In the last 20 years, the Los Angeles-based artist has painted more than 2500 guitars including axes used by 1980s rock luminaries like Wang Chung and Great White as well as Michael Jackson axe wizard Jennifer Batten.
She especially enjoys working with Batten because, “it’s great to see your work during the Super Bowl Halftime Show.”
She’s even painted a Harley Davidson-themed guitar for country bad boy Travis Tritt and John Mayer owns one of her Jimi Hendrix-themed Stratocasters.
Her latest projects include a recreation of the “Captain Fantastic” album cover for Elton John guitarist Davey Johnstone and a guitar featuring 1950s pin-up Bettie Page that Page actually autographed herself.
Pamelina approaches a guitar body the same way she might approach a canvas but admits she has to know in advance whether the instrument is intended to be displayed on a stand or in the musician’s hands.
Pamelina’s work as a “guitartist” started 20 years ago when her then-boyfriend asked her to paint his white guitar with black and red abstract shapes. She is no longer seeing him but hopes he still has the guitar since it’s probably appreciated in value since then.
Each painting adds between $2000 and $4000 to the value of the guitar and, so far, the bulk of Pamelina’s work has been done with the Fender company.
She says she figured working with one company would add to the prestige value. Plus, “it was important to have a relationship with a company that has a family atmosphere.”
Now, she is considering working less exclusively and is in talks with Gibson, Yamaha and Ibanez to paint their guitars as well.
But her ideal customer would be the Los Angeles Lakers. Pamelina is a huge basketball fan and would love to paint guitars featuring Laker legends like Kobe Bryant, Jerry West and Magic Johnson.
But not Shaquille O’Neal. Not yet anyway.
“I still feel bad about him leaving. It’s like a bad break up.”
Check out www.Pamelina.com
to see some of her guitars and other types of art.
– DAVID MOYE