Sunday, March 31, 2013

A Portrait of Patricia

The day I met Patricia for this interview, she picked me up in an extended cab pickup truck, useful for transporting easels and her canvases.  I thought it represented her well.  Coming from Texas, I’ve always found women that drive trucks to be resilient, confident, and exuding natural beauty.  I couldn’t help but notice the flecks of green and white paint under her nails.  She had been hard at work all morning.  As we drove along the canal heading to her studio, I was eager with anticipation to see just where her mind and paintbrushes create visual scenes of everyday life out of a blank canvas.   In addition to creating original paintings, this is also where Patricia produces prints of her original work.  She knows all too well how the economy has affected the pocket books of her clients.  In an effort to keep up with market realities, in addition to prints on canvas of her original paintings, she is now able to produce magnets and postcards with the equipment she has in her studio (I recently noticed Patricia’s postcards in the Eurostar gift shop in Brussels).  It amazed me to think this woman; along with her husband does all of this, out of her home based studio.

Even on a dull Belgian day, her artist den was washed in light.  There were two kittens curled up outside of her window oddly resembling a Yin-Yang sign.  They looked peaceful and at home, just as their owner did.  Her art easel held a scene she had been painting the morning I had arrived.  She loves the architecture of Brussels.  It’s in the small details within her paintings that we begin to see the rest of the pictures story.  Patricia explained to me that after she finishes painting the architectural elements, she begins to work on creating little scenes. This particular painting had an ice cream truck with frolicking children prancing around, happily anticipating their cold treat.  In the background, the side of a building was painted with a scene from a famous Belgian comic strip. There was also a cafĂ© where a man leisurely read his paper, while another diner sips coffee under an awning.   Patricia loves creating these touches of whimsy in her art.  Each creation is unique and offers the viewer a peek inside a city most only know as tourist.  Having lived in Brussels for over 18 years, Patricia shares her love of the city through a palette of colors.  You won’t find a dreary portrait of this city she now calls home.  Every artwork is an extension of her intimate feelings for Brussels.  Through her work you will find joy, beauty, and most likely happy figures taking it all in, just as she has for 18 years.

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