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Monday, August 31, 2015

Lake Tahoe Boulder Painting.

Delivering A Painting.

Big Split
Acrylic on Canvas
48 x 36

Yesterday this painting, Big Split, joined two other Pamela Hunt Lee paintings at Big Water Grille in Incline Village, Nevada.  

Pamela with 'A View Across The Lake' in the bar at Big Water Grille

After installing the painting, we sat down for a sip of wine and ordered a delicious dinner that was prepared and served with creative intelligence.  I felt like I was eating a painting!  

Several years ago the owner commissioned me to paint what is used as the background for their business card. It's a watercolor inspired by the light patterns that play across the bottom of the lake.  They ended up using it as a label as well when they introduced a selection of signature mustards.

Big Water Grille, which is a popular Lake Tahoe establishment, has a picturesque location, great food, and energized vibe.  If you have not been there, or have not been there for a while, stop in. While there make sure you look for my paintings.  The newest one, Big Split, can be seen on the far wall in the dining room.  The other two are in the bar.

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

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Lake Tahoe Boulders and Summer Equipment

Tools Of The Trade...

I am asked all the time about the inspiration for my paintings and if I paint and sketch on location. During the summer months I spend a lot of time out on Lake Tahoe looking, seeing, observing the environment, and it shows in my paintings. What doesn't show is some of my equipment, the boats and boards I use to get out on to the lake.  

Alden Quest Rowing Shell

This is my fabulous rowing shell.  It's quite a boat, and it's quite a bit of exercise both physically and mentally. This Alden Quest allows me to glide across the water with a camera and sketch book in the boat, stopping to snap photos or make quick drawings.

Betty Board from Lakeshore Paddleboard Co.

Joining the SUP (stand up paddleboard) craze last year has provided a completely different perspective on the lake. Because you are standing, you look down into the water and since this lake is clear to about 70' there is a lot to see and inspire. My Blue Betty, from Lakeshore Paddle Board Co. is stable, comfortable, and quick enough for me.  I take my camera in a water proof case but use my eyes and memory for sketches made later in the day.

Last, but certainly not least, my kayak.  This simple purple boat can carry almost anything I might want to cart along. Sometimes I take paints as well as the camera a sketchbook. It's a quieter, calmer way to navigate the lake allowing entry into small rock lined bays and the ability to sit still on the water for stretches of time.

It's easy to see why I spend so much time out on the lake during the summer months.  It's not only the vistas but the great boats and board that enable me to gather up all this inspiration.  

To contact me click HERE
To visit my NEW web site click HERE
(take a look at my new web site and tell me what you think)

Friday, August 7, 2015

Boulder Bay II

Just Another Day On The Lake,

 and more unexpected delights!

Returning home at the end of my morning row I noticed someone was building rock cairns on what I call "Dali's Rocks". This is the third group of rock stacking I have seen recently, and it remains visual magic for me. 

When I returned to the studio and stood in front of the canvas on my easel, a canvas that was already planned to represent a specific boulders off the Crystal Bay Point, in this beautiful bay of boulders, I realized a cairn should be added to the composition.

The painting progresses with a very limited palette (Prussian Blue, Titanium White, Burnt Umber, Raw Umber), and the cairn is becoming obvious.

When the pigment starts to go onto the cairn shapes new colors will be added.  Due to the size, 48x60" canvas, it will take some time to complete.  I am sharing photos of the progress on Facebook and here on the blog, so check back to watch this painting take shape. 

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

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
To visit my web site click HERE

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