As a child, the simple act of opening a box of 64 crayons thrilled Pam Newell. As she breathed in the crayon scent, she imagined the possibilities of what she could create.
She continues that creative exploration years later, through impressionistic oil and pastel paintings of landscapes and still life. Her expressive work reflects her love of gardening, landscapes and nature, and she uses rich color to create the light and mood of the moment.
“I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t creating art,” Pam says.
Her childhood passion led her to earn a degree in fine art at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth. In college she focused on oil paintings. Later she took a pastel class at the Indianapolis Art League, and today she teaches pastel at the Indianapolis Art Center.
“Pastel is a gorgeous, luminous and spontaneous medium, and there are no brushes to clean or palettes to scrape,” Pam says. “I tell my students that once they try pastel they will be addicted — and they find it is true.”
She begins most of her pastels by toning the paper with water-media to create an underpainting that sparkles through the pastel strokes, adding unity to the finished painting.
“The pure colors and refractive quality of pastels shimmering on the surface of the sanded paper I use always enthralls me through each stage of the painting,” she says. “I am constantly amazed and fascinated by the way one can layer, blend, mix, or place colors side by side to create iridescent radiant effects.”
Pam recently returned to working with oils as well as pastels, and her oil paintings were accepted into Indiana Artisan in 2010. She creates smaller oil paintings plein air, and the fluidity of this medium allows her to capture the fleeting light quickly.
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