| Personal: Pam Pahl
was born and educated in England, majoring in Art. She lives with her cat "Tsuki" in a
150 year old home that she and her husband restored in historic St. Augustine in the mid-1990s.
Currently, Pam is exhibiting her work in the Aviles Gallery located on one of St. Augustine's oldest streets, Aviles Street.
In Maine, Pam is a featured artist in the Art Of The Sea Gallery, South Thomaston, ME.
She is also a Signature Member of the American Society of Marine Artists (ASMA) and Florida Watercolor Society (FWS) as well as being an official US Coast Guard Artist.
Influences/mentors: Pam has been inspired by the works of many artists throughout her life. She has worked in many media over the years, including oils and sculpture.
For many years she watched
her mother-in-law painting watercolors, and finally switched to that medium
A Passion for Water Becomes a Profession
Pam Pahl's love of waterfront subjects developed naturally after the purchase of a small Viking sailboat when she was just 21. Because the boat had no engine, it had to be sailed directly into the dock. Her love of sailing ignited and soon she began raceboat crewing, making trips to the Bahamas and throughout the Caribbean. She even worked as a crew member on a 56-foot Sparkman & Stephens ketch on a trans-Atlantic voyage via Bermuda and the Azores to Gibraltar.
Although born and educated in England, Pam is a longtime resident and citizen of the United States who makes her home in St. Augustine, Florida. Her intense attraction to the sea led her to a longtime career in the management end of the marine industry. In 1991 she represented world-renowned German naval architect, Gerhard Gilgenast, running his U.S. office.
There she learned about yacht design, working with boatyards and interior designers. She also sketched as needed. Gerhard's unexpected death and her discouragement with the marine business, Pam and her husband decided to make a complete change.
They decided to live aboard a 50-foot boat but soon discovered it to be impractical. While "floating around," Pam discovered watercolors. She had found her artistic medium and sailed into learning everything she could about it.
With her talent, knowledge, and enthusiasm she began doing commissioned paintings of yachts for people she knew in the marine industry. Her career as a full time artist was christened many years ago as several galleries began selling her work in St. Augustine. She exhibits at shows in the north Florida and southern Georgia areas.
Her work is not only sought after by collectors, but she has also donated paintings to major charities such as the Habitat For Humanity and The American Lung Association. She has the distinction of being an official U.S. Coast Guard artist and is a "Signature" artist member of the American Society Of Marine Artists (ASMA).
While the spectrum of Pam Pahl's work is relatively narrow, centering primarily on boats and buildings, you will feel a vibrancy that sails from her paintings. Her palette consists of only a few colors, 6-8 normally, but they are mixed and combined to produce an abundance of color ranges.
Boats are not stationary objects so Pam must find appropriate subjects and photograph them when she has the opportunity. Using photographs she will often use a dozen different ones combined to create a final piece. Normally tonal or value sketches are used to find the best way to present the subject.
Once the feel of the piece is right, a short color sketch is sometimes done prior to drawing the actual subject. With boats especially, the proportions and lines of the vessel must be drawn precisely before the more enjoyable part of painting can begin. Pam's watercolor style requires a mixture of dry brush and wet washes to achieve the effect she desires.
The ocean sections of her paintings often require half a dozen different washes to achieve the lustrous depth of her creations. The washes help give movement and activity to her work. The fine lines of her masts and riggings frequently require mask-out to avoid interference with the dynamic skies present in her paintings. Vivid color splashes animate and serve as bright appealing contrasts to the blue depths stirring in her lapping seas.
Her work is pleasantly serene but also possesses a riveting
dramatic quality. They can seem peacefully safe at rest yet ready to sail
into action when called. Pam Pahl's paintings are satisfying and offer
a buoyant refreshing similarity to ocean spray on warm skin.