Ordinary images of everyday life cause Beaufort Art Association’s featured artist Patricia Walsh to grab her brush, oils and canvas and start painting.Simple reflections on wet sand, backlit sunlight highlighting a person crossing the street, children playing at the beach . . . all fill her with immense delight.
Patricia recalls that from her earliest memories, she was fascinated by viewing human beings as they lived their mysterious lives. Her desire to tell these imagined stories in visual form led her to Boston University’s School of Fine Arts in the early 1970’s. Following completion of a B.F.A. in painting, she remained involved in creative pursuits working as a designer and commercial artist until she began a career in law enforcement. Patricia’s challenging work in the prison system affected her deeply, especially as she interacted with people who had lived vastly different lives than her own. The years she spent as a gang investigator encouraged her to return to painting. “I became increasingly interested in the human impulse to communicate using visual imagery and symbols by studying gang graffiti in the urban environment,” admits Patricia. She was drawn more and more intensely to produce her own artwork in her own voice, and was able to retire in 2007 to become a full time artist. “Capturing moments of time and place by using the interactions of people with their environments remains the central area of my exploration,” maintains Patricia, “however I have become increasingly consumed by the painting process itself.” The narrative quality of her work becomes entangled with more abstract themes of pattern, mark-making and the manipulation of oil paints.
In 2012 Patricia moved from urban New England to the South Carolina Lowcountry and currently resides on St. Helena Island. Though remaining interested in urban life and its scenes of contemporary life and culture, Patricia confesses she is living more “in sand” than “on pavement” these days.
The exhibit of Patricia Walsh’s art opens on Monday September 15th and continues through October 25, 2014. An opening reception will take place on Friday, Sept 19 from 5:30 – 8:30. The public is invited to attend.