which is covered with brilliant red berries.  Hmmmm......

The palette from my most recent Desert Plant painting was filled with simple, basic, primary colors...perfect for Holly.  I ran into the studio, picked up the brush, grabbed a small canvas and started painting.  

Inspired by a song, a bush, and previous doodles.  It's a great time of year, and though there might not be snow, we can still have a Holly Jolly Christmas.  

Have a holly, jolly Christmas;

It's the best time of the year
I don't know if there'll be snow
but have a cup of cheer
Have a holly, jolly Christmas;
And when you walk down the street
Say Hello to friends you know
and everyone you meet.

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

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Holiday Art

It's That Time of Year...

We are dreaming of a White Christmas, It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas, the stockings are hung by the chimney with care, we are in the meadow building a snowman....

And speaking of a snowman, do you remember the "Let It Snow" boys I painted last year?

Here they are awaiting their finishing touches.

 This one is what they looked like after the lettering went in.  It's sitting in a little easel on a counter top helping to add festive cheer to the house.  It is an annual decoration in my home and several others now.

This is the big guy I painted to hang outside our front door, and then the snow began to fall.  A talisman of sorts?

So now that it is time to paint a bit of festive cheer this year, I found myself inspired by two situations.  When I walked into the gallery of a designer who represents my work I found loads of red and green and candy everywhere, in every size, some real and some not so real. It was fun and joyful, so when I sat down to paint this is what happened:

Merry Merry Candy Snowmen

These Merry Merry little Snowmen, festooned with candy canes and peppermints are currently residing at Village Interiors in Incline Village where they are Holiday priced at $50 each which includes a black wooden easel.  They are perfect additions to holiday decorating, and can make an appearance year after year with or without the snow in the meadow.  
Village Interiors
Incline Village, NV

And yes, I did say I was inspired by two different situations, so check back next week to read and see about the second.  It's a fun story.  It looks like snow might fall tonight making it seem more and more like Christmas around here.

To contact me click HERE
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Friday, December 13, 2013

Desert Art

Goal Accomplished!!!

original painting by Pamela Hunt Lee
Prickly Pear Blossom II
30 x 48

It's good to set goals and even better to reach them.  So what is a goal, anyway??  In this case it is not those upright posts through which someone kicks or carries a ball, but a desire that is important enough to a person that it requires effort to reach. Earlier this week I knew I wanted to complete this painting before leaving my studio for Holiday travel,  so I set the goal of having it done by the end of the week. 

It did take some effort.  Making time to paint during this busy month took effort, so did standing there dipping the brush into the pigment and applying it to the canvas. And it took the effort of balancing the color and values. Dare I say it took effort to claim the work complete?

Effort aside, it's done, and it is the end of the week.  Goal reached, goal accomplished.  Kicked that ball through the uprights!  Metaphorically anyway.

Time to set new goals.

To contact me click HERE
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Monday, December 9, 2013

Prickly Pear Painting

A Chilly Week In The Desert

painting by Pamela Hunt Lee

Oh my.  The entire country is COLD.  To be expected in December?  Yes, but here in the studio, I continue to visualize the warm desert and work on this Prickly Pear painting.  All the paddles are in though there will be more shadowing eventually.  The time has come to work on the fantasy flower.

Most of the flower has been laid in, however I realize I would like to add one more petal, so I am leaving the computer, returning to the easel.

When an artist puts a brush in her hand, sometimes unexpected changes occur.  So from the image above to the image below, the addition of a couple petals, not just one.  It was a intuitively visual necessity. 

While working on the petals I thought I would add in the stamen and pistol parts of the flower after a slight adjustment to the base under the blossom.  The flower didn't look balanced without this change.

That's it for now.  Check back to see the painting as it comes to conclusion.  My goal is to complete it this week.  Then these cold temps will inspire Holiday themed work.   At least being cold is a type of inspiration.

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

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Thankful For Art

We have passed through Thanksgiving in the U.S. when we spend time thinking about situations and people surrounding us that bring us joy, happiness, and thoughtfulness.  We then give thanks and express our gratitude.  Those of us who create acknowledge our passion, desire, and ability to make something where there was nothing before.  As artists we also realize and honor the torment under which we live, well, maybe.  Personally I am comfortable, sometimes, and greatful for the torment.  If it weren't for this torment I might not take the time to create.

The constant torment of what to create, how to create, when to spend the time, questioning the result, desiring acceptance of the work.  The questions go on and on, endless in fact.  Everyone who is successful conquering the torment has embraced it, used it to push their work forward and knows it will return over and over again.  It's the plight of the artist, but one for which we should all be thankful for it is a tool and part of who we are and part of our ability to create.  

beginning the background on my newest painting

the background painted in with high and low lights and a great deal of movement

the prickly pear paddles begin to appear

close up brushing the pigment onto the canvas

the painting as of today....loads more to do

To contact me click HERE
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Thursday, November 21, 2013

It's Good To Be Conflicted,

Or is it?

Do you remember earlier this week I posted about sketching for a new painting and having indecision about exactly what to begin next because I had two very different ideas swimming in my head?  After completing the last Desert Plant painting I planned to move forward with another, however I made a trip to the Palm Springs Art Museum to see the Diebenkorn exhibit (click HERE to visit PS Art Museum site with info)

Woman on a Porch

                 Woman on a Porch
                  Richard Diebenkorn

and while there wandered into the Western/Indian exhibition section to see if there were new items being shown.  Sure enough, there was a great, yet small, basket display and I was introduced to Guadalupe Arenas, a Cahuilla, who lived and created in the Coachella Valley during the late 1800's into the early 1900's.  

Basket woven by Guadalupe Arenas

This woman fits perfectly into my Indian Women Portrait Series, so of course I was captivated and began to research her life and work and sketching for a painting which would represent her.

I settled on a composition but I am having problems finding photographs of her and since I want to know what she looked like to make a more accurate representation, and since I want to begin a new painting immediately, my decision was made.  The easel will hold a Desert Plant painting for now while I continue research on Guadalupe Arenas.  That conflict resolved.

Back into the sketch book to face more conflicting situations. Which plant and which composition?

 Barrel Cactus with side or top view?

 Fence Post Cactus?

Some composition of Prickly Pear?

I found myself drawing one and another and another Prickly Pear composition adding in large, flamboyant flowers much like that in the previous painting, shown below.

Prickly Pear Blossom

I believe these conflicted feelings were resolving themselves. Next step was to 'live' with the sketches for a few hours and after selecting one, paint a small canvas board.

Sketches with small canvas board painting.

These canvas board paintings allow me to work out color, movement, high and low lights as well as my satisfaction with the composition.  OK.  All conflict resolved.  Was it good to be conflicted?  Not sure, but I do know it is good to have a canvas on the easel and pigments in the palette, all ready to go.

To contact me click HERE
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Monday, November 18, 2013

Painting Completed and Delivered.

It Was A Busy Week In The Studio.

Prickly Pear Blossom

The deadline, dictated by the sale of the painting out of the La Quinta Museum exhibition and the need to replace that sold painting meant I spent hours in front of the easel creating the replacement work.

In last week's post I showed you the beginning of this painting, Prickly Pear Blossom.  Now here is a very brief pictorial of how the rest of it came together.

Prickly Pear Blossom
40 x 30
Acrylic on Canvas

Once the painting was complete it was delivered to the La Quinta Museum and installed in the on-going exhibition.

I got so involved with the process of painting I did not stop to take enough photos.  Promise, promise I will do a better job of recording the steps on the next painting, because so many of you have requested just that.  

I started sketches over the weekend for two canvases.  One is another desert plant;  the other is an Indian Woman portrait.  I feel conflicted.  I want to create both.  Which to begin????  Check back.  I will post the sketches and the decision.  More busy and more hours in front the easel coming up.

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

Monday, November 11, 2013


Snowbird.  It's Not A Bird.

Ok, yes, I admit it.  I am a Snowbird.  It gets cold, snow flakes begin to fall and my wings spread, flapping me south.

Wikipedia defines Snowbird as ' someone from the U.S. Northeast, Midwest, Pacific Northwest or Canada who spends a large portion of winter in warmer locales such as California, Arizona, Florida, Texas, the Carolinas or elsewhere along the Sun Belt region of the southern and southwest U.S., Mexico and areas of the Caribbean.' 

Hmmm...the Caribbean sounds nice, but I am not there, however dreaming of turquoise clear, clean, warm ocean water and white sand beaches is right up my alley.  It's the Southern California Desert for me and has been during the winter months for about twelve years.  Hence my desert plant paintings, palm tree paintings and desert inspired floral paintings.  

Having just arrived in warmer climes I set up my studio space which is small and simple.

When I say small, I do mean small.  This is it.  Drop cloths, one table, one easel and a stool.

Sketching began, got a canvas onto the easel and started painting the first day here.  

Simple line work

A bit of shading

Selecting the palette by brushing some of the colors into the sketch book

A bit more color and detail in the sketch 

All this hurry came about because one of my paintings in the Creativity La Quinta Take Two Exhibition just sold (that's a great thing). The exhibit continues into January so I must replace the sold painting with another of similar size. 

Oops....recent focus has been on the Indian Women Portraits so I don't have a replacement that would be appropriate.

It was an easy decision to start sketching desert plants since the sold work is exactly that, and remember I flapped my wings and headed south into desert country where these magnificently sculptural plants surround.  Great inspiration!

Big Flowered Euphorbia

After the sketches and palette selection I painted a small rendition of the of work on a canvas board. This allows me to see the composition in paint and make any adjustments to the design or palette.

Before leaving the mountains I took my various existing containers that serve as palettes and mixed all the color together...from the Indian Women Portraits, from Tahoe Rock paintings, and from a couple Pine Cone commissions. When all these wonderfully rich pigments are combined you get a lovely, very usable, grey.  I added a bit more blue to end up with what I wanted to use as background color in this new painting.  Big strokes with the grey and some Titanium White left lots of expression swirling around what will become the plant.

A few days and many hours at the easel, painting from top to bottom, left to right I was able to lay in almost half of the Prickly Pear. 

So this is where we're at (don't you just love that grammar) studio set up, working long hours, partially completed painting, enjoying warmer climes, admitting I am a Snowbird, really ??? .... a Snowbird?  

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