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Thursday, July 23, 2015

Boulder Bay.

And Unexpected Delights.

Again and again, unexpected delights surround if you just open yourself to the possibility.  Do you recall a few of my blog posts this past spring that talked about being open to new and unexpected situations? I talked about Shirley Moore and her book, You Are So You.  Here we are, months later, in a week that was filled with unexpected twists and turns, visions, and delights.

When I picked up my mail, the current issue of Perspectives, the Placer County Arts magazine was there.  The cover is a reproduction of one of my Lake Tahoe Boulder paintings. Not only an honor to have this painting selected for the cover, but also a unexpected delight.

Then, while out sketching among the boulders in the bay, Crystal Bay, I rounded a corner and came upon a field of rock cairns which were tucked back in a cove.  It was magical and unexpected.  Due to lower water levels there were multiple rock platforms for the cairns which someone had used to create a unique visual display.

While sitting in the kayak, observing these sculptures, the water lines on the rocks came into focus and unexpectedly influenced the sketching.

After all, this is the fourth year of drought conditions in California and Lake Tahoe water levels have dropped significantly.  This has happened previously leaving water marks on the boulders, and with this current low level many of those stains are visible. 

When I returned to the studio, with brush in hand, the water lines became a strong design and composition element in my current painting.  This was a completely unexpected turn and brought my thoughts back to Shirley Moore's attitude about being open to unexpected delights.

Lowering Water Levels In Boulder Bay 2015
Acrylic on Canvas

Be open.  Be aware.  Be ready.  Something delightfully unexpected may happen.

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Monday, July 13, 2015

Mah Jongg Jewelry.

As a long time jewelry designer (you did know I do this as well as paint?), I am always looking for unique and meaningful materials to include in my designs.  I scour the world for stones, pearls, beads, charms and other interesting elements that will work towards making my creations unique as well as beautiful and wearable.  My designs have sold through major retailers such as SAK's Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom's, and boutiques across the USA.  

Jade Partridge Necklace

When I started playing the game of Mah Jongg, so I would know the game my grandmother played and be able to use her vintage set,  I discovered a world of spectacular vintage sets made from a variety of materials. The tiles in these vintage sets carry individually carved designs that can be spectacular in design and detail.  Not only did I embrace the game, I started to collect vintage sets which are like gems.

Vintage French Ivory Mah Jongg Set in Pillow Box.

Also discovered were incomplete sets, some which have no chance of ever being made whole, will never be used to play the game, and will be put away somewhere, never to be seen again. I see this as a tragedy.  Now don't get me wrong, some of these incomplete sets can be made whole with research, digging around, and connections with other collectors, however there are some sets that have NO chance of becoming playable.  

Bakelite Flower Tiles that had lost their backs, had been separated from the rest of the set, and would never be playable.

It seemed to me, and still does, the incomplete gems that do not have a chance to become whole can be re-purposed and enjoyed in another way. For me, parts of these sets become wearable  The tiles, betting sticks, and coins are fascinating additions to some of my designs and fun to wear, especially when playing the game.

Mah Jongg Bone Betting Sticks worked into a necklace design.

I see it as a way to honor the creator of the tiles, to keep the beauty of the tiles in circulation, to bring awareness to the game and the pieces.  

Red-backed Bakelite Mah Jongg Tile Collar

When I obtain miscellaneous Mah Jongg pieces I confirm they are unusable for the game, and I always retain a few of the pieces, adding them to my orphanage, just in case someone else has a similar set that needs just a few pieces to become whole again.  This happened just recently.  A well known collector of vintage sets put out a call for red-backed bakelite tiles in a specific size.  I had purchased a partial, like set from another collector who had tried, in vain, to make the set playable.  Too many tiles were needed, not just four to eight. Some of the tiles were worked into jewelry pieces (like the dramatic collar necklace shown above) and many went into my orphanage.  When the call for these tiles went out I was able to help by supplying the needed tiles.  

Bakelite Mah Jongg Tiles 

Using these miscellaneous, vintage Mah Jongg tiles, I create unique, beautifully wearable Mah Jongg jewelry that is a delight to many.  I honor the original creator of the tiles by wearing them as an ornament, keeping them in circulation, re-purposing these gems.  

Current display of Mah Jongg Inspired Jewelry by Pamela Hunt Lee
 at Village Interiors, Incline Village, Nevada

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

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Tahoe Quarterly Magazine.

The Summer Issue Has Arrived!

Also known as THE Lifestyle Magazine of Lake Tahoe, Tahoe Quarterly Magazine is published several times during the year.  The Summer issue has just hit the news stands and I wanted to share this ad which is found on page 59. There are many great articles in the issue, so I hope you will find a copy of the magazine in your hands soon.

Split, by Pamela Hunt Lee
48 x 36
Acrylic on Canvas

The painting in the ad, is a 48 x 36" depiction of massive Lake Tahoe granite boulders, titled Split. This was inspired by a particular group of rocks located off the Crystal Bay Point at the north end of the lake. Currently the painting is displayed at Spirit Gallery in Truckee, CA. where you can see more of my paintings as well.  Purchase this painting and I will take you kayaking to visit this impressive split rock formation.

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