While this week’s cover by Pam Vossen is a still life—“Complementing the Complements”—we couldn’t say it represents the artist’s signature subject matter.
Vossen’s repertoire includes many diverse and interesting kinds of images, including wild animals, people on a beach, plein air landscapes and, of course, still lifes. This diversity of subject lends itself to some common elements. Take, for example, another of Vossen’s works, which depicts figures of a mother and daughter relaxing on the beach or one of three men sitting on a bench. The setting may be different—and so are the ages of the people—but there’s a similar engagement and involvement.
In another piece, a lion is looking straight ahead, seemingly at us. However, we don’t feel afraid, even though the animal seems authentic. We wonder what he’s thinking. Why? Because he has a real personality. It’s curious to note that not all of Vossen’s images have something in common. Her subjects often suggest contradictory dynamics: the lion is static while her beach figures are involved in a physical activity.
Where did you learn to do landscape?
I belong to the Plein Air Wednesday Group, but I started with landscape, taking lessons up island in Jericho. One of my teachers was Howard Rose.
How about your waves? Where do they come from?
I live in Amagansett, in a beach house, one and one-half blocks from the ocean. I like to watch the people on the beach, too.
How about your still lifes? The objects are so lovely. How do you select your items?
Whatever strikes me, an object’s composition and/or color. I do remember my mother collected bone China cups, and I did a series using them.
Your still lifes that I have seen are traditional: fruit, glass, copper. What are your furnishings like in your house? Are they traditional, too?
The style is traditional and modern. We renovated the house four years ago.
Besides varied subjects, you also have used different kinds of media.
I started out at the Huntington Fine Arts Workshop learning pastel. Then I graduated to oils 10 years ago.
You engage in different activities, too.
Yes. I like cooking and setting tables. Also, I like to exercise, do yoga, biking, hiking, kayaking. And platform tennis.
Are you sure you didn’t major in physical education?
I majored in English and was an editorial assistant.
What’s the similarity for you between writing and painting?
They both stimulate creativity. It’s something you have to do.
Did your children take after you in any way?
My daughter, Krista, is a computer graphic designer, and my son, Chad, is a filmmaker.
I’d say they did inherit something from you. Is your husband creative?
He can build anything.
What will you be doing in five years?
The same thing, but more of it. I want to keep moving and doing.
Contact Pam Vossen at email@example.com. The artist will be in a group show by the Plein Air Wednesday Group at East Hampton’s Ashawagh Hall (780 Fireplace Road). Call 631-267-6554 for information.