During a recent meeting with my assistant Jen, we were brainstorming blog ideas for Pamela Copeman Art. We agreed that a virtual ‘meet & greet’ would be a great jumping off point. Many of you may know me as Pamela Copeman, Interior Designer. I truly love helping clients and creating beautiful spaces. Now I’d like to formally introduce you to Pamela Copeman, Artist. I hope you enjoy getting to know just a bit more about my and my journey as an artist!
Tell us a bit about your training as an artist
I started painting seriously about 10 years ago. I’ve studied (and continue to take classes) with several local South Shore artists who teach including Sue Charles, Diane Panarelli Miller, Paige Railsback, Margaret McWethy and visiting artist Carol Marine.
What inspires you when you paint?
Just as with my Design work, inspiration comes from everywhere ~ most especially other artists, art books, and museums. I also find inspiration from fashion and home magazines as well as movies.
What is your favorite medium to create with?
I adore painting with oils.
They are juicy and lush and the blended colors are full of depth. I can also exaggerate my brush strokes. I love the smell and feel of the paints against my canvas or panel.
When I travel I use watercolors for the ease. I have a petite Winsor & Newton set with refillable paint pans…it is too perfect! The only other thing I need is my sketch book and I can paint wherever I am.
Tell us about some of your early influences and background
I grew up in a family where my Mom painted portraits and landscapes. She studied at College of New Rochelle and she always had a small corner of the house with an easel and a palette filled with oil paints. I am not quite sure how she managed this with 5 little girls but she did. Earlier on, two of my sisters took up pastels and acrylic painting.
Even though I came to painting later, I was always working with color. My first career was with Clinique. I’ve often thought that selecting the perfect shade of red lipstick (not too blue, orange or brown) for the discriminating customer was perfect training for working with paint!
Do you have a preferred color palette?
I love painting with color and lots of it. I tend toward bright, saturated colors in my paintings but I will balance them with darker, more neutral tones.
How do you make time for painting?
Working full time as a Luxury Interior Designer means that typically I paint at night and on the weekend.
I have also participated in Leslie Saeta’s 30 Paintings in 30 Days challenge a total four times (so far). Whew! When I participate in one of these challenges, I’ve found it works best for me to wake up and paint very early in the morning ~ 6am(!). It can be a grueling schedule but the resulting skill and discipline that come with this experience are immeasurable.
I am lucky enough to have a dedicated space in my home for my art and it makes all the difference in the world. I can paint for as little as an hour, cover my paints, and come back at my convenience with all my materials ready to go.
Do you have a favorite subject that you enjoy painting?
Oh this is a tough question. I adore fashion so I paint vogue faces, shoes, and gowns. I do love portraits whether it is faces with fur (pets) or faces on 2 legged beings 😉 . And I do adore still life and of course, Interiors.
Favorite painting of yours?
I really love this one…
but then again I also love this one…
Favorite paints, brushes?
I have just upgraded to Winsor & Newton oil paints and there is a beautiful difference from other brands. I feel the pigments are stronger and the colors are a bit more subtle. I absolutely can’t live without Cadmium Red and Quinacridone Red. I usually work with a flat brush and I’m gradually replacing my student grade brands with more significant sables brushes.
Can you share a few of your favorite Artists?
There are so many!
I love Cezanne’s still life paintings, Jeanne MacFarland for her Old World style of painting, Connie Hayes for her Interiors, William Merritt Chase, Hunt Slonem for his signature bunnies, Anders Zorn for his palette, Monet for his everything, Dianne Panarelli Miller, and Kelley MacDonald.
Share a bit about your process of creating a painting
When I paint I usually work from a photo, an image from Google, or a magazine page. I start by drawing “guide” lines and dividing the canvas into 4 sections. Then I try to remain disciplined enough to do a very rough sketch in my sketch book. I analyze the composition to be sure it works. At this point I can hardly wait to go straight to my canvas and place my markings that evolve into a sketch then painting.
I start by painting in my “darks”, the color doesn’t really matter at this time. I paint in a thin layer of the dark values and from there I work to the lightest “light” value.
Then I play. This may be my favorite part because I can paint and experiment with color. However I am doing this in a disciplined manner, with serious intent and strokes. The end of my process is checking to see where I can add (and exaggerate) a stroke of surprise color to give the painting some jazz.
Then I sit in a cozy chair and review my work 😉
What are your professional goals as a painter/artist?
I am very excited to finally have my artwork available for sale on my very own Pamela Copeman Art website!
Of course there’s nothing like seeing your work on display and for sale in person. Currently I have some of my paintings in La Petite Maison in Hingham. I feel my paintings are perfect for this very special, very French gift and home store. I’m also hoping to have a solo exhibit at the end of the year at the Hingham Public Library ~ the application has been submitted and now my fingers are crossed!
Last Fall I had my work on display at the newly remodeled FDO Showroom at the Boston Design Center. It was a dream come true with my two professions and passions coming together beautifully. I’d love to have more shows at the Boston Design Center.
I would love to expand my work with the Interior Designer community. I have many friends and associates in this field and I think my style would be a perfect match. I’ve done a few custom commissions for Interior Designers and I look forward to more opportunities in this area!
Now for a few fun questions…
Little known fact about Pamela Copeman?
Years ago I signed a licensing agreement and two of my mixed media gown pieces are still available as art prints and giclées online. They have proven to be quite popular.
Three of your favorite (not art related) things?
I start the day with coffee and more coffee. As a rule I am a creature of habit in the morning as I wake to the day. I have the same breakfast Monday-Friday: half of a Fage yogurt with a hint of agave, piled with raspberrries and blueberries.
I cringe when I think of nudist colonies, not only because I still dress in my closet (I’m so modest) but I would miss fashion and dressing for the many lives I lead!
In the Boston area I feel we are generally very conservative in our fashion choices and I like a hint of edgy…the closest shop that never disappoints is Zara. Oh and when I travel I love to shop…
You can probably tell from my paintings that I love flowers. If you asked me a year ago what my favorite flower was, it would have been peonies. They are fluttery, flirty, and filled with pink ruffles that are so very dramatic. But since my granddaughter Daisy was born I have, of course, changed my favorite to flower to daisies.
My deck garden last year was filled with daisies. I can’t wait to plant my containers for this year…
I hope you’ve enjoyed learning a bit more about me as an artist! I had so much fun coming up with answers to these questions 🙂 . If you’re still curious about anything, leave a comment and I’ll do my best to answer.
Thanks so much for stopping by!