“Why this voice? Because to me it sings out dynamic emotion; deep experimentation; and breaking free of artificial composition.”- the artist
Q: What led you to become an abstract artist?
A: A show came to the Denver Museum of Art entitled “Women of Abstract Expressionism.” I went to see that show twice while it was in Denver, for several hours each time – I drank in the work of these artists and began a deep exploration of abstract painting – especially abstract expressionism. Why this voice? Because to me it sings out dynamic emotion; deep experimentation; and breaking free of artificial composition.
Q: Where have you studied and how long have you been an artist?
A: I have a lifelong love of deep psychology, research and creativity. I succeeded in academic research at the University of Michigan and then in corporate business in Chicago. My love of visual expression took me into independent film-making and I wrote screenplays, directed and produced short films that exhibited in juried film festivals in the US, Canada and Australia.
When I came to Santa Fe for a month in May of 2012 and came across Intuitive Painting with Julie Claire – I transitioned from film-making to art and began an intensive exploration of acrylic painting. I took courses in drawing principles and life form drawing. One year I worked my way through a tall stack of abstract art workbooks doing every exercise and practicing each technique offered – some focusing on composition, some on color theory, some on acrylic media and techniques. I also began in-person and online courses and workshops with established painters/teachers including Jill King, Nancy Reyner, Julie Catron, Krista Harris, Charlotte Foust, Anna Patricia Keller, Nancy Hillis and most recently, Lauren Mantecon
Q: Where do you derive your inspiration from?
A: I’m strongly influenced by PLACE.
In my 20’s, I had a life-changing sojourn in Japan. While there, I experienced the ability of the Japanese people to make space in their minds even in the midst of crowded, noisy surroundings. I’ve worked to cultivate that feeling in myself. Additionally, and more recently, my daily experience of the land, skies and weather patterns in the high desert of Santa Fe – being so expansive and ever-changing – inspire me to be bold and free.
Over the past two years and currently, I’ve been working on multiple pieces relating to my Japan experience, including “Rhythms.” This body of work was inspired by a manuscript from the early 20th century (later published in English in 1965) entitled “Forms in Japan.” The manuscript, compiled by Japanese scholars, identified and classified original Japanese forms that were human made or cultivated - such as tatami mats, present wrappings, house design, rice fields. They documented these forms in order to save them from being lost or diluted due to modernization and strong western influences. The category that grabbed me most was “forms of unity.” The language used to describe these functional forms of union included tangling, binding, knotting, collecting, and stacking among others. These terms described my own experience of human relationships – being (and wanting to be) connected and at the same time being (and not wanting to be) tangled, bound, or part of a stack. Just about every abstract painting of mine tells this story: Stay connected and squeeze through the tangles and knots to find space and room to breathe.
Q: We were very impressed with your Best in Show piece, titled Rhythms. Tell us more about this piece.
“Rhythms” is painted on paper that has the texture of canvas. It is mounted on cradled panel with painted sides. The finished piece measures 24” (tall) by 36” (wide).
I began this painting by squeezing a stream of liquid acrylic medium in a pattern of crisscrossing lines. After the medium dried clear and hard, I used a squeegee to drag Payne’s Gray liquid paint across the raised lines, providing a loose structure for the piece. The additional color palette was two secondary colors – transparent greens and purples/violets and their mixture, which were applied variously by brushing, scraping, dripping, splashing, blending and lifting. Some veiling was done using both transparent and opaque whites. Then gazing into the painting, I saw drum-like shapes in the lower area which I decided to bring out by outlining lightly in graphite – and thus the name – “Rhythms.” The cool colors and the purposeful leaving of white/light showing through provides an airy, calm feel.
Q: What do you hope for viewers to take away from your work?
A: I imagine viewers of my work to be engaged, curious, intelligent, seeking, passionate people and I hope that when they look into my painting, they feel a sense of space and renewal.
Q: How do you view your art career in five years?
A: In five years, I imagine myself to have found my most authentic voice and to be deeply exploring and expressing it. I envision having connected with my audience in the US and abroad via galleries, open studios, social media or other venues. I will be selling my work – which will enable me to continue my art journey and I’ll be as passionate about it then as I am now.
About the artist:
Pat Pecorella earned a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Michigan. She operated an independent film company in Chicago with her films being accepted into juried film festivals across the US, and in Canada and Australia. After relocating to Santa Fe, she transitioned from film-making to art. She currently paints full time in her Santa Fe studio.
As an emerging abstract artist, Pat has exhibited in juried shows in New Mexico, San Francisco and Chicago and is soon to be printed in several juried magazines such as "Studio Visit." She also shows in the Santa Fe and Eldorado Studio Tours.
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