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The Waukesha State Bank Art Gallery Presents: Patricia Gilman Graham

Artist’s Statement:

I remember planting seeds as a child, kneeling in the earth; the wonder of that experience has been with me all my life. That a speck of a seed, given soil, water and light, could become a beautiful flower, was an event too marvelous to comprehend. My response to this miracle of nature and of life was, and is, wonder, anticipation, joy and ultimately, reverence. This is what I try to express and celebrate in my art.

In my painting I attempt to reflect intimately my impressions of living things or the parts of living things that metaphorically suggest the whole in celebration of being.

Others of my paintings are about seeds. The seeds represent existence before being. I saw them in my mind’s eye and wanted to put their potential in a mysterious yet nurturing and allowing environment.

There are two other variations in my latest work. One takes the form of elongated organic “cone” shapes. The cone is open at one end and may be viewed with the wide part either up or down, suggesting the unity of birth and death, beginning and ending and beginning again…..

The other theme I call “duo”. These forms are two halves of a whole. They are opposing yet complementary – one could not exist without the other. My experience is that our lives are dichotomous. There is our inner world which we share as spiritual beings and there is the outer world which we learn about and must live in – the eternal and the temporal experiences. To unite the two experiences, to allow them to sing in harmony, if you will, is to generate light, love and compassion.

If the viewer can sense something familiar, something elemental and reassuring finally, in contemplating the images I suggest, then I think my work has some worth.

I use the softest, finest quality pastels available and soft cotton paper which accepts and absorbs multi-layers of color. My fingers are my brushes.

 

Biography:

I have been drawing and painting for as long as I can remember. During my 31 year career in art education with Milwaukee Public Schools and UW-Milwaukee I explored many different media with my students.

My work has been exhibited in Wisconsin and in the San Francisco Bay Area and may be found in private collections throughout the country.

In my most recent work I am employing acrylic paint, brushing this medium on canvases from small to large. Occasionally I choose watercolor on paper for its freedom and transparency.

However, that which compels me to express does not change. My paintings continue to be my response to the natural world, every component of which is alive, constantly rhythmically and harmoniously moving and changing in response to some mysterious consciousness of the unity of life.

The subject of much of my latest work is landscape, various places at different moments during all seasons.

I can only attempt to describe what my paintings are about; ultimately, they must speak for themselves.

~Patricia Gilman Graham

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