About Pam Adkins
“When I moved to rural Baltimore County, I felt like I had died and gone to heaven. The rolling hills, big skys, rivers, and forests that I see every day has given me an endless supply of imagery.”
Pam grew up in Baltimore County, Maryland. As a child, she was enchanted by the outdoors. To her, the woods behind her home held a mysterious, supernatural power. Pam found a way to get to know the natural world on a deeper level. She made her first landscape painting in oil in High School. Once she painted in oil, she was hooked. Painting was magical to her, although it did not come easily. She was more comfortable expressing her ideas through drawing and printmaking.
Pam earned her BFA in drawing from the Maryland Institute, College of Art and her MFA in painting from The City University Of New York, Queens College. After graduating, Pam returned to Maryland, where she worked as an Assistant Art Conservator and taught evening classes at Catonsville Community College. Pam loved teaching, but wanted to teach a younger age level so she returned to school at The College of Notre Dame of Maryland. She earned her teaching certification and has taught art to elementary aged children for Baltimore County Public schools for the past 22 years. She relates to the joy and sense of wonder that she sees from her young students.
As a young student herself, Pam remembers taking a field trip to The National Gallery of Art. She was mesmerized by a series of paintings, “The Voyage of Life”, by the romantic painter, Thomas Cole. Now, these paintings look a bit sentimental to her, but Pam remains a romantic and an idealist at heart. Van Gogh, Turner, Rothko, and Friedrich are just a few of the romantic artists who have influenced her. Botanical art has had an impact, as well as Jim Dine’s drawings of plants and flowers. Pam also admires the work of The Barbizon School of painters, a group of 19th century French artists who were among the first to paint outside, directly observing nature.
Pam’s artwork is also created from observation. Through determination she has gotten a better understanding of how to manipulate paint. Pam has developed a technique of composing her images by creating a detailed tonal under drawing and then layering color over top. Although she paints realistically, she composes by separating out the abstract elements from what she is examining. She sometimes inserts architectural elements into her compositions when she feels they need more of a geometric structure.
Working with drawing media, watercolor, printmaking and oil, Pam brings out the beauty of the natural world that she sees around her. For the past 16 years, Pam has lived in rural northern Baltimore County, where she is surrounded by the Maryland landscape. There, she has raised 2 children with her husband of 25 years, who is an artist himself. She works from a a studio in a converted barn behind her home.