Behind the impeccable execution of Pamela Pindell’s artwork is a tender heart. Models often become friends, and even dishes and fruit become dear to her. “I tend to fall in love with my models, whether it’s an apple or a person,” Pindell says. She wants her viewers to see this heart, too. If a painting looks too perfect to her, she may go back and smudge a little spot. “I would rather see an imperfect painting that has passion than a perfect painting,” she says.
Pindell’s traditional style is based on classical techniques touched with impressionistic colors and light. The combination of pristine detailing and heartfelt emotion renders artworks of sensual power.
Her still lifes and portraits start with a “lean wash,” going from lean to fat layers of paint, such as in the painting, Boston. She also works alla prima, painting one layer quickly;French Pot, an alla prima still life of ripe grapefruit, is luscious and rich. Her subject matter is transitioning. “I got to a point where I really wanted to paint just people, flowers, fruit, living things,” she says. “I don’t feel that I can improve on nature; nature is so beautiful.”
Pindell’s training is an artist’s dream of classical studies and solo travel. After graduating from Syracuse University, she studied at the Tyler School of Art in Rome. She then lived in France, traveling across Europe to see impressionist art. That is where, she says, “quite a love of classical art and drawing started growing.” Rembrandt’s paintings opened her to the excitement of shadow and light. “I’m absolutely mesmerized by chiaroscuro,” she says. Her mentor, Sidney Willis, introduced her to the Boston School style.
Now a resident of Boston’s Back Bay, Pindell lived on Nantucket for 28 years, where, she says, she “fell in love with the prismatic air.” She visits frequently, to see her daughter and grandchildren, good friends, and the island galleries that represent her work.
Pindell is feeling a change in the air, the exciting sense of venturing into the unknown. “The older I get, the more I want thick luscious paint and mystery going on,” she says, then pauses. “It’s something about essence.”