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1. How long have you been drawing/painting/taking pictures?
In 2002, I started private drawing lessons in Monterey with a couple of friends.
Since that time, I have expanded from graphite portraits and still life drawings
to watercolor, pastel, charcoal, acrylic, mixed media and photography. I am
currently taking classes at Cosumnes River Community College and slowly
working toward my BFA.

2.
You work with many different mediums- photography, watercolor, graphite.
Which is your favorite to use or does it depend upon the project?

I think my favorite medium is watercolor. I love the way the transparency of the
medium and the texture of the paper come together to create a visual dance for
the viewer. I love the challenge of creating depth through the use of layers and
contrast. I also love to do architectural landscape photography with the goal of
creating an intimate interaction between the image and the viewer. When I
shoot my photography, I actually compose each shot with the thought of
eventually painting it in either watercolor or pastel. In my world, one medium
usually has an impact on another and I learn something with each new
experience.

3.
Who are some of your favorite artists? Who/what inspires and influences
your art?

I feel that the artists that inspire me the most are those with whom I share ideas
and painting experiences. My painting partners help me get out of my comfort
zone and challenge me to try new things. Beyond that, my favorite “celebrity”
artist has to be Wayne Theibaud. I love his vibrant use of color and texture and
how he makes ordinary items and settings into extraordinary visual images.

4.
On your website, many of the photographs and pastel paintings are from
Europe. How long did you spend there and where did you travel?

I traveled in Italy for about six weeks in the fall of 2005. We spent four days in
Venice, one day in Verona, and about a month in a 200-year-old farmhouse in
Tuscany near the town of Cortona. From our Cortona “home,” we took day trips
to many of the ancient walled cities throughout the area, including Assisi,
Siena, Citta di Castella, and Perugia. One of my favorite destinations was
Florence, where we visited the Uffizi and Academia Museums and the beautiful
duomos and cathedrals throughout the city. There is nothing more
breathtaking than to stand in front of the works of such masters as Botticelli,
DaVinci, and Michelangelo and realize their hands actually created these
magnificent pieces. We then made our way to Rome via the train, where we
spent our last four days. The highlight of our Rome stay was a visit to the
Vatican to view the “Pieta” and the Bernini alter, and the Borghese Gallery,
where we viewed the incredible sculptures of Bernini.

5.
Living in northern California, home to some of the best natural and human-
made scenery in the world, how does that factor into your art?

Having been born and raised in Woodland, CA I have a great appreciation for
our area’s agricultural heritage. It is my hope that I can eventually capture
through both photography and watercolor images of the diminishing farmlands
and historic buildings in and around Woodland before they are gone forever.
While northern California boasts such spectacular attractions as Yosemite, the
Sierras, and its scenic coastlands, I prefer the intimacy of a smaller, more
personal perspective. To me, the dark-soiled furrow of a newly planted field is
just as spectacular as Half Dome and, for me, is much more relevant.

6.
You also have your own graphic design company. Was that a natural
progression from being an artist?

Actually, for me, becoming an artist is more a natural progression from being a
graphic designer. After working for 35 years in a variety of administrative and
technical positions, I realized a large part of my soul was dying. Because I had
the opportunity to work as a production coordinator in the advertising
department of a large retail chain in Los Angeles, I learned the nuts and bolts of
catalog production. That experience combined with ten years as an
Administrative Analyst for the City of Monterey’s Finance Department, gave me
the background I needed to quite my job in 1995 and start my graphic design
firm. After a year of sleepless nights and abject terror, I began to realize I was
going to survive. After a couple years of building my business and enjoying a
level of success, I could relax and stretch my creative wings. I began taking
private drawing lessons, which led to graphite portraiture and, finally,
watercolors, pastels, and photography. One experience simply built upon
another. Now, I want to try it all!

7.
Anything else you would like to say?

Surviving in this tough old world is such a solitary and draining experience. It is
only through artistic expression that we can reconnect with our deepest sense
of who we are, with others, and with our Creator. Art makes us healthy and
whole. Art makes us one.

Thank you for the opportunity to share my thoughts and experiences with you
and your readers!
Interview with Patricia Deese
February 21, 2008

This interview was done through email. Answers and
questions have only been edited for spelling, grammar, etc...
No content has been changed.
*Patricia Deese lives in Elk Grove, CA.
For more, check out her
website.