This exhibit of Pam Smilow’s work features a selection of mixed media paintings and prints on paper and canvas. Smilow draws from her large collection of paper, vintage books, fabric, childhood drawings and such as a way of adding texture, depth and storytelling to her work.
Pam Smilow’s work is exhibited in galleries and placed in private and corporate collections throughout the United States and internationally. Smilow’s love for art extends to architecture and interior design. She often works with interior designers and home owners to help them choose the right piece of art for their space. Bringing art into a home or corporate space is a personal experience and different works of art will transform the space.
“People might agonize over all the particular design elements that comprise a room: what to put on the floor, window treatments, what couch to buy, etc., but in the end, the art has the loudest voice in the room”
Comments on Selected Work
Mixed Media, 18” x 26.5”
Pam Smilow grew up in Usonia—a Frank Lloyd Wright founded community an hour outside of New York City. These dress pieces, like much of Pam’s art, is inspired by very wonderful childhood memories. In this case, playing with paper dolls.
Mixed media collage on 19th Century botanical prints, 17” x 21”
The base of these pieces come from a 19th century Austrian botanical book. Pam fell in love with this book which she found in a second hand shop in Copenhagen and decided to create a series of prints from it. She then took these botanical drawings one step further by embellishing and “contemporarizing” them—adding collage and drawings to create a more modern and whimsical look.
Mixed media on canvas, 88” x 53”
Pam Smilow often works in series, seeing each canvas not only as a finished product but as a step along the way. The Yellow Spruce series is one she particularly likes and returns to time and again.
For these mixed media pieces on canvas, she uses all kinds of fabrics and paper, incorporating bits of nature books, childhood drawings, billboards, pieces of children’s dictionaries and encylopedias. The use of her large collection of scraps of paper, vintage children’s books, fabric and such stem from her belief that different textures add to the quality of a painting.
Mixed media on ledger paper, 22” x 30”
Pam Smilow’s husband, Gert Mathiesen, got his formal training in ceramics and in the early years Pam spent a lot of time painting inside Gert’s ceramic studio. She was inspired and has used the ceramic vessel as part of her vocabulary for many years, always in search of the perfect form. These particular Vessel Series pieces are superimposed on a ledger paper from a general store in Texas from the year 1929.
Tree of Life Series
Mixed media on paper, 22” x 60”
Trees have always been one of the central subject matter of Pam‘s work—producing paintings of them in many different ways. The Tree of Life is one of her signature series. Again using collage elements, they are often playful and embellished with whimsical bits from her paper collection.
These pieces can be framed behind glass but she prefers to have them mounted to canvas so they end up looking like a stretched canvas on wooden stretchers. They also can be customized. You can commission a tree using memorabilia from their family (i.e., old letters, favorite bits of fabric/clothing, special drawings, etc.) in the collaged areas of the painting.
Little Red Schoolhouse
Mixed media on canvas, 66” x 60”
Pam Smilow loved going to school and still remembers all her teachers, especially her first grade one, Mrs. Ticknor. As a child, one doesn’t distinguish between drawing and writing—both involve putting marks on the page. Little Red Schoolhouse is an ode vivid memories of learning how to write.
Deconstructed Series Red
Mixed media on paper, 17” x 21”
In these pieces, Pam has deconstructed her paintings and in a very straightforward manner, shared the elements of her art and vocabulary in isolated simplicity.
Bachelor of Arts, University of Michigan
Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Aix-en-Provence, France
2016 Hammond Museum, North Salem, New York
2016 Galleri Liisberg, Hundested, Denmark