"I Just Decided To" A North Shore Artist Spotlight of Pamela Robe
My friends inspire my work. I like doing people, sometimes it is hard. I like to do food, because it is also challenging. I feel good because I like doing it. I think this is good. I went through the pictures and I picked it out. I just went and picked that one and decided to do it.
Pam’s process is one of spontaneous choice making. Her natural style and aesthetic lend themselves to creating a consistent body of work. Driven by her natural curiosities, Pam often answers “I just decided to” when asked about the motivations behind her decisions.
I just like it. The way I do different designs. I have been doing designs for a while because I thought that I would, I picked it, I thought it was a good way to do it. I do it this way because it looks better. I do food, different things I do, different pictures of men or ladies.
She begins her process by sketching her subject matter multiple times, choosing her favorite sketch, and using that–along with her references–to create the final piece. From here Pam begins to layer colors with her oil pastels using repetitive strokes. Her final compositions are normally of one subject near the center surrounded by color fields composed of layers of different oil pastels. The material allows the color to peek through the gaps in the layer above it.
I use a pencil to do my sketch. I do about two sketches, or three, before I do the final one. I start coloring it with pastels. I do the person first and then the background. I work on one piece of art at a time. I use oil pastels, I like them because they aren’t as messy as paint. When it gets on my hands it comes off.
As time has gone on, Pam has refined her taste and narrowed down the subject matter that interests her. No longer does her choices of subject appear arbitrary. Instead, she continues to curate themes of buildings, portraits, and food-based still lifes.
In the future, I want my art to be much better. I want my drawing to be better. I want it to look more like a picture, with paint or oil pastels. I want to cook my own meals again and live on my own.
Pam’s work is based in brain. Her making is not a physical process with visceral marks marring the surface. Instead, she is thoughtful and intentional. Slowly plodding along, she carefully places one color next to another creating a composition of color fields and shapes. She defines her subjects with bold lines that straddle the line between realism and abstraction. The constant presence of repetition gives her process a meditative quality with each stroke becoming a phrase of a mantra or bead in a rosary.