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Interview: Pamela Sexton
September 6, 2005
1. How long have you been a resident in Siskiyou County?
What brought you here?
We retired and moved up here from Santa Clara County.
2. Can you give a short explanation of your specialty or your artistic medium?
My specialty is painting with oils on canvas. Painting people, pets, places and the beautiful landscapes of Siskiyou County. It is so beautiful here that I just paint what I see. I never paint anything negative or ugly, only beautiful things.
3. How long have you been making art (professionally and unprofessionally)?
I sold my first oil painting when I was fifteen years old; so, I have been painting over 30 years.
4. How have you learned your art? Have you had any formal art education? If so, where, when and for how long?
I have mostly learned just by being curious. I started off drawing and sketching, and then I got curious about paint. I found that oils are the most easily controlled medium for me, and I love the vibrant colors. I took art courses in high school and college. After that I just learned from painting what I see. I paint how God made it and don't try to change it around.
5. Have you had any special mentors that have influenced you and your style?
Yes, my great-grandmother, Nellie Violet Scheinert. She was a very well known painter in her time. The paintings that I still have of hers are inspiring me all the time. But by living in Siskiyou County, I am often inspired by beautiful scenery, and just get a tremendous urge to grab a paintbrush.
6. Can you talk a little about your experience as an artist in Siskiyou County? (In other words, what is unique about being an artist in this area?) (Pros and Cons) (economic, cultural, physical/geographic)
Being an artist here is wonderful. While I was living in San Jose, I had to put my art aside for a career with a consistent income. Upon moving here, I started painting again because the countryside is just so breathtaking I couldn't help but to paint. I will never run out of things to paint; while I am working on one painting, I have several more in my head just waiting.
7. If you had to describe your style in a few words how would you do this? First 5 words that come to mind?…
I try to paint the scenery here realistically, a window upon northern California.
8. What is it about making art and the creative process that you find most interesting or are most passionate about?
I love color and mixing color. I am passionate about the beautiful world around me and try to capture in my paintings what I see; I want to keep the beauty with me always by painting it with oils on canvas.
9. Is there any way you would like to see your county arts organization better assist you?
They do so much already, and it's just lack of funding that holds them back from even more projects.
10. Because of current trends in funding for art programs, all SAC involvement is done through volunteers. Is there anything that the SAC is doing that interests you, and that you would like to help us with in the future? Some options: art walk volunteer, teaching program, becoming a member…
I would do some volunteering; it would depend on the project and the timing.