As a fourth grader in art class at Fairview Elementary School in Sherman, Pamela Brown knew that art would one day be important to her. Looking around the room and seeing other talented artists, Brown began practicing drawing.
With the help of art supplies purchased by her mother, Brown began a lifelong pursuit to better herself through her art.
“There were some very gifted students in my class and I wished to follow in their footsteps,” she said in an email interview. “So I began practicing every chance I had. My mother noticed my interest, bought me supplies and encouraged me. Soon after, we moved to another school district which didn’t have an art program.”
That did not stop her though. Brown’s mother enrolled her in some after school classes at an area youth center and the Girls Club in Sherman.
“When they didn’t offer the classes any longer, she bought me books,” Brown said about her mother’s desire to keep her daughter involved in artistic expression. “I believe I learned as much from the books as I did the classes. During my high school years, I entered the Loy Lake Livestock Show Art Competition, winning a blue ribbon my senior year for a portrait done in pencil of a friend.”
For many years, Brown limited her art to simple pencil drawings.
“After I began working at Dillingham Intermediate School, I was doing inclusion with some students and taking them to art class,” she said. “The fifth grade art teacher, Alice Beall introduced me to colored pencils and taught me, as well as the class, to draw with colored pencil, which I enjoyed immensely. After seeing my work, my husband’s aunt, Jean Brown, who was an accomplished local artist, encouraged me to try oil painting, which I eventually did.”
Then she began taking lessons from local artist Pat Pierce.
“I have done some still life, landscapes, and a portrait in oil, in a realistic style,” she said. “I’ve also done some nonrepresentational abstract pieces. I now enjoy oil painting and pencil drawing most often, and colored pencil from time to time. I enjoy looking at and studying the work of the masters, particularly Claude Monet, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Vincent Van Gogh, and Georgia O’Keefe.”
Just like when she was in the fourth grade, Brown is inspired by the beauty around her.
“Sometimes in a sunrise, or the bloom of a flower, but most often on the faces of the people around me,” she said. “I often will think for weeks of how I will do my next piece before beginning, Then, map it out on canvas before beginning to paint. A painting is finished when I feel comfortable with the way it looks. Sometimes I still go back and touch it up a bit after signing. Art and the appreciation of art enriches our lives in many ways. It helps us to see what is possible and gives us the courage to make it so.”
Brown’s work can be seen at the ongoing exhibit currently on display at the Sherman Public Library.