When I was a young girl I was called Pat, and like the bull, Ferdinand in Robert McCloskey’s classic book, (although he was under the branches and I was amongst them), my favorite haunt was high in the branches of a backyard apple tree, happily observing the peaceful things around me.
Now I go by Patricia, and I am a creative, self-employed pen and ink artist and teacher. I draw and splash paint about obsessively and find joy in trying to record everyday moments in fresh and original ways.
In elementary school a jumble of shapes, colors, and pattern, all clamored for my attention, distracting me from the drone of explanations coming from the front of the room. Atlases full of cheerful maps, vibrant illustrations in readers and the weekly art lesson helped me endure the days. Like many artists, doodling all over my notebooks helped me concentrate.
Today I delight in playing with lines and shapes, observing results, experimenting and generally mucking about with watercolors and ink. Although I work hard at listening, I find my attention shifting part way through a conversation, noticing how the light is reflecting off the face of the person I am chatting with and how the negative space around the ear is gently curved and I am thinking, “Mm, that is so interesting.”
There is no right way or wrong way when playing, just discovery and learning what does and does not create an interesting and fresh image. A playful approach to creating art keeps me curious and wondering, helps me focus and concentrate, relieves stress and boredom, delights my soul, and motivates me to continue to create daily. It silences the inner critic because, what the heck, I’m just playing!
For better or worse, I generally create pages in my illustrated journals without drawing with pencil first. I love the freshness of a black ink line on white paper, the spontaneity of it, and the sense of liveliness that occurs in an illustration by a touch of a pen. I am happy if I create a picture that connects to the heart or when an image with mood and personality materializes. I teach illustrated journal classes, helping others capture, through drawing and writing, some of what brings gladness, color, beauty, and laughter into their lives.
Other About Me Stuff…
After two years of fine art studies at university, I switched to a career in education, receiving a Bachelor of Education degree specializing in Art Education. I completed as many studio art and design courses as possible during that time and have continued to hone my skills through books, workshops and programs.
As well as teaching kindergarten, and visual arts to all grades for 20 years, I have completed both web and print design certification programs.