Farmington/Farmington Hills is home to many talented musicians, writers, craftspeople, and artists. Each week we will examine their work, process, and creations.
Artist Pamela Alexander writes about her artistic process:
A little personal history to begin with. I have been passionate about art my whole life. My father being an artist began teaching me technique and color theory at an early age. My degree is in Fine Arts, it was not a straight path getting there. I was 40 years old and had two children when I graduated. In the meantime I was formally and self taught. I am primarily a painter.
The creative work starts as a mental process, so I formulate an idea and work it around in my mind. If I am stuck for an idea I will paint anything I am drawn to and it will formulate itself through conscious and subconscious meanderings. It is important to just do it.
I primarily use a photograph as reference, preferably my own. I will sketch on the painting surface and lay down a wash of colors and build or layer from there.
Through trial and error I have created a technique that is now a big part of my paintings. I do a lot of underpainting knowing that I will after a certain amount of drying time, rinse, blot, scrub, and/or scrape away top layers. Like an antique I like to simulate age, wear and/or depth. I will sometimes create texture through a buildup of paint or gel medium. I will then add depth by applying layers and layers of clear glaze mixed with small amounts of color. Sometimes I will mix paint directly from the tube onto the canvas. In general I focus on expressionistic energy and am drawn to bright colors. A number of my pieces are done using found objects such as windows and doors. I like to work on a large area but recently have been using a medium to smaller format as well. My ideology revolves around spirituality. I am focused in art and life, in knowledge through introspection. Birds are a subject that I use quite often symbolic of spirit. I have found I like to paint animals in a more literal way and focus on their facial expression and personality. I will risk everything to create a piece I am happy with. I am not adverse to throwing away anything I do not like–no fear. Either way I am totally absorbed by the process. I lose track of time and space and am totally joyful despite any challenges that may arise.
You can see Pamela Alexander’s paintings at her website.