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Thursday, July 23, 2015

Boulder Bay.

And Unexpected Delights.

Again and again, unexpected delights surround if you just open yourself to the possibility.  Do you recall a few of my blog posts this past spring that talked about being open to new and unexpected situations? I talked about Shirley Moore and her book, You Are So You.  Here we are, months later, in a week that was filled with unexpected twists and turns, visions, and delights.

When I picked up my mail, the current issue of Perspectives, the Placer County Arts magazine was there.  The cover is a reproduction of one of my Lake Tahoe Boulder paintings. Not only an honor to have this painting selected for the cover, but also a unexpected delight.

Then, while out sketching among the boulders in the bay, Crystal Bay, I rounded a corner and came upon a field of rock cairns which were tucked back in a cove.  It was magical and unexpected.  Due to lower water levels there were multiple rock platforms for the cairns which someone had used to create a unique visual display.

While sitting in the kayak, observing these sculptures, the water lines on the rocks came into focus and unexpectedly influenced the sketching.

After all, this is the fourth year of drought conditions in California and Lake Tahoe water levels have dropped significantly.  This has happened previously leaving water marks on the boulders, and with this current low level many of those stains are visible. 

When I returned to the studio, with brush in hand, the water lines became a strong design and composition element in my current painting.  This was a completely unexpected turn and brought my thoughts back to Shirley Moore's attitude about being open to unexpected delights.

Lowering Water Levels In Boulder Bay 2015
Acrylic on Canvas

Be open.  Be aware.  Be ready.  Something delightfully unexpected may happen.

To contact me click HERE
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Monday, July 13, 2015

Mah Jongg Jewelry.

As a long time jewelry designer (you did know I do this as well as paint?), I am always looking for unique and meaningful materials to include in my designs.  I scour the world for stones, pearls, beads, charms and other interesting elements that will work towards making my creations unique as well as beautiful and wearable.  My designs have sold through major retailers such as SAK's Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom's, and boutiques across the USA.  

Jade Partridge Necklace

When I started playing the game of Mah Jongg, so I would know the game my grandmother played and be able to use her vintage set,  I discovered a world of spectacular vintage sets made from a variety of materials. The tiles in these vintage sets carry individually carved designs that can be spectacular in design and detail.  Not only did I embrace the game, I started to collect vintage sets which are like gems.

Vintage French Ivory Mah Jongg Set in Pillow Box.

Also discovered were incomplete sets, some which have no chance of ever being made whole, will never be used to play the game, and will be put away somewhere, never to be seen again. I see this as a tragedy.  Now don't get me wrong, some of these incomplete sets can be made whole with research, digging around, and connections with other collectors, however there are some sets that have NO chance of becoming playable.  

Bakelite Flower Tiles that had lost their backs, had been separated from the rest of the set, and would never be playable.

It seemed to me, and still does, the incomplete gems that do not have a chance to become whole can be re-purposed and enjoyed in another way. For me, parts of these sets become wearable  The tiles, betting sticks, and coins are fascinating additions to some of my designs and fun to wear, especially when playing the game.

Mah Jongg Bone Betting Sticks worked into a necklace design.

I see it as a way to honor the creator of the tiles, to keep the beauty of the tiles in circulation, to bring awareness to the game and the pieces.  

Red-backed Bakelite Mah Jongg Tile Collar

When I obtain miscellaneous Mah Jongg pieces I confirm they are unusable for the game, and I always retain a few of the pieces, adding them to my orphanage, just in case someone else has a similar set that needs just a few pieces to become whole again.  This happened just recently.  A well known collector of vintage sets put out a call for red-backed bakelite tiles in a specific size.  I had purchased a partial, like set from another collector who had tried, in vain, to make the set playable.  Too many tiles were needed, not just four to eight. Some of the tiles were worked into jewelry pieces (like the dramatic collar necklace shown above) and many went into my orphanage.  When the call for these tiles went out I was able to help by supplying the needed tiles.  

Bakelite Mah Jongg Tiles 

Using these miscellaneous, vintage Mah Jongg tiles, I create unique, beautifully wearable Mah Jongg jewelry that is a delight to many.  I honor the original creator of the tiles by wearing them as an ornament, keeping them in circulation, re-purposing these gems.  

Current display of Mah Jongg Inspired Jewelry by Pamela Hunt Lee
 at Village Interiors, Incline Village, Nevada

To contact me click HERE
To visit my web site click HERE

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Tahoe Quarterly Magazine.

The Summer Issue Has Arrived!

Also known as THE Lifestyle Magazine of Lake Tahoe, Tahoe Quarterly Magazine is published several times during the year.  The Summer issue has just hit the news stands and I wanted to share this ad which is found on page 59. There are many great articles in the issue, so I hope you will find a copy of the magazine in your hands soon.

Split, by Pamela Hunt Lee
48 x 36
Acrylic on Canvas

The painting in the ad, is a 48 x 36" depiction of massive Lake Tahoe granite boulders, titled Split. This was inspired by a particular group of rocks located off the Crystal Bay Point at the north end of the lake. Currently the painting is displayed at Spirit Gallery in Truckee, CA. where you can see more of my paintings as well.  Purchase this painting and I will take you kayaking to visit this impressive split rock formation.

To contact me click Here
To visit my web site click Here

Monday, June 29, 2015

4th of July Week


4th of July Bear
Acrylic on Canvas

Celebrate,'s the week to celebrate the Independence of our country;  the date of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence;  the birth of the United States of America as an independent nation.  
July 4, 1776.

Celebration Bear
Acrylic on Canvas

The studio is filled with tubes of crimson, pthalo and white as well as sketches, drawings and paintings of bears.  
It's a Lake Tahoe Celebration. 
 Happy July 4th!!!!
Have a great and fun week.

To contact me click HERE
To visit my web site click HERE

Monday, June 15, 2015

Bear Paintings

How It Happened

A week ago I was unpacking, unpacking, unpacking which leads to putting away, putting away, putting away, and organizing, organizing, organizing as well as cleaning, cleaning, cleaning.  And you know what happens when you do that?  You find things you have forgotten about, you find things that spark new ideas, you just find things.  What starts as a bit of an ordeal and chore turns into creative inspiration.  

So when I laid out tube after tube of pigments, and realized some needed to be used soon, something happened.

When I opened drawers to put away beads and found stacks of textured origami papers, something happened.

When I opened a sketch book from a couple years ago and saw a sketch of a bear, something happened.  

Oh, sketches of bears you say.....  I have wanted to paint these visitors for many years but just could not figure out how I wanted to present them.  I sat down and did another sketch because my brain was firing on all cylinders, filled with ideas of COLOR, TEXTURE, COLOR, TEXTURE....and bears.

The studio has been a beehive of furious activity with cutting and gluing papers, brushes dipping into a riot of color, fingers smearing the pigments.  And something happened! A new group of paintings has begun, and here they are.....

Sleepy Bear

Standing Baby Bear

Sly Bear

Hug Me Bear

Something happened all right.  I found a new group of paintings, a new direction, but one that is based on all my previous work with small differences.  More to come...

To contact me click HERE
To visit my web site click HERE
You can also find me on Twitter & Instagram as 
Pamela Hunt Lee

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Studio Events

It's That Time Of Year

Yes it is.  It's the time of year to clean up the S.Cal studio, get some organizing done, pack up a bit of it, and move myself north.  Check, check, check and moving tomorrow. There is something cathartic about the process of creating cleanliness in the studio.  It's also a time to take a look at what was created during the last few months....


All The Poppies In The Moat

Beach Walk

Yellow Hammer Dreams

Peace War-War Peace

Tools of the Trade

Riverbank Identity

Looking West - Delores Patencio

Delores Patencio

Some of the Jewelry:

That's some of what came out of the studio. Moving north for the summer brings new inspiration which will lead to new work.  All cleaned up and cleaned out; ready for the move.

To contact me click HERE
To visit my web site click HERE

Friday, May 22, 2015

Artists' Materials, Part 3


This is the third, and last, post about the current work on my easel.

An unexpected visitor walked into my studio with hands behind his back.  Hello, hello, the greetings went back and forth and then, from out behind his back, he produced a fabulous feather telling me it was a gift.  An unexpected treasure, and one that came into the work area at a time when I was open to making changes in the current work.

The gift feather

Knowing this fabulous feather needed to be incorporated into my design I started placing it all over the canvas and remembered a bag of feathers in one of my nearby drawers. The feathers came out and they too were placed in various areas of the canvas but settled in specific areas.  An unexpected addition to the canvas.

Small feathers added to the canvas.

After the addition of the small feathers.

My artist's intuition started to speak, telling me I needed to wrap some of the hair tendrils with yarn or string, something that would be black in color and could hold the larger feather.  An unexpected trip to a local yarn store and the unexpected wandering up and down the isles allowing myself to look and grab what appealed to me led me to select the three materials shown in the photo below.

Three materials purchased at the yarn store.

Little did I realize that one of these yarns would allow me to shred it into big, pouffy, fluffs....much like the ends of the mud slathered hair of the Himba women (do you remember the Himba women pictured in the last couple of posts to this blog?).  Another unexpected situation, and one that brought a great deal of excitement to the studio as well as a big smile.  

You recall my talk of Shirley Moore and her book You Are So You and her belief that we should all be open to unexpected situations that will bring delight. She is also recently talking about how writers inspire artists and how artists inspire writers.  This work I am creating is an example of both situations, inspiration to be open to the unexpected provided by a writer to an artist.  

The yarn pouffs.

More and more was added to the canvas.  More yarn, more feathers, dots and dashes of paint.  All of this unexpected.  All in a bit of a furious frenzy which made me loose track of time and forget about the camera. Sorry, there's a gap in the photos showing progression of this work.  It got crazy in the studio! 

Paint dots and dashes.

So cut to the final, finished work.  No in between photos. Inspired by Moore's ideas to embrace the unexpected and the Himba women covering themselves in mud from a riverbank, creating new identities, this is the fourth work in my series, Hidden Identities, and is titled Riverbank Identity.

Riverbank Identity
Canvas size 30 x 24"
Overall Size 41 x 24"

To contact me click HERE
To visit my web site click HERE
To purchase Shirley's book click HERE
To follow Shirley's Author Page click HERE