Old Masters Inspire Muralist's Canvases



Almost the first thing one notices about Pam Palmer's home are the large oil paintings.

They add color and dimension to the walls.

She painted most of them.

"A lot of people have told me, ‘Oh, I can't paint,'" Palmer said. "But if you had lessons you could do it. I think anybody can paint with lessons. I really do."

Palmer took her fist oil painting class in the early 1980s at junior colleges in the Valley and also had private lessons with professionals, and then in the Rim Country she studied with Joy Layson and Roberta Cook.

"It was so expensive to buy art and I wanted to put paintings on the wall," Palmer said.

The four-by-six-foot canvases attest to the fact that bigger paintings have a bigger emotional impact for Palmer.

"A long time ago I liked Western art. Now I love European art; the ‘old masters,' especially Cezanne and his calm landscapes.

"I have books of the old masters and I look then get excited about painting my own interpretation of their work," she said.

A couple of years ago, she and her husband, John, toured Europe and Pam realized her dream.

"I had to see the Louvre," she said. "It was simply beautiful!"

The couple toured many historic museums, galleries and architecturally ornate cathedrals.

They have recently moved into a new home and Palmer can hardly waiting to get her studio finished, (her husband thought the kitchen was important to build first) so she can get out her brushes and begin a new painting or cover an existing one that no longer excites her.


This Grand Canyon painting is Palmer's favorite oil she has created, so far.

Palmer likes to keep her oil paintings for herself and her family, but murals are another matter entirely.

There is the 18-by-20-foot mural of Burano, Italy at the Payson Athletic Club she painted in 2005 and the tri-panel mural in her church, Ponderosa Baptist.

"I like to keep busy, Palmer said. "I don't like to stay home with nothing to do."

Painting a mural takes a different kind of paint and a different technique than painting with oils on canvas.

She mixed 99 percent water-based interior house paint, to make certain the murals would last, with one percent oil, to achieve the color she desired.

"After painting the murals, it is much harder to go back to blending the oils," she said.

But, Palmer will manage.

Her new home studio is calling.


Name: Pam Palmer

Medium: Murals and oil paintings

Advice to beginning artists:The best advice I have is to find a good teacher and also read about painting.

Why Payson? We had a cabin and moved here 16 years ago when my husband retired early.

Upcoming project: We moved two weeks ago, so I need to get my studio in order. Then, I want to organize the photographs I took in the museums and cathedrals in England, France, Switzerland and Germany and decide what new canvases I want to paint.

Hobbies: Quilting and cooking.


Movie: "The Passion of the Christ" and "King of Kings"

Book genre: Historical

Author: Margaret George

Music: Classical. "I play music when I cook, paint or quilt. Usually it is loud," she said.

Sports: Exercising, boating, fishing.

Points of contact: Pam Palmer, (928) 472-7734

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