Pamela Copeland - Painter of Pastels in Southern Alberta
Pam has a passion for pastels. While her love of art has always been near at hand, she credits a large part of her development as an artist to Ron Wigglesworth, an instructor at the University of Alberta, Extension Faculty. Ron truly introduced Pam to the lush world of pastels in 2000 and he would also become a friend and mentor to her. Under his guidance, Pam discovered that she loved the tactile and sensual nature of pastels. They are the primary medium Pam works in and she feels in tune with their direct application and the rich pigment. "It is as if the color flows directly down through my arm and out my fingertips, as though it were coming right from me. It is entrancing and I am lured again and again to delve into that intense world."
Mixed media and monoprints are also part of of Pam's repetoire, again, introduced by Ron Wigglesworth. Her first completed show, "Voice", is a series of intimate moments in the lives of women, captured in ink monoprints and words. "While I have only dabbled in the world of printmaking, my experiences have been more than enough to whet my appetite for further experimentation. The possibility for further abstract creativity is a dynamic draw for me, and pushing my own limits just seems logical with printmaking and mixed media."
A proud Albertan and Canadian, Pam lives with her husband, Bob, and youngest daughter, Kaylyn, on 160 acres near Claresholm, Alberta. Oldest son Kyle, and grown daughter, Kelsey, also live in Alberta with their partners and families.
After 25 years in the woods and foothills around Edson and Hinton, she is happy to have the chance to explore the entirely different landscape of southern Alberta. An animal lover by nature, she and her family are the caretakers of 9 horses, 1 dog and 6 cats (notwithstanding the occasional feral cat that comes by for a bite). She is thrilled to be able to live in a rural area with room to move, breathe and create!
The following are some musings about a drive I took to Calgary recently. My surroundings affect me on a very emotional level most of the time, and sometimes the effect is quite visceral...
"I am driving along the foothills with the rigid outline of the southern Alberta Rockies looming just behind. It is dusk - that magical time between day and night. I have been driving for a while now, through valleys and over bluffs and I can no longer suppress the urge to stop. I pull over onto a rural gravel road and shut off the car.
Standing in the grass in an open field, I can feel the evening breeze curl and caress my cheek. The sensation is cool and delicately sensual. The far off sound of vehicle engines gives way to the melodic chitter of crickets in nearby rocks and the taffeta rustlings of grass teased by the wind. Adding to this soft symphony of sounds, not far away, a couple of coyotes yowl greetings to the emerging stars and the muffled flap of wings of a passing owl draws my eyes upward to follow her flight path. Overhead, the last peach-gold rays of sun lick the underbelly of clouds that unfurl across the horizon like angel wings.
I close my eyes and inhale the sweet earthy scents of loam and cut hay. I AM connected. I AM part of. At no other time do I feel so much an extension of this land as I do right now. My heart sings and my soul drinks in the on-coming night. I feel the soft thrumming life-pulse of the earth beneath my feet and it resonates up through my entire being, falling into sync with the one in my veins. I am the earth and the earth is me. I am humbled. I am grateful. I am at peace."