Watercolor and Pastel Artists at CHAW
Exotic isn’t quite the right word to describe art that Pam Rogers creates. Unique isn’t either. Unusual—nope. Extraordinary—nah. Those adjectives are certainly accurate descriptions, but none is really THE right word. I hope I can think of it before I hit “publish” at the end of this blog post.
Pam is the 2017 artist in residence at CHAW— the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop. In her residency proposal she had said she would use “natural materials sourced from local plants.” She also wrote that she would create objects from “bound plants.” Huh? Now, I belong to the Capitol Hill Garden Club and all, but I had never really heard of bound plants.
But after a few of us in the Wednesday Studio traipsed down to the CHAW gallery to see Pam at work, I found out what a bound plant is. Check these out:
Yeah. A bound plant is a plant that’s tied up. Of course!
An interesting note that is in some way related to that mummy-type work shown above—Pam mentioned that when she was in her 20s she was in a body cast for seven months. And that yellow fishing fly on the right? That’s an homage to her grandfather, the fisherman. She says she uses her art to explore her own experience and develop ideas. For example, she says that she is naturally meticulous but is learning to let go through her art.
In addition to using plants themselves in sculptures, Pam uses plants, soils, and minerals to make her own inks and dyes. A few plant sources I heard her mention are saffron, tea, moss, and lichens. And when I stopped by during a demo one evening, I saw her grind up lily leaves.
The two works below are a couple of Pam’s two-dimensional creations.
AND, about midway through this post I did think of the right word for Pam’s work:
She will be in residence until April 15 at CHAW, 545 7th Street, SE, in Washington, DC. She is there between 9:30 and 3, most days during the week, and she will be happy to talk with you about what she is doing. I forgot to mention—in addition to being an amazing artist she is very nice, open, and a good explainer.