Pamela Stewart —An Invitation to Escape and Breathe - theHumm March 2024

Pamela Stewart —An Invitation to Escape and Breathe - theHumm March 2024

By Sally Hansen

Art… and Soul

theHumm’s mandate is to connect and promote Ottawa Valley people and events, and that is why abstract mixed media artist Pamela Stewart is qualified to be our featured artist this month. The website of this Kanata-based artist at proudly proclaims that she is Co-Owner/Gallerist of the new Carleton Place Gallery located at 210 Bridge Street.

Carleton Place Gallery

In 2023 Pam partnered with two other Valley artists (featured previously in theHumm — Ginny Fobert, Oct. 2020, and Colleen Gray, Aug. 2020), and with the huge support of husbands, friends and sponsors, the trio has conceived and created an already flourishing community arts hub.

This invigorating addition to the Valley’s art scene is fast making its presence known, with a full roster of exhibitions and events that span the arts. A quick click on discloses the multiple offerings of local and regional fine art, studio and space rental, a plethora of fascinating workshops and a wide-ranging offering of events as varied as the Art House Music Series and the March Break photo camps for teens. And thanks to a partnership with artist and entrepreneur Patrick John Mills, the Carleton Place Gallery is a satellite store for Renfrew’s Art Factory, offering great prices on art supplies for beginners to fine artists.

Doing What Comes Naturally

Many of us escape into a good book or movie when we feel overwhelmed by the constant barrage of warnings about the state of our planet and what we humans are and should be doing about it. Not Pamela Stewart. She heads into her home studio and immerses herself in the creation of abstract mixed media paintings that celebrate the textures and shapes and colours surrounding us in the natural world. She says she has never quite experienced the world at face value, seeing a tree as a tree, or a lake as a lake; instead, she sees the texture of bark and the veins of leaves in an intense, macro way — almost like swimming, immersed in your senses.

Stewart’s paintings are stunning and evocative. Their titles are apt: Unearthed, Bubbling to the Surface, Force of Nature, Forest Bath… Her wellbeing is inextricably attached to nature, and her abstract art is the intuitive expression of that connection. In her own words, “Responding to the stunning array of textures, forms, colours, as well as sounds and smells, I have always reacted in a visceral way to my world, seeing objects and reacting to my senses abstractly and with intensity.”

She creates in an innovative and exuberant way, experimenting with modern materials such as art resin, synthetic paper, alcohol inks, glass paints and anything else that strikes her fancy. Her paintings are characterized by three-dimensional texture and visual depth. Their flowing organic movement and dynamic use of colour draw the viewer ever closer to examine each facet of her intuitive and spontaneous response to the wonders of the natural world.

Go With the Flow

Born in Moose Jaw to a military family, Pam lived in Germany and Winnipeg before embracing water sports in Edmonton, then going on to become “female athlete of the year” multiple times during high school in Labrador. Moving from Winnipeg to Ottawa after high school, she earned a degree in journalism at Carleton University, playing all four years on their varsity water polo team. She met her husband playing competitive volleyball at the age of thirty, and in her early fifties she is still playing in the competitive Ottawa league.

Water remains a major factor in her life, and her passion sparked strongly at the onset of the pandemic when she developed a love for long distance open-water swimming. She is an ice swimmer even now, in February in Ottawa, and she also loves to kayak and paddle on her stand-up paddleboard.

Pam is adventurous, and she really does go with the flow. After university she explored a variety of career possibilities, including an offer to relocate to the Ozarks of Arkansas to work as a copywriter. After she was denied a Green Card to work in the U.S., she spent most of her 20s working as an indie filmmaker, eventually becoming VP of the Independent Filmmakers Co-op of Ottawa. In her 30s she rewrote her job description and worked her way up to become the editor of award-winning Golf Business Canada magazine.

Swimming Upstream

Soon after giving birth to twins, Pam joined the Canadian Public Service. She was hired to leverage her early-adapter computer skills to provide guidance to several departments in modernizing their digital communications strategies and services. After several frustrating experiences where her well-received proposals were either left languishing, or her superiors claimed credit, she resigned.

Nine years ago, when the twins were four years old, she desperately needed a creative outlet. She signed up for an adult mixed media class and was introduced to textured modelling paste, gel media, art resin epoxy, alcohol inks, palette knives and more. As she puts it, “A whole new world of possibilities opened up!” Within six years Pam Stewart’s art was featured in Ottawa’s Luxe lifestyle magazine, showcasing her striking abstracts hanging in some of the region’s finest homes. She confidently offers a no-risk process for art commissions. As she states on her website, “If you aren’t completely thrilled with your original one-of-a-kind modern abstract work, no worries... you are NOT obligated to buy… To date, I haven’t had this happen.”

Pam also offers a variety of workshops for anyone interested in expanding their repertoire of media and techniques. She regularly offers a very accessible and fun class in painting with alcohol ink on synthetic paper, and registration is opening soon for her Textured Media Workshop to be offered over four Tuesday evenings in April at the CP Gallery. If you’re intrigued by exploring the exciting, intuitive, creative possibilities of orchestrating chemical reactions and interactions, and experiencing the thrill of going with the flow, consider signing up.

To discover opportunities to enjoy Pam’s energizing art, check out the back of her Artist Trading Card at the top of this page for her coordinates. Better yet, drop in at the Carleton Place Gallery and enjoy a soul-satisfying immersion in wonderful local and regional art.

Artist Trading Card

WHO Pamela Stewart

WHAT Abstract Mixed Media Artist, Co-Owner/Gallerist at Carleton Place Gallery

WHERE Carleton Place Gallery, ; ; @paminottawa on social media;

WHEN Until March 9, “I Am Beautiful” Show, The Art Factory, Renfrew; Month of March, Solo Show at Irene’s Pub, Ottawa; May 4 & 5, Arts Carleton Place Spring Juried Art Show, Carleton Place Arena

WHY “My art is my conscious catharsis in a complex world, and a way to be present and engage all my senses.”


Pamela Stewart —An Invitation to Escape and Breathe - theHumm March 2024

By Sally Hansen

Art… and Soul

theHumm’s mandate is to connect and promote Ottawa Valley people and events, and that is why abstract mixed media artist Pamela Stewart is qualified to be our featured artist this month. The website of this Kanata-based artist at proudly proclaims that she is Co-Owner/Gallerist of the new Carleton Place Gallery located at 210 Bridge Street.



The Canadian Library
Truth and Reconciliation Through Art
- theHumm March 2024

By Terri Clarke

Art is a powerful medium. It can represent loss, grief, healing and hope. It can teach and open conversations. One very powerful example of this is The Canadian Library, a Truth and Reconciliation project. Now in process across the country, this initiative consists of communities creating an art installation together as a memorial to the 8000 murdered and missing Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQTIA+ persons.

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Almonte Celtfest Ceilidh - theHumm March 2024

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The Ceilidh takes place on March 16 starting at 6:30pm at the Almonte Old Town Hall. Tickets......


The Bowes Brothers in Concert - theHumm March 2024

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The brothers have a special spot in their hearts for the Carleton Place and District Memorial Hospital, and this con......


Building theFuture of Perth
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Exciting New Book Releases
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- theHumm March 2024

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By — Rob Rainer is a founding member and the inaugural Chair of Lanark Basic Income Network. He is also the Reeve of Tay Valley Township, and in that capacity also sits on Lanark County Council.

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Art is in the Air!
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- theHumm March 2024

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Classic Troubadours Live - theHumm March 2024

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Award-winning singer-songwriter Jacob Moon brings you a dynamic ensemble of incredible singers and musicians paying homage to these four icons. Join them as they dig into the catalogues of some of the most influential artists of their lifetime, including hits like Fire and Rain, Running on Empty, Big Yellow Taxi, ......


Maple Weekend
Sweet Family Fun in Store for April 6 & 7
- theHumm March 2024

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Climb All the Mountains - theHumm March 2024

By Glenda Jones

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It explores the delicate relationship of two childhood friends as they ......


Soup for Thought(fullness)
Fill Your Bowls and Bellies at theMississippi Valley Textile Museum
- theHumm March 2024

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Pancake Breakfast at Union Hall
Reserve Your Spot for This Year’s Event!
- theHumm March 2024

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Diners will enjoy generous portions of pancakes, ham or sausages, baked beans and blueberries, with butter and maple syrup (courtesy of Fortune Farms), accompanied by fruit juice, tea and Equator coffee. Gluten-free option are available. Prices for large and regular portions are $12 and $10 respectively. Children five and under eat for free.

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Call for Participants
Crown and Pumpkin Studio Tour 2024
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By Glenda Jones

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Lots To Do in Mississippi Mills
March Break Movies & Skates and More
- theHumm March 2024

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There are various ways to decide things. One is to flip a coin. You flip the coin, but wait — don’t uncover it yet. If it’s heads, will you be disappointed? If it’s tails, will you stand by this arbitrary way of deciding? Can you live with your decision, or will you throw the quarter back in y......


I Feel Good, I Got My Leather Goods! - theHumm March 2024

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Secondhand Stories
(Im-peck-ably Told, but Somewhat Fowl)
- theHumm March 2024

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Congratulations, Mississippi Mills Library! - theHumm March 2024

This past February, Christine Row, CEO of Mississippi Mills Public Library (MMPL) received the 2024 W.J. Robertson Medallion for Public Librarian of the Year! With much excitement and thanks, Row accepted the medallion at the Public Library Awards Gala held in Toronto.

Awarded to a public librarian who demonstrates outstanding leadership, this provincial award recognizes and honours significant top contributions to the library profession. In her acceptance speech, Row described how libra......


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You may wonder why theHumm — an arts and entertainment publication — is running a story from Home Hospice North Lanark (HHNL). Well, on the masthead of theHumm it also says “…and Ideas.” That’s where we fit in. The “idea” we want to share is that everyone is entitled to a beautiful birth and a beautiful death. Yes, in most cases it can be beautiful.

The concept of hospice care was first championed by a woman named Cicely Saunders in the UK. She founded the first modern hospice and, more than anybody else, was responsible for establishing the discipline and the culture of palliati......


Hang On to Quilts — There’s a Story There - theHumm March 2024

By Sally Smith

What to do with that old quilt? It’s been in the upstairs trunk for years. Get rid of it? Hang on to it?

What’s the story behind it, anyway? Did Grandpa make it, or Mom? It was probably Mom…

For Olive Pheby Johnston, back in the day quilting was a necessity; the quilts she made kept her seven children warm throughout many cold Ontario winters.

But it was not just having babies and quilting that kept her vibrant and active into her old age (she lived from 1890 to 1971); during much of her ......