Action artist donates paintings to help non-profits
Artist Pam Dent has found a unique way to help the less fortunate in the Lehigh Valley.
Dent, who has been painting since 2009, donates her paintings to non-profit agencies to auction off as fundraisers.
She also gives some of her pieces to family and friends as gifts.
"My first painting that sold was of Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter," Dent said. "It sold at an art auction at The Baum School of Art in the spring."
Another one of her paintings "My Blue Rare Steak To Go" was recently donated to the Lehigh County Conference of Churches for auction at Asbury United Methodist Church, South Whitehall.
Dent describes herself as an action painter, not an abstract artist.
"I have to have a lot of action in my paintings," Dent said. "Each painting has a story.
"I love landscapes, food and people as subject matter.
Dent, who works with acrylics on 18-inch by 24-inch canvas, paints in her garage at her home.
She has completed about 40 paintings and jokes she would rather paint food than cook it.
"My motto is I would rather be painting," she said.
Her paintings will never look like photographs, as that is not her goal.
"My goal is to speak to my audience through color," Dent said. "I am passionate about color, lines and energy in my paintings."
The colors in many of her paintings were inspired by her travels to Sedona and Scottsdale, Arizona, and Turkey.
"I did a whole series of paintings based on Turkey," she said. "I was inspired by their culture and their colors.
"I try to do series of paintings when I paint."
Dent does not like to deal with boundaries when she paints.
"I am a rule breaker in painting," she said. "There are only two rules that I follow – underpainting and scumble."
Dent studied painting with Rosemary Geseck at The Baum School of Art, Allentown.
"In 1990, I purchased one of her paintings," Dent said. "She is my mentor and inspiration.
"I said that if I go anywhere to paint, I wanted to learn from Rosemary Geseck."
Passionate about painting, Dent feels the same about Impressionism.
Her favorite painters are Paul Cézanne, Berthe Morisot and Mary Cassatt.
Dent was asked how she first started painting.
"I was passionate about the arts growing up, theater being my first love," she explained. "I knew theater was not feasible to do with children, and my main goal was my family. I needed another creative outlet and painting was it."
When she is not painting, Dent spends her time with her family – daughter Kathryn, who attends college; son Will, a junior in high school; son Jack, a seventh-grader; dog, Yogi, cat, Tigger; a parakeet and rescue cockatiel; and her husband, Charlie, representative from the 15th Congressional District.
Dent, a graduate of Parkland High School, earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Muhlenberg College, Allentown, in 1987.