Enjoy this collection from talented artist Pamela McCabe, who uses portraiture in much of her work. See more of her portfolio by visiting her website.
We have been asked to assess the reasons behind our artwork; assess what is fundamentally subconscious. Essentially, I believe we create our work because the art in our souls demands its expression.
To analyze our work is akin to uncovering the psychology underlying the creation of a great novel. We all had to do that in high school, even though our understanding of life’s intricacies was terribly limited. With some life experience, we certainly would have done a more admirable job with such and indeed should be able to do the same in analyzing the “why” of our art.
So… we draw first because we observe something we are enchanted with and wish to recreate it in our way, to make it ours. As a novelist might by observing the interactions of life, something moves within “demanding” expression. For me that demand sought a personal, inner expression of harmony, diversity, symbolism; basically evoking Spirit to come forth and answer how my inner self could best present those qualities in my artwork. This caliber of qualities, for me, is a constant factor that I need to express in my art.
Those qualities, harmony: an agreeable combination of multitudinous tones, thoughts or feelings which combine to form a pleasing whole; diversity: to impart variety, branching out into diverse lines; symbolism: a counterpart in the archetypal realm that imbues a physical object or force with meaning by interpreting the effect(s) it has on the physical world. These are the dimensions I want to express in my work, from my first love, portraiture to the presentation of an ethnic group.
In today’s world of “branding” to recognize a product, or a trademark look, my artwork refutes that requirement. My eclectic presentations do follow the qualities discussed above, and although at first glance they appear to follow no objective, on a closer look you will find the subjects elicit moments of reflection and contemplation.
The colors, like notes in a musical composition, are placed one against the other, juxtaposed, to create a movement a leap to reflect that mood. My palettes are varied but always retain the exact melody of tones to honestly reflect my intention. The paintings are stories, my interpretation may be different from the viewer’s, but that is what causes the interaction between artist and observer the observer’s interpretation, if found internally pleasing, creates a desire to own the work.
My many years of study from observing a childhood babysitter drawing images from magazines and my excitement to do that too, having art classes throughout high school, being accepted in a nationwide contest to attend a Summer session at the University of Kansas, to my attendance at El Camino Jr. College, where I earned my AA, and attendance in live classes with such notable artists as Diana Neville in California, Daniel Green and Albert Handel, all accomplished Pastel artists, showed me that my choice of medium had to be pastels.
Many would argue that they are inferior to other mediums such as oil, but I would say, with the depth of understanding of their unique quality they rival oils any day. Much of the finest artwork done by Edgar Degas, Mary Cassette, and today’s well-known pastelist, Claire Miller-Hopkins, should be proof enough of the power of this medium.
My goal is have my work presented commercially in magazines, such as backdrops for the fashion magazines and to be shown as backgrounds on television shows. I am also planning a most unusual one-woman art show.
Pamela McCabe invites you to see more of her artwork on Fine Art America.