Pattie’s high school art teacher was a rare combination of gifted artist and gifted teacher. He captured the attention of her class of rowdy high schoolers and transformed them into artists by training their eyes and immersing them in the elements of design. In those days, Pattie was most interested in the freedom and flow of watercolors. After obtaining an undergraduate degree in Sociology from the University of Maryland, Pattie married her high school sweetheart who whisked her away on a 24 year journey as an Air Force pilot’s spouse and mother of two daughters. During this time, she never lost interest in art, but used her resourcefulness to raise their children and create a home wherever their family landed.
Pattie returned to painting by experimenting with oils and acrylics but she did not experience the joy of putting her heart into her work while painting with these mediums. As a result of her first experience with the new medium of alcohol ink, she knew she had found her artistic home. Using alcohol inks, Pattie discovered many parallels to her formation years in watercolor and her joy in painting and her creative flow followed. Like watercolors, Pattie was delighted to discover the layering effect of the alcohol inks and the unexpected results of using quick drying isopropyl alcohol as a solvent. She was also thrilled with the intensity of color of the inks. Instead of paint brushes, Pattie uses cotton balls, cotton swabs, spray bottles of alcohol and plastic drinking straws to help her intuitively discover the subject of her work. Just like an ink blot test or seeing images in cloud formations, Pattie lets the painting tell her what it would like to be and then Pattie helps the painting along to completion. Because of the intuitive nature of her work, she never knows what she will end up with before she begins and is herself often amazed by the results!
Pattie was the “People’s Choice” award winner at the 2016 Art at the River Juried Art Show in Yorktown, Virginia. Like many artists, Pattie experiences her artistic gift as something that comes “through” her. Her objective is to create a painting that commands attention, brings joy, and encourages the viewer’s eyes to travel through the work contemplatively.