Acrylic painter Pamela Beer presents her stunning portfolio of work, and discusses inspiration and technique.
ABI: How would you describe your art?
PB: My art is acrylic on birch wood panel. Each shape or stroke purposeful and specific. I make shapes and designs in a period of “play” that I then refine as I go through a process. I never really know what the outcome is going to be, I just let the art speak to me over a period of time.
I work on a series of six to eight simultaneously, letting each inform the other. Sometimes they come out different as they might reflect different aspects of my life or my personality. Each has a story or a reflection that resonates with me and with viewers.
I make soft and lovely shapes and also wildly chaotic scribbles and then go back and glaze over with colors to bring up luminescent passages. Every opaque shape gets restated for strong intent or purpose. Some passage remain as glazed layers where I might paint around them to retain the beauty of the glaze.
ABI: What inspires you?
PB: Life inspires me. Beautiful things, whether it is people, imagination, scenery, or shapes that I find beautiful. My goal is to point people back to the hope of their calling and a focus on that which is lovely.
ABI: You quit the corporate world to become an artist. How has that background served you?
PB: In my corporate role, I learned process and discipline for deadlines. This is invaluable in that I can work to a deadline on making art and I can follow my process for creating the work. Criticism and the ability to grow and become better is hallmark of a role in business and so that also has served me in changing careers.
While I painted as a hobby artist for a number of years, the role change was not too far afield of working in business with the distinctive difference of actually creating a physical product that reflects who I am. The personal part of the journey is different, but much of the business aspect definitely transfers.
ABI: Tell us about your process and what makes it different.
PB: My process is all about “play” in the beginning, then refinement as I work through a good design. I often return to “play” after design has begun to get back to the essence of the work. If the joy or the essence is lost, then I “play” more.
Though I focus on the bolder conversation, the darks and the very lights, at the refinement stage I focus on adding all the fun little details that don’t change the “far away” view, but rather add interesting detail for the viewer when they are up close and taking in the whole piece.
I finish each work with a layer of gel, cold wax and resin. This gives the work a clear buttery encaustic-like finish and yet still allows the details underneath to glow through.
This finish requires lots of patience and some physical buffing to make it look fabulous. It’s different because I don’t know the exact outcome, yet it looks very purposeful.