Sepia Series

About the Series

2007 - 2008 In The Sepia Series I explore the balance between nature and human intervention. The more you look at these landscapes, the more you may see mystical passages into the unknown. I use an original stain technique on specially-crafted raw linen to create subtle layers that allow void spaces in which the fabric’s texture is visible. Out of abstract compositions built from washes of acrylic paint, a variety of water mediums and glosses, and sometimes ink, images emerge. The limited palette of white, black, brown and other earth tones contrasts with garish distractions of daily life and is intended to invite contemplation. I welcome the emotional impact of a lone icon – a bridge, a telephone pole, an airplane, power lines, train tracks – in a rhythmic space, and the tension between an image held still and the promise of a tale beyond the borders of the painting.

Seekers Series

About the Series

2009-2010 The Seekers Series are ethereal scrolls that reflect ancient Asian paintings through contemporary sensibilities. Raw linen, freed from its stretchers, is allowed to ripple with its textures. Using charcoal and water media in a limited palette, mountain-scapes are punctuated by subtle figures and geometries to suggest order amidst wilderness, an underlying balance in the universe. This series is influenced by her respect for Zen artists of the first millennium who believed in using their instincts more than their brush and for whom paintings were poetry.

Life of Water

About the Series

2011 The Life of Water series of paintings explores the vital energy within water. Interpreted through partially abstracted imagery of waves, waterfalls, splashes, storms, sailboats braving wild seas, and rivers breaking through dry land, these paintings evoke both generative and destructive power. The works on raw linen allow the natural texture to interplay with paints and inks; other works are on wood, where the tough surface contrasts with fluid mediums.

Life of Fire

About the Series

2012 The Life of Fire, celebrates the creative force that explodes from the most destructive element with images that reach beyond the surface. Experimental textures range from 3-dimensional layers of canvas to thin plastics and transparencies. Working with the spirit of transformation, painting fire led to transforming the painting mediums themselves.

Life of Air

About the Series

2013 The Life of Air: Paintings on Silk experiments with transparencies and materials that transcend the form, where the motion of air flows through abstracted imagery. Silk panels receive the inks and water-based mediums in different ways from canvas or other cloths, allowing colors to seep through multiple layers. This technique creates dimensionality that is at once fragile and deep.

The Long Thread

About the Series

2014 While I was making this series, a baby was born in my family, and a friend was dying. I hadn’t planned a cycle of life theme, but as the pieces evolved, the show became a metaphor. The underlying meanings were unconscious at first, then intentional as I searched for titles. I had been experimenting with painting on raw silk for a couple of years. In 2013, The Life of Air paintings that were partly transparent were exhibited in plexiglass because of their delicacy. But in 2014 I became interested in contrasting silk with the rougher textures of string, twine and rope. These new pieces evolved to wall hangings that boldly exhale into large spaces. In all my series, my admiration for ancient Asian art has been apparent. Here, the materials themselves – inks and water-based media on silk and rice paper – carry forward an aesthetic, as does the scroll-like way of hanging. But this show goes beyond materials to a philosophical sense: the eternal continuity expressed in the cycle of birth and death and birth.


About the Series

2015 The 2015 Galaxies series explores human interactions with the universe in works on watercolor and rice paper. Far from the mixed media abstractions of the past several years that used earthy textures and probed earthly elements, in this series, figures engage with images from NASA’s Hubble Telescope, inspired by the 25th anniversary of the telescope’s launch. Paintings using watercolor, pencil, pastel and acrylic combine with real photos of outer space; and graceful figures (even a playful Buddha) create tangible connections with the stars. Galaxies is not meant to be solely a meditation on celestial life — people can relate to what these figures are doing. The images can be interpreted as fun, but they are also intended as provocative, as subtle comments on humanity’s desire to make our connection to the universe more immediate and understandable.


About the Series

Pam Douglas’ newest exhibition, “Rhythms” began in a doctor’s office where she lay hooked up to an electrocardiogram – an EKG machine. As she watched the lines form on the scrolling paper, Douglas was fascinated with the cadences, the peaks and rests that described her heart. Those series of rhythms inspired this newest series of paintings. As Douglas explored, she asked, “What’s happening in the world that makes the heart clench?” She thought about the fear and hostility in our current political and social landscapes. Those anxieties bred mixed-media works using newspaper headlines intertwined with the EKG lines. She also asked, “What helps the heart release?” The answer led to a monochromatic landscape constructed from an EKG that flat-lines into light. Douglas’ palette of materials increased as these layers of meaning called for tougher mediums – rope, string, sand, as well as newsprint and paint. Representational elements – hands and birds – joined with abstractions. Exploring this series further, Douglas’ subjects extended far beyond heartbeats. Waves of sound make similar rhythms, as do phases of nature. From heartbeats to sound waves, our lives are measured in pulses of energy. We sense universal tempos in the timing of our days.


About the Series

In SIGHT new paintings and mixed media works by Pam Douglas use transparencies and reflections to reveal multi-layered perspectives on our times.
SIGHT evokes the courage to see what is happening. Douglas says she has enjoyed the metaphysical realms of vision in past works, and a few works in this show continue her interest in the circle as an embrace of “oneness.” But amidst current national challenges, she felt these times call for boldness. That led her to images of women crying out in darkness, and oil wells sending black ink from an ocean up the lifeline of a tree, and the unflinching gaze of a woman inside a round sawblade, and the line from Thoreau beneath another work: “The question is not what you look at but what you see.”
Art critic Shana Nys Dambrot wrote: "Pam Douglas is steeped in the magical way assemblage creates meaning. But she also excels at using paint, light, and line to create thematic compositional elements of powerful abstract narratives. Motifs of landscape, stylized abstraction and portraiture, and elemental forces of earth, water, and air are depicted and embodied using plexiglass, rope, machine parts, and newsprint, as well as rich colors and mirrored surfaces. The works in SIGHT share material interests with her previous bodies of work, but for this series she has chosen those elements with increased specificity because their message has intensified as a response to society’s troubles.  SIGHT evokes ideas about perspective and perception, truth and spectacle, evidence and witness, and includes both physical and metaphysical sensory experiences.”
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