Tag Archives: painting

Award-Winning Short Story — 1 page — and art

THE DRESS

by Phoebe Sparrow Wagner (formerly Pamela Spiro Wagner)

I will never forget The Dress. Worn only once, with three quarter-length sleeves cuffed in white, and a demure white collar, it had two layers of navy blue crepe skirting, with a dropped waist and a sash. This was the first “dressy” dress I ever picked out all on my own.
The first thing about The Dress was that it was not the pale pink tent that I had worn to my first mixer with Sheffield Academy, which I was convinced scared away my freckled red-haired date, not that I minded much, once I saw him dance. The second thing about The Dress was the look in the eyes of the boy at the Gunnery, where my second mixer was held. This boy was matched with me strictly by height. I don’t know why, but something clicked with us, and the first thing he said to me, to my huge relief, was, “I hate dancing, don’t you? Let’s take a walk.” With that, we linked arms and spent the evening strolling arm in arm around his campus.

To say that nothing happened would seem almost hilarious these days, except that nothing did, besides our shared and passionate discussion of Plato and the books we’d read and other schoolish stuff. By the time the bells rang to call everyone back to the buses, I knew, because after all, I was a teenage girl who had read books, what might happen. I also knew, because I was an avid fan of the advice columnist Ann Landers, that no self-respecting young girl allowed a kiss on her first date. We had been walking arms around each other’s waist all evening; I liked him, it was equally clear that he liked me. It was inevitable what would happen next. But I was a good girl. What to do?

I tried to say good-bye, smiling sadly and keeping the distance that would protect me. My adoring young man nevertheless leaned in to kiss me. Turning my cheek, I rebuffed him. I did not mean to hurt his feelings, but I knew that Ann Landers was watching me and would be happy my virginity was safe. As I climbed onto the bus with a heavy heart, I looked back and waved but my date was nowhere to be seen. I took my seat, feelings mixed about whether the rebuff had truly been a success.

Then someone behind me spoke. “Good for you, Pammy, not kissing the black boy!”

What? I looked at her. My classmate was smiling grimly. “You didn’t kiss that -–“ and she used the terrible word I had never heard anyone say to my face.

In that moment, I knew that if I could have, I would have raced off the bus and grabbed that young man and kissed him full on the lips, and to hell with Ann Landers and her crappy advice.

But it was too late to change anything. Too late to let him know why I had not kissed him, too late to kiss him in spite of my classmates and too late to spite Ann Landers and my proper upbringing. Too late, too late, too late. I never wore that dress again.

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This short account, all too true, won first place at Vermont’s Counterpoint’s annual writing contest in 2015. You can see it and the other first place winner at

Click to access Counterpoint_Summer_2015.pdf

Below is my very first painting done in about 2009 or 2010 when I was first starting to do art. I called it First Love, and now you know why.

First painting ever

Nail Polish Faces on Eye Glasses Cases – Wow!

Original art by pamela spiro wagner
Male face with horn rimmed glasses painted entirely with nail polish on eye glasses case by pamwagg

Male nail polish face on eye glasses case, with sterling silver eye glasses embedded in the nail polish by pamwagg

Back of the Frida Kahlo eye glasses case below, a detail from the original self portrait with thorn necklace

Frida kahlos eyes on this eye glasses case painted with nail polish
Frida Kahlo Eyeglasses painted entirely with nail polish by pamwagg

Portrait of Little Boy – A study

IMG_2847This is the finished portrait  STUDY of my friend Mott’s grandson Dylan (the final portrait will be in oils but this one is a study done in my note book in acrylics, with the background still a bit wet):

Dylan Mott at Age 3

New Art and a Poem by Hafiz

Portrait of Mott

I left my fingers holding this uncropped so you could get an idea of just how small the portrait really is. Watercolors and caran d’ache luminance pencils. 

The following poem is by sufi muslim poet Hafiz, and it just blows me away:

“Light will someday split you open

Even if your life is now a cage,

For a divine seed, the crown of destiny,

Is hidden and sown on an ancient, fertile plain

You hold the title to…

Love will surely bust you wide open

Into an unfettered, blooming new galaxy

Even if your mind is now

A spoiled mule.

A life-giving radiance will come,

The Friend’s gratuity will come

O look again within yourself,

For I know you were once the elegant host

To all the marvels in creation.

From a sacred crevice in your body

A bow rises each night

And shoots your soul into God.

Behold the Beautiful Drunk Singing One

From the lunar vantage point of love.

He is conducting the affairs

Of the whole universe

While throwing wild parties

In a tree house – on a limb

In your heart.”

-Hafiz

New Book Launch Announcement!

LEARNING TO SEE IN THREE DIMENSIONS, BOOK LAUNCH INFO: JUNE 2. ARTWALK FRIDAY evening in Brattleboro Vermont. 6-7pm at the Hooker Dunham Theatre and Gallery. Or call the gallery for a privately arranged tour. Or contact pam for further information and a tour of the gallery. Any group of disabled individuals or those who cannot make it to the gallery for the show (it is not not not “accessible”) _ i will provide a reading/ talk and books for sale to any group who can get me there  to speak to them, providing  transportation to make it possible for me to meet with them. All entirely free of charge. 

 

New Art from Pamwagg: Upcycled Shoe Polish Tin

This miniature scene from Tuscany was painted on an up-cycled shoe polish tin, with acrylics, and metallic paints. The tin was also lined with velvet cut from a cast off dress I had been saving to use for such things. c 2.5 ” in diameter. (I have really crappy brushes that splay out all the time and with stray hairs, so it is hard to get any details correctly but one of these days I will have the luxury of decent brushes and then watch out!!!)

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Rutland PICU art

These are the latest fractured portraits and artpieces i have done at Rutland Regional Medical Center’s PICU. The portraits are not meant to be recognizably anyone, unless of course,  they are. The set of small oil pastels were just experiments. The last picture is a gouache painting, about 22″ by 36″. The others are about half that size and in colored pencil.

 

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