Q & A with Pamela Mayhew- Edge of the Forest


Pamela Mayhew- Quick QuestionWe love getting to know more about the artists we exhibit. Over the next few weeks we will offer a short Q & A with the artists from the Edge of the Forest exhibition; January 11 - February 10, 2024.

Take some time to read them. You will definitely learn something about the artist and yourself.



Pamela Mayhew Boating to a painting destination

Pamela Mayhew enjoys boating to a painting destination

At what point in your life did you realize that you wanted to pursue the arts?

This is a good question. I come from a family of artists and art collectors. My mother was both a sculptor and a painter. My grandmother was a painter, Aunt a potter and so forth. So the arts are part of my language, my surroundings.

 In addition my parents were art collectors. I grew up in Ottawa and visits to the National Gallery were common. It is here that I did the classic. I fell in love with the Group of 7. Their work was mesmerizing and that is from a child’s point of view. I had two favourite artists which were Lawren Harris and Frederick Varley. 

 As coincidence would have it my Aunt in Vancouver lived next door to Lawren Harris.  Again as a child and from a child’s viewpoint, I had the joy of watching him paint. A few times he invited me in to his studio. I sat and watched. Young child and elderly artist. 

So when did it start?   Part of my composition, my language.

And today, 2024 I have a brand new puppy. His name is Varley.

 Pamela Mayhew and Varley

Varley, New studio buddy

How do you determine the size of your work?

Determining the size of my work is an interesting question as it follows along with a shift that I am working towards. I am currently moving to a more abstracted approach.  I am working with my series of paintings that approach abstract realism where the forest or edge of cliff are visible  as inspiration and then pushing details of these   deeper into abstraction.  With this movement my work is becoming larger. 

Pamela Mayhew- Compsoing with many panels

Composing on Several Panels

I am currently applying large pieces of canvas to my studio wall and letting the size emerge as the composition does. So the size is determined after the composition. I am also working with multi paneled boards. In one painting, I have 13 boards pieced together as one composition. I am interested in the notion of puzzles, dissection and pieces, as well as the lens that zooms in and out. 

Smaller pieces, such as 8” x 10” are oil paintings that I do en plein air. I love to boat to special spots in the Kawarthas and capture the light as the mood of the day shifts. It is about capturing the energy of the moment.

 Pamela Mayhew- Dappling June

Dappling June 36" x 48" Oil on Board

Do you have any phrases or words written in your studio? What are they and why are they there?

I have two series of words posted in my studio. One is for me as person this year. They are “compassion, kind and considerate.”

The other is about my practice. This year they are “pause, reflect and breathe”. As I can now be in my studio full time I want to be more reflective about what I am doing. Taking time to breathe in the moment I am capturing. Again as I am working with a closer eye, I realize that what I am doing is capturing a moment. Not all the moments.  This is what excites me.

 Edge of the Forest blog

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