Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Artist of the Week!

This week I was interviewed for Daily Paintworks, it was really great thinking over the various stages of my life/work. I give a shout out to a couple of other great artists who are actively working now. I also give a shout out to my Post Office guy, Stan...and the week before this was published Stan left this celestial orb! R.I.P. Stan!


 Thursday, December 6, 2018,

DPW Spotlight Interview: Pamela Hoffmeister

Each week we will spotlight a different DPW artist who will give away one of their best paintings. To enter to win Pamela's painting "Let Me Be Your Sanctuary" go to Daily Paintworks and click on the link at the top of the page announcing their interview.

From Pamela's DPW Gallery Page:

I am an avid portrait painter. As a mother of six (and grandmother of nine) I have had ample subject matter, if sometimes a lack of time and energy. Nevertheless, I have kept painting in the last 30 years because it is what I love to do! I am beginning to delve into still-life, as I have realized that 'everything' is actually a portrait! Somethings just sit REALLY still.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting. 

I was getting a BFA in ceramics at the University of Oregon and I kept walking by the painting studios and I realized that I loved the smell of oil paint. It was love at first smell. But, and this is great, I was scared to just plunge in, so I took a bunch of drawing classes.

Did you have any stops and starts in your painting career? 

Many. I had six children, and in the middle and after getting my BFA in painting and drawing, I took care of my family and supported my husband in the process of a four year career change. That was super HARD. It turns out that I'm the kind of person who needs to draw and paint like some people need to exercise. I get weird, irritable, and depressed if I'm not creating. For years I sublimated by making amazing bread, sewing my own and my children's clothes and making a crazy creative home. Today I just love going to my studio every day and hoping that clothes and food show up... enough.

Let Me Be Your Sanctuary
(click to view)

Enter to win by clicking on the link at the top of the DPW home page announcing Pamela's interview.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with? 

I went through a phase where I loved oil pastels. I loved the slidey, greasy feeling, and they were very portable running around with children. I also did some lithography and, again, I loved the greasy feeling of the litho-crayon. My favorite drawing materials are a cheap ballpoint pen and $1 ruled composition books. I write in the composition book every morning as soon as I wake up and often draw what I am thinking of painting that day.

Which ones have "stuck" and which ones have fallen away? 

I keep returning to oil painting and I LOVE painting on pedestrian materials like paper, cardboard and foamcore because it makes me feel really loose. People around me keep saying I need to only work on archival materials but I just can't quit that cheap stuff. I feel like I do my best work when nothing is too precious or too serious.

Too Difficult to Control
(click to view)

Who or what inspires you most? 

I LOVE this question. I am terrifically inspired by children's books like 'The Old Woman Who Named Things' and 'Miss Rumphius,' and I love "story" - the 'age old way' that we communicate with each other.

I also LOVE LOVE LOVE real mail. I share that love with Mindy Carpenter (look up her work please). I love the packaging part of sending a painting to people... writing a thank you note, wrapping the painting in tracing paper and sealing it with a sticker of my signature. I love brown paper, tape, labels, and BIG sharpies. And of course, I have a relationship with Stan - my local post office guy.

The people who inspire me are, hands down: Fairfield Porter, Alice Neel, Jennifer Bartlett, and Giorgio Morandi. All of my heroes are people who just kept working regardless of what life threw at them. Alice Neel kept painting portraits when all of the men were painting abstract expressionist stuff and saying that figure painting was "over." Fairfield Porter kept painting his family and landscapes when, again, every one in the art world said those genres were passé. Georgio Morandi just kept painting his dusty, quiet, still-lifes in the bedroom while living with his sisters. Jennifer Bartlett embarked on a bad house swap and turned it into two hundred fabulous drawings and paintings called "In The Garden." I love the idea that we paint 'where we are,' and 'who we are'... and that is enough.

Floating Shadow
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you? 

I love to drink coffee and read The New York Times and put off going into the studio because I always think that I have lost my mojo. And, truth be told, sometimes I've had a really crappy painting day the day before... soooo... I always have to return to painting to get over it.

What techniques work to ensure that you make time for your art? 

I play little mental games with myself. I say "Today, at 4:15 I am walking out of my studio to go to yoga, so back that up to spend 6 hours in your studio. Once I get into my studio, I never want to leave, so I basically give myself a talking to... every damn day.

Good Karma
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings? 

I actually suffer from idea-a-rhea and I see so many things and have so many ideas that it's more a matter of choosing the best 'paintable' option. I have a big, messy family and they're often my subject matter, but I also admire writers and musicians and filmmakers and get many ideas from them.

How do you keep art "fresh?" What techniques have helped you avoid burnout and keep your work vibrant and engaging?

I take myself on artist dates (thank you Julia Cameron) - I go to films, I read, I go to Yoga, I take my anti-depressants. I'm an introvert, so I need a lot of alone time. In my work I'm sort of trying to follow Mary Oliver's advice: Pay attention. Be Astonished. Tell someone.

Weekend Warriors
(click to view)

What do you feel you are learning about right now as an artist? 

I toggle back and forth between technical skill and philosophical input. This past summer I spent a day with Peggi Kroll Roberts focused solely on getting myself to use more paint. She was fantastic! Right now, I'm kind of mind blown by the writers and painters who went before us, and the chain of influence and the fact that I've never heard of amazing people whose quiet steady work moved the creative conversation forward.

What makes you happiest about your art?

When I get to the essence of a thing without overly delineating and I have the confidence to just leave it. When I surprise myself by being un-self-conscious and something wonk-a-doodle comes out of me.

Thanks, Pamela!

Monday, July 30, 2018

Today, I got back into my studio after a glorious family vacation with ALL 21 of my kids and grandkids! Before the family vay cay started I took a day and drove to Peggi Kroll Roberts' lovely, airy studio in the Gold Country of California. She kindly gave me an afternoon, where she encouraged me to use more paint. She also shared an inspiring u-tube of Jennifer Pochinsky painting a self-portrait. I couldn't wait to get home to my own studio to try some stuff. So today, I put on my favorite skirt and stood in front of a full length mirror, and used a LOT of paint!

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Morning Kitchen

I am at my daughter's house being with grandson's while she goes to a writing workshop. This morning I looked up and notices her, a grandchild, and their dog back-lit in the kitchen. I was sitting on the sofa in the living space and looking into the intimacy and light of the morning kitchen. The whole scene has some of the interior-ity and bright versus darkness of Bonnard scenes...I think/hope that I can make something of this image...may Pierre's spirit inhabit me!

Saturday, March 17, 2018

First Painting From Journal Drawings

I haven't fully understood how painters go from sketches to I am trying to go from  worked out little value sketches, to paintings that stay in the value plan that I have decided on.  This is my first attempt. I have about 10 more small drawings to work off of. Please stay tuned.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Working out Shapes and Values

At night after dinner, I like to think about what I am going to paint the next day. If I am already thinking about shapes and values, it makes getting started the next day easier. I also believe that there is some intangible but very real value in mulling, pondering, staring at, and sleeping on an idea. I love that Ann Patchett writes in "What Now?", "...nobody ever made a living depending on a muse. The rest of us have to go out and find our inspiration, write and rewrite, stare and stare and stare until we know which way to turn."

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Another Good Beginning That Turned Into Multiple Stiff Paintings

Okay, this is a page torn from my sketchbook...literally.  I worked out a great value plan and composition...on paper.  But every time I tried to paint this sucker, it got stiff and stilted.  Maybe, I didn't stick to the plan???

Friday, May 12, 2017

Loosey Goosey Good

I have decided to post and ponder my process with everyone.  I think too often we want to only show our 'best', 'completed', 'finished' selves...and hey, who is EVER really there!!!?  So I am going to post my process and see if anyone out there can give me any help, feedback, etc.  Surely I have problems "such as are common to man".

So today I am looking at the sketches that I do to 'get to know' subjects before I attempt to paint them.  Man, I can do the loosest, "spirit of the subject" drawing when I am scrawling in my journal with my cheap Bic pen (love those cheap Bic pens!!), and then I try to retain that spirit when I paint...and it's "tighten up city" for me.  I love love love just staying in the "shape" realm...triangles, squares, rectangles...and I feel that all of that looseness really gets at the 'sense' of the thing.