We recently connected with Valerie Patterson and have shared our conversation below.
Valerie, appreciate you joining us today. Did you always know you wanted to pursue a creative or artistic career? When did you first know?
Because I was an excruciatingly shy child, I spent much time alone thinking, dreaming and watching people. Although I always enjoyed making art at home, around the kitchen table with my Mom, my road to becoming a serious artist had some bumps. One teacher I had during Elementary School Art nearly destroyed my interest in art as she often screamed and seldom taught. Fortunately, I had an art teacher in Junior High that encouraged me. As I was unable to communicate effectively face-to-face, I quickly realized that the visual arts gave me a voice. Soon I became proficient at pencil drawn portraits of famous people, eventually becoming known as “the class artist”. After High School, I attended the State University Of New York At Potsdam, earning degrees in both Art (with a concentration in painting) and Education. Upon graduation, I began a, more than 30 year, career as a Visual Arts Teacher/Educator – all the while spending most of my other time painting and listening to my inner voice. Gradually, as I strove to create images that were meaningful to me personally, I began to focus on socially and politically themed work. From the reactions of others to this new work, I immediately realized the tremendous power that images have to make people comfortable or uncomfortable, joyful or disconsolate, settled or unsettled.
It was during the 1990’s, I consciously decided to use my voice to encourage people to see, think, feel and experience their emotions through my paintings. I have continued to do so ever since. It has been my experience that awareness often replaces ignorance and creates the possibility of change. If you can’t ignore it, then you may feel compelled to change it. I don’t recall any one thing prompting that decision. Just a strong need to communicate and share ideas and emotions.
Valerie, before we move on to more of these sorts of questions, can you take some time to bring our readers up to speed on you and what you do?
I am a fine art painter creating works for collectors searching for hyperrealistic images which explode with psychological resonance. The beginning and ending of life, childhood vs old age, past vs present, neurosis, hypocrisy, apathy and a lack of integrity and honesty in society… While some of these themes, without contemplation, may be interpreted as negative in nature, I utilize them to encourage thought and emotion in an effort to promote a sense of commonality, discovery, unity and action. It is my belief that it is only when we face the unvarnished truth, no matter how disturbing or uncomfortable, that we are capable of deep understanding and can make real, positive, change.”
Art can, and does, change the world. It creates a safe place for viewers to experience and process thoughts and emotions. This is art that moves beyond mere aesthetic. This is art to contemplate over and over. This is art to start the conversation. Sometimes just an awakening is enough…
For you, what’s the most rewarding aspect of being a creative?
For me, the most rewarding aspect of being an artist/creative is having a voice. To be able to deeply contemplate thoughts, ideas and situations and visually communicate them to others is indeed a gift.
: Is there a particular goal or mission driving your creative journey?
Through my paintings, I strive to give voice to difficult emotional, social and political subjects in an attempt to encourage thought, emotion and dialogue.
- Website: http://www.valeriepatterson.com
- Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/valeriepattersonart/
- Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/valeriepattersonart
- Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/valerie-patterson8543a317
- Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/herter12983
all photos and artwork Copyright 2022 Valerie Patterson