Chesapeake artist Pamela Hill is a self-taught artist who began painting a little over 7 years ago. With each painting, she realized she was working through her past, entering her present and eventually painting her future.
- The canvas for me has always been scary.
It reflects every insecurity that I have.
The fear of failure,
not being able to do it right.
All those feeling of inadequacy.
I have to face those demons every single time I paint.
The name of this piece is Sophia.
I named it Sophia because in Greek,
the word Sophia means wisdom.
And to me, wisdom is one of the most beautiful things
you can attain in this life.
Growing up, creativity basically came out,
you know, painting on furniture,
murals, trompe l'oeils.
I started doing a painting or two for myself,
because I couldn't afford a real antique painting.
Oh, you're dusty.
So I generally keep them pretty wrapped up.
Because of marriage, and then having children,
all of that got put on hold.
What got me start back was,
I had exhausted everything else
I think is basically what it came down to.
And I thought,
I need to paint.
I put the headdress of roses on her head
because I think that makes her beautiful.
The antlers is a lifetime of experience.
That first painting was fun.
I didn't have any expectations,
it was just simply an act of art.
The egg is significant of
how wisdom brings new ways to create,
look at things.
When it came to maybe the third or fourth painting,
things were coming out onto the canvas
that were relatively emotional.
It wasn't anything I could get away from
because it was right there in front of me.
Because of the symbols that I used,
the paintings, understandably, could have a very
scary, dark, moody appearance.
If I think it, or experience it,
it will end up on canvas.
I call the paintings a canvas journal.
The dark image began in the beginning of the painting,
because without making the decision myself
the work just became very therapeutic.
I work out questions that I have in my mind.
I don't seem to be able to paint anything
that doesn't come out of a look at life,
My baby sister died four years ago of lung cancer.
Because she and my aunt, both died of lung cancer
they advised that we all go get a CT scan,
and they saw a little nodule that,
there was like a 85% chance that I had cancer.
I ended up writing, and writing, and writing daily.
The feelings, the fears,
how I was dealing with the fears.
And then finally I came to peace with death,
and the fear went away.
Fortunately, I ended up cancer free,
but through all of this,
I was able to find a deeper appreciation
for the world around me,
and for that, I am truly grateful.
- [Customer] Hi, are you the artist?
- [Pamela] Yeah.
- Tell me about this one,
I really like it. - Oh thank you.
The title of this one is A Thicket Of Views,
and what I always do
is ask you what you see in it first.
- Well what I love about it is
that her mind is embraced with the leaves
and the branches.
When I first started doing art shows,
I felt like I was on display
because the paintings were so personal.
- And then this one.
- That's called The Medium,
that actually has a lot to do with the way that I paint.
Probably half the people that viewed the art at that time
would see something in it
that would trigger a childhood memory for themselves,
and more than once I would just sit and cry with people.
I call her The Medium because
she channel, like when--
- That's almost what I was seeing in that one too.
- Oh really? - Yeah.
- That's so cool.
That's when the art took a totally different turn for me,
I realized that people could be helped,
by what I was doing.
- [Customer] Do you have a card, do you have a card?
- [Pamela] I do, on the table, help yourself.
- [Customer] Okay, thank you.
- I'm waiting right now for my newest book to arrive,
in the mail.
Over the past four or five years
I've actually been writing as much as I was painting.
So then I decided to go ahead, and combine the two.
That was just a natural progression
of what was happening in my life.
I was able for the first time in forever
to hope, for a better and a brighter future,
and slowly finding out what real happiness is.
Oh I'm so excited.
The new book is really a combination of all these years
of being on this path.
This is the peak,
I mean what could possibly come next?
I don't know.
I hope that there's something in here
that took me years to work through and figure out,
that maybe can help people to think.
Form your own path.
Go your own way.
♪ You said ♪
♪ They don't need to know a thing ♪
♪ They don't need the truth ♪
♪ We can keep it buried for now ♪
♪ Keep it between me and you ♪
♪ Hey hey ♪