Pamela Griffith — Designer, Master Painter and Etcher

The October guest speaker was designer, master painter and etcher, Pamela Griffith.

Pamela started her talk by saying that she has great admiration for the beautiful works created by the membership. She believes that there is little encouragement for hand craft now-a-days and so it is great to see a group nurturing and promoting these sorts of activities.


Pamela explained that her mother is a ceramic artist and her husband a weaver, so she sought her own speciality. Pamela is a prolific artist and has been quite active in creating and designing art for many years. Most of us have seen or owned some of her work. One of her most widely used designs is an unlimited edition Waratah used on all drivers licenses in NSW. She has also created a gumleaf and spring flowers collection for Kleenex tissue boxes. She said that she finds it satisfying to know her work is owned by so many.
Pamela brought in three toiles that she has produced. The prints were made from etchings that created a seamless repetitive design. Two were created in 1988 for The Royal Australian Historical Society; one was a Macquarie Toile and the other a Bicentennial Toile. And the third was a Commemorative Toile created for the Trustees of the Sisters of St Joseph in 1992. She made a point that the white spaces in between the repetitive pattern were as important as the design. Pamela then showed us a video made about the preparation and production of her Gymea Lilly design. Firstly she painted the design in acrylics then produced an etching from it. Of the 20 prints she produced from the etching, 18 have sold.
Pamela spoke about how she approaches design, and gave us some guidelines on how to create an effective design. The elements of an effective design take into consideration; line, direction, shape, size, colour, tone and texture while also keeping in mind dominance, harmony, rhythm, balance and contrast. These guidelines can be applied to any type of design. Pamela ran us through two simple exercises using a pencil and paper to draw an effective design bearing in mind the above elements.
Pamela has published a book called Australia – an artist’s journey through the landscape. It covers 30 years of her artistic journey from the tip of Queensland to Tasmania and Lord Howe to Broome. The book has been given as a gift by the Australian government to several international heads of state, including the Queen of England. It is available from International Artist Publishing (ph 02 9419 6333) and it costs $69.95.

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