Friday, November 20, 2020

Interview With an Artist -- Patricia J. Moss

Quiescent, Patricia J. Moss

I've invited local Black Diamond artist, educator, and high school counselor Patricia J. Moss to be my next guest blogger. She has agreed to answer a set of interview questions taken from the Artwork Archive site's article, 50 Terrific Topics to Write About for Your Art Blog. These are her words...

1. How do you find inspiration? 

Replenish, Patricia J. Moss

I find inspiration in every tree, rock, flower, and branch.  I find inspiration in the movement of water and the reflection of light showing us the details of God's creations. I find inspiration in the smile of a child and the eyes of a loved one. Every day provides something to inspire us all. We just have to open our hearts and minds to see the splendor surrounding us.

"Sometimes life gets in the way of our passions.
Hang on tight to what you love, breathe and
look for adjustments and replenishment."

Patricia J. Moss

2. What is my philosophy as an artist?

We are all born as an artist of sorts; made to experience and express the beauty that surrounds us. We are born to convey art in music, science, math, writing, and theater, etc. It is the creativity of expression that drives connection with others. In turn that connection allows us to grow, expanding our perspectives, feeding our souls, and inspiring our spirits.

3. What are you currently working on? 

I am primarily a landscape and floral artist… yet as a counselor, I have always been fascinated with the human mind, body, and spirit.  My current project is a study of human anatomy and a review of religious art from my art history texts.  I am not sure where this study will bring me, but I am eager to stretch my limits and continue to learn more.

4. What are your steps for creating art? 

Relinquish, Patricia J. Moss

I take thousands of photos of things I see that capture mood or light and seem to communicate a message.  I crop and use these photos as a reference.

From my reference, I begin by working on quick compositional sketches using Galkyd Gel and a thick later of paint to glaze in shadow shapes and tone the canvas.

Continuing to use Galkyd Gel or other mediums to thin the viscosity of the paint and create more translucent layers, I begin to glaze in layers building from the background and moving forward.  In landscape work, I try to see the image as a series of vertical plains.  As the plains recede softer edges or more prevalent as they approach the foreground, harder lines and edges are common. I generally desaturate colors in the background and use looser brush strokes to indicate distance.  As I continue to add layers, I use smaller brushes and use more saturated colors.

Moving to the foreground, I again glaze larger shapes and shadows with a larger brush using bolder colors and adding layers to refine details.  As I re-evaluate each step, I often begin working on the entire piece.

I find that I have grown the most as an artist through continued research on techniques, compositions, and lessons from more established artists.  Additionally, the collaboration with fellow artists who can provide constructive criticism has helped me grow immensely over the last few years.

5. Do you travel for your art? Paint in Plein-air?

Yes, I consider the Pacific Northwest as my playground. I love to hike and explore, finding landscapes, viewpoints, and adventures that I can portray in my work. When possible, I love bringing my Pochade Box (easel), or a sketchbook to help me capture what I see.

6. Why do you create art? Why do you work in the medium that you do? 

Reach for the Light, Patricia J. Moss
Life can be hard chaotic and even heartbreaking at times. We must choose to look for the positives and the beauty in our everyday experiences as well as our adventures.  My art is therapy, communication, meditation, and sometimes an expression of prayer. It is an expression of love and gratitude for all the details that make life beautiful. My work is a mindful study of the details which I find miraculous and a reminder that if we stop to look, we can find the light behind every dark cloud. I work with oils because I love the flexibility they provide.  Using oils and other mediums to adjust translucency and viscosity I can achieve a variety of effects that help me communicate the message I want to convey.

7. What is your favorite piece by another artist? 

Water-Lilies (1907), Claude Monet
I am inspired by the work of artists like Monet and Georgia O’Keefe. Although their work is different than my own, the subject matter they choose and the perspectives that seemed prevalent in their work speak to me.  With both their work picking just one piece as my favorite is very difficult.  I have always loved Monet’s water-lilies series because his use of color and texture brings a feeling of relaxation, serenity, and quiet energy.  I share his love for gardens and for the life and energy they contain. His impressionist brush strokes are masterful and leave observers awestruck.

For O’Keefe I admire her use of line and movement which in her time was revolutionary.  Her strength as a woman and as an artist was bold sensual and unapologetic.  Her attention to detail while focusing on both Line and Movement created a modern and relatively abstract perspective which appeals to me and my philosophy as an artist.  After visiting the Georgia O’Keefe museum in Santa Fe, NM, I really can’t say that I have a favorite.

My favorite contemporary artists are Bobbie Burgers and Carin Gerard.

8. What benefits have you received from joining an artist association?

Breathless and Blessed,
Patricia J. Moss

Living in a rural area, it can be more difficult to be aware of and participate in artistic opportunities.  Often the found opportunities require a great deal of travel. Finding groups like Black Diamond Arts Alliance that provide opportunities for collaboration, exposure, and mentoring can be a huge catalyst for professional growth.

9. What would you do differently or the same in your art career looking back? 

I am still in the process of building my art career.  For years I put down my brush to raise kids and complete my education.  I can’t say that I would do anything differently because both have made me who I am today.  I can say that daily practice and continued learning are imperative.  Most importantly, as artists, we need to be self-aware and know our message.  It is your message the drives your passion for art and guides your marketing.

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