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Pamela Kay's Still Lifes at The Catto Gallery

04/04/2008, By

Reader Rating: 2.9 from 1790 votes

The Catto Gallery is hosting a solo exhibition of recent paintings by Pamela Kay, one of British foremost still-life artists from 27th April until 11th May. There will be a collection of 50 of Pamela's most recent works in both oil and watercolour, including her renowned floral still-life studies, together with her atmospheric observations of Venice, Florence and the great English garden at Sissinghurst Castle. Prices start at £750. This is an ideal opportunity to see the breadth of work of this talented artist and either add to or begin your own collection of her work.

Pamela Kay combines an artist’s eye with the knowledge of an expert plantswoman, ensuring each of her still-life works are the perfect combination of colour, light and draftsmanship. Making her a worthy heir to the work of Redouté and the Dutch Old Masters. Her work has been exhibited at The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition from 1959, is represented in many international collections and is regularly exhibited in the USA.

Kay follows the tradition of the Old Master still-life artists in wanting to create the perfect illusion. In compositions such as ‘Cherries and a Pink’, or ‘Still Life with Pies’, Kay appropriates various elements from the Old Masters, recreating their settings of luscious fruit and meats, porcelain, glass and silver, showing the virtuosity of the artist’s handling of these elements in a contemporary composition.

Her interior still-life studies have great atmosphere, particularly with ‘Studio Interior with Lilies’, where the garden is brought into the interior and with ‘The Dessert Table, Winter Evening’, the viewer gets the impression that someone could walk back into the composition at any moment.

Kay’s love of the colours and forms of the garden are there for all to see, particularly in her studies of ‘The Kitchen Garden’, where the aged brick path tones the brilliant reds of the flowers in with the various greens of the vegetables and box hedging. And in her composition of ‘The White Garden at Sissinghurst Castle’, where the viewer’s eye is drawn back through the pergolas to the rear of the garden, and the artist pays tribute to another great English gardener, Vita Sackville-West.

Pamela Kay’s mastery of the watercolour technique allows her to perfectly recreate the misty haze of a Venetian morning in ‘San Giorgio Maggiore’, the milling throng waiting, ‘By the Vegetable Barge, Venice’, and the oppressive heat above ‘The Last Church, Lipos, Greece.’

Pamela works in watercolour and oils and occasionally in pastels. Her subject matter ranges from still-life, floral studies, interiors and gardens to watercolours carried out on her travels. She has worked in Hong Kong, Thailand, Vietnam, India, Sri Lanka, The Yemen, the Middle and Far East, including Syria, Israel, and the Lebanon. Other travels have included North Africa, Egypt, Turkey and the Mediterranean, Greece, Spain and Italy – and the Baltic States as well as Russia.

She began he career as a fabric designer with much success; however she found this too constraining and moved into watercolour still-life. She was amazed to find that people were queuing up for her work, others were not. The greatest mentor in her life was the great British artist John Ward, who offered her the chance to work with him in his studio. Pamela feels she learned more from him than in the whole seven years she spent at art school.

Her work has never stood still. Having honed her style in watercolours, she then undertook to paint in oils and has become the foremost still-life painter of her genre in both media. She is her own most severe critic and worries about every detail of her paintings: for Pamela the craft of painting and the importance of drawing is paramount. It is her cherished of beautiful objects and her gardener’s eye for getting the colours of the flowers and plants jus right that she reaffirms our life of beauty.

Pamela Kay has regularly exhibited work at The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition since 1959, and exhibits at the annual exhibitions of The Royal Watercolour Society and both the RBA and NEAC. She is also a regularly illustrator in books by Heinemann, Cassells and Penguin, on art and gardens, and has produced a book on how paint in gouache.

Mrs Gillian Catto, owner and curator of The Catto Gallery, said, ‘I have long been a collector of Pamela Kay’s work, even before she begun exhibiting her work at the gallery. We are sure collectors will be drawn to Pamela’s lightness of touch and her mastery of composition in this exhibition of her most recent works.’

27th April to 12th May
The Catto Gallery
100 Heath Street
London NW3 1DP
+44 (0)20 7435 6660
Monday to Saturday 10 am to 6 pm
Sunday 2.30 pm to 6 pm

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Re: Pamela Kay's Still Lifes at The Catto Gallery

By Tina 04/05/2008, (Rating: 2.8 from 1417 votes)

Very good article, love her work. She's a very inspiring artist.

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Re: Pamela Kay's Still Lifes at The Catto Gallery

By Tina 04/05/2008, (Rating: 2.8 from 1466 votes)

Very good article, love her work. She's a very inspiring artist. It would be worth the visit to see her work.

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