From her early beginnings as a UCLA microbiology major, Pamela Smith Hudson made a dramatic change into the field of the arts and is now an accomplished art instructor, art materials expert and master printmaker.
Pamela Smith Hudson
Pamela Smith Hudson is a Los Angeles-based mixed media artist who began her career as a graphic design artist and abstract printmaker. Before she began exhibiting her fine art in 2016, Smith Hudson worked for 15 years in the art material industry as an art educator and consultant for some of the most innovative art material manufacturers across the world. She is represented by Chimento Contemporary.
Smith Hudson grew up in Los Angeles, in a family that revered music. Learning to play musical instruments was required for Smith Hudson and her siblings, and jazz music provided the soundtrack to their lives growing up. Now she says she loves everything from Monk to funk to punk and shares her passion for music with her husband and their sons. She credits the art, poetry, punk scene of Los Angeles of the ‘80s as major creative inspiration. (One of her pieces is named for the band X’s “Los Angeles,” another for jazz musician Eric Dolphy.)
The UCLA graduate didn’t pick up a paintbrush until college, after she switched her major from biology to anthropology and became drawn to the visual arts. Her vision was cultivated by exploring different cultures and artistic disciplines at UCLA’s Department of World Arts and Culture -- dancing with Judy Mitoma, learning about art history and jazz, and interning at the Cultural History Museum (now called the Fowler Museum), where her interest in photography and graphic design was sparked.
A post-college trip to Europe exposed her to influential artists at Germany’s Documenta exhibition. When she returned home to the U.S., she took a job at a design firm, then started a graphic design business with her husband, Brian Hudson. While taking a painting class at Santa Monica College, a teacher suggested she go into printmaking and referred her to train with Daniel Freeman of Freeman Editions, a previous master printer at LA’s Gemini G.E.L. After Freeman encouraged her to focus on the work of Jasper Johns, Pam studied the art of encaustic painting with hot wax. She continued her training with another master printer, John Greco, while continuing to take painting classes. She met artist Laddie John Dill when she began teaching at the Otis College of Art and Design, and credits him with helping her bring her printmaking and painting together.
Pam’s creative process is intuitive and spontaneous and her work focuses on organic abstractions that reflect rhythm and movement. Nature serves as a big inspiration for her recent body of work, which incorporates both earth tones and vibrant colors and a sense of magnification and topography. She applies a variety of techniques to her work, such as printmaking, encaustic painting, and mixed media drawing.
She has exhibited her works at the South Bay Contemporary’s SoLA Gallery, West Los Angeles College, and the Manhattan Beach Art Center.
In addition to Otis, Smith Hudson teaches painting and mixed media courses at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) and leads workshops throughout Southern California. Smith Hudson lives and works in Culver City, California.
My work combines printmaking, layers of paint, wax, and collage to build textured surfaces on panels, canvas, and paper. I rely on the physical process to create my abstract landscapes and topographical works, where each layer is constructed, then deconstructed. Manipulating the materials with spontaneous and intuitive interactions and methods helps me explore limits. While it may be hidden, the energy of each layer is present within the work.