Creative Professional Artistry

City Scene Fabric Painting resized

Pam Collins, an artist from Staples, Minnesota, works primarily in three divergent media: watercolor, fabric/fibers, and mosaics. Inspired by nature, Pam creates art that gives each piece an exclusive beauty and vibrancy.

Pam’s watercolor technique evolved from following traditional watercolor techniques to an unconventional method. She mostly paints directly from the tube, with little water, to create a deep rich coloring. She even uses white paint which is frowned upon in the world of watercolor.

“[I am] enamored with the way watercolor moves and changes when put on paper. The colors are so deliciously rich. I will never tire of painting with them. My work is mostly representational and this medium is extremely conducive to my favorite subject – water.”

Pam’s mosaic work is rich in texture and color often utilizing recycled items such as broken dishes, recycled tiles, and other tesserae. Pam has created a wide-variety of mosaic art including landscapes, florals, and interpretive subjects. She also mosaics practical items such as table tops, backsplashes, and furniture.

“I take objects that are broken, chipped, often discarded, and useless to others and create something beautiful. Life is not always beautiful, but taking these discarded, broken pieces and giving them a new purpose is a cathartic process. It allows me to prove to myself that life can be made beautiful from rough edges, shards, and destruction.”

Fabric Painting is a newer technique Pam developed over the years. Her process uses old discarded clothing, draperies, linens, and other malleable fibers. The fabrics are cut or torn, arranged, and glued to a stretched canvas (also made from old curtains or draperies) to create landscapes and waterscapes. The manipulation of the materials brings a 3-D texture and movement to the overall composition.

"The process itself is quite simple; however, looking at fabric as paint takes some imagination. How do you take a soft, supple textile and make it look like a mountain cliff or ocean? Or even clouds? This art form is limited only by our imaginations."

Classes

Pam offers classes in mosaic, fabric painting, and watercolors. She has worked with both children and adults in a variety of settings. Her classes are filled with encouragement and the true belief that all can gain from expressing themselves through art.

"I believe all humans have a need to be creative, and that art is made to examine our emotions and responses to the world we live in. Most adults do not allow themselves much, if any, creative time in their busy lives. So few people believe they have any creativity within themselves, judging their abilities before even trying. Whenever I have an opportunity to help someone discover his or her creative side, I understand a bit more of the purpose for my life. I am deeply gratified when a student discovers they are indeed creative and are able to smile and be proud of what they have done.

Upcoming Classes

City Scene Fabric Painting (2)

Fabric is Paint

Join Pam in Chicago on December 3rd at Lillstreet Art Center! Let your imagination play while learning a fun, new art technique. To learn more or sign up for the class, please visit Lillstreet's website

About

Pam Headshot with Birch Trees

Pam Collins

Pam Collins is a mostly self-taught artist, who works in watercolors, mosaics, and fabric (not simultaneously). She has studied under nationally known artists in pursuit of her favorite mediums.  Collins has lead numerous watercolor, fabric and mosaic workshops in her studio, at area art centers and school districts.  Pam loves to share her passion with others and is inspirational in her work.

She has received grants from Five Wings Arts Council, funded by the McKnight Foundation, to further her education and grow with new experimentation.

“Being an artist is a continual learning and growing part of my life. My art is my response and commentary of life around me. Each experience and interaction allows me to think of ways to incorporate it into my work. My reactions to what I see and experience dictate what kind of art I produce. When painting, my style is generally impressionistic. My work is often large, with bright, intense colors. When working in mosaics, subject matter varies greatly, and the medium allows for an abstract outcome. My fabric painting is also representational and I often work in large dimensions.”

Other creative accomplishments:

Pam has served at various Central MN schools as Artist in Residence teaching in all three medias. Other classes developed as her love of Mosaic and Fiber Paint blossomed. Pam has led classes for a wide variety of students always sharing her passion for art and personal expression. 

Pam currently resides and creates art in Staples, MN. 

Reviews

I have taken three classes with Pam, two in mosaic and one fabric painting. It is evident that Pam loves what she does and believes in the inner artist in all of her students. She is passionate, energetic and affirming, and, she is able to communicate her processes in understandable steps. I consider myself to be "not very visual" and yet since taking her classes I have made many art pieces. Some of them I've sold!

Laura Hansen

I participated in a mosaic class with Pam.I made a house address plaque, love it, still! Pam was amazingly patient and so helpful with design elements. I am a person who needs to be prodded and coddled; she did so with humor and encouragement. 

I also participated in a mini barn quilt class, Pam was one of the instructors. I left with a finished mini barn quilt. Best money I spent on crafting in forever!  Pam helped with color and technique. I always feel supported and encouraged by her presence. 

Penny Olsen

She is so talented and such a good teacher. She makes something that seems like it will be so hard just delightful. I've loved everything I've made. She's just a bundle of happiness and encouragement! I would sign up for any classes she teaches.

Lynnel Anderson

Pam's art is alive with color and texture. It brings me joy to see it on my wall each day. I see new things each time I see it in a different light. 

Sara Dregney