Painting is a wild adventure! Each time I start with a blank white canvas I am exhilarated,
especially when I end up with something new and alive. This is a rich world that I get to experience.
My Greatest Influences
It’s not a stretch to say that I was meant to be an artist. At 8 years old, I was very impressed when my teenage
cousin, Dick Turner, came over to our small house in Corpus Christi, Texas and painted a tropical mural on
our back porch so my mom wouldn’t be so homesick for Miami. Through the years, I spent many wonderful
hours visiting his studio and attending art classes. He was an incredible artist, teacher and friend and I feel
deeply indebted to him. He is the trusted voice in my head when I paint. He is gone now but I am comforted
in knowing that he paints with me every time I start a new canvas.
While studying with other Texas artists and at the University of Houston, I began to pour over art books about the old masters. I love the expressionist painters, works by Renoir, the figurative work of Amadeo Modigliani, and the beautiful portraits of John Singer Sargent. I have always been captivated by the human face and form as much as I am excited by abstraction with heavy textures and strong contrasts. It was while living in Los Angeles, CA that I began a real love affair with abstraction and expressionism and the idea of letting my emotions guide my hands.
When I begin a painting I have no “plan,” I just try to stay completely open. I think about light and dark areas and am often influenced by the music I play in the background. I find that hot salsa, blues or soul, or acoustic guitar music produces entirely different color palettes. When the French horns in the soundtrack of Out of Africa dictate big, flowing, sweeping motions, then I oblige. Or when it’s a sexy salsa beat, I reach for the red. The larger the canvas the freer I work. I use brushes but my favorite tools are large palette knives, rags, paint stir sticks, sponges and my hands. I believe each painting will tell its story if I just get out of the way. Michelangelo expressed it so well when he said he just had to “release the slaves from the granite.”
I love the feeling that comes from throwing paint and artistic caution to the wind; the feeling of the presence of something transcendent, like a spiritual electricity, of being an alchemist, of staying open and letting the work come through me. The excitement I feel with each encounter of the “canvas kind” is the feeling that I have no limitations.
Mentors and Private Instruction:
Awards - Theatrical Productions:
Selected over 30 artists as Visual Artist for Upsetting the Apple Cart, an original play produced for Artspark Festival Competition, 2007, Austin, Texas
CONTEMPORARY PAINTINGS AND JEWELRY DESIGNS BY PATRICIA TURNER