You can call me Trish!
Fine Artist and then some...
What don't I do?...
I have been creative from a very young age, when I would create small worlds that seemed huge in my eyes from toy animals and whatever I could get my hands on from my father’s workshop – he always wondered where his hammer and nails went! – and by high school I was painting, sketching, and experimenting with different mediums.
While vacationing in 2007 on the boardwalk of a favorite beach, I discovered spray paint art. A performing spray paint artist there would pump out paintings, one after another, in mere minutes, moving and conforming to a musical energy that guided him through creating gorgeous works. The trance from the music along with seeing the paintings coming so quickly to life enchanted me, heart and soul. My two favorite things, music and painting, together as one – I was sold forever to its call!
I went to the boardwalk every day that week, watching for hours, studying everything and learning the process. Once we arrived home I gathered all the stove pot and plastic lids my mother would allow, purchased all the spray paint and pasteboard I could afford, and locked myself night after night in the childhood playhouse my father built for me in our backyard. Spray paint became very natural to me, and I spent months at it, practicing and building my speed. I became especially obsessed with the outer space scenes that were possible, and I absolutely fell in love with the textures and depth achievable with simple tools, paper, and layering colors. It was like a magic trick to me, and the more I painted the more the possibilities seemed endless.
The reaction I got from family, friends, and teachers was tremendous, and my paintings quickly started to sell, even to people I didn’t know: the demand for them became great. It really boosted my confidence not only as an artist but as an individual trying to figure out where they belong in the world, and it led me to branch out and push my abilities in new mediums: acrylic, watercolor, oil, pastel, and pencil.
The pressure to go to college after high school was enormous; every teacher said it was needed to be successful in life, and, for most people, I know it’s true. However, I have never been normal or a “yes” person. I seem to always go against the grain. For me the only thing I wanted to continue working with was my art, so art school it was! I was accepted into the Greater University of the Arts in Philadelphia. There I met some of the toughest, most critical, egotistical teachers and creative, energetic people I have ever known. My drawing instructor specifically was very influential in the work that I would soon return home to create. He taught me to see beauty in the little details of my work, to view art in many different ways, and to go about it in different ways. I really succeeded under his wing as a teacher. However the rest of my schooling became a drag for me. Art school has a way of taking all the fun and love out of why artists create in the first place and of sidelining and diminishing their natural abilities. Within a year I realized that accumulating the amount of debt, for what I would walk away with in the end, just wasn’t going to work for me. It had been a fantastic experience, and I never have any regrets – maybe some student loans! – but I was starting to really learn what I needed to be actually successful as and call myself an artist. A degree wasn’t necessarily part of that. So I left.
Coming back home wasn’t easy to do, and painting was all I had the energy for. Painting really became a way for me to channel my feelings, emotions, demons, love, everything. It helped me through what I thought was failure, and I relied on it to make me feel accomplished. In many ways it became my therapy. I tried other positions of work, but I always came back to my painting, my art, creating. It’s where I find peace as an individual. Painting was and is my escape.
After creating a decent inventory of work, I got in with the Art Plus Gallery in Reading, PA and started showing again. They gave me my start in the gallery world, and I had a really positive experience overall. I met a great body of talented artists and learned the rest of what I needed to be successful selling work. Unfortunately, I found myself being held back by my obligations to the gallery. I didn’t just want somewhere to sell artwork; I wanted to make a name for myself, a reputation for my work and its quality. And more important, I wanted to portray my work the way I wanted.
I was driving to my sister’s one day, and I noticed the local fair was setting up in the small town of Richland, PA. A sudden impulse dragged me out of the car that day. I figured I had nothing to lose: the worst answer I could get was a No. However, for a small commission they let me set up that weekend, in a small spot, with a small tent, and a terrible-looking table to work on, and thin plastic sheets for keeping the overlay away from my neighbors. It was my first time performing live, and many friends came out to see me. From there, it just sort of took off for me. It became an addiction, and, before long, I made myself official and became Spray Painting Patty!
I traveled all over PA and had a blast for several years, performing at large fairs, festivals, and all kinds of venues. I perfected my speed at spray painting, until moving as fast as I could to the music, and today I consider myself one of the fastest female spray paint artists on the East Coast. And, although a bit intimidating at first, after a while, performing in front of people and crowds became natural to me. It gave me an unmatched feeling of height in my soul. I never thought I would love being the center of attention, but it allowed me to meet so many great people. Touching so many lives through my love and paintings really shaped me into who I am today.
During the winter months when I couldn’t spray paint, I started a crafts line, made fine art paintings on canvas, and sold at craft shows. I also wrote the first book ever on spray paint art, Painting with Spray Painting Patty. But, after some time, I started to feel I wasn’t showing my true talent as an artist; my commission work was getting to a point where I felt more like an over-glorified poster artist than an actual artist with originality. I was cutting more stencils than I wanted to and catering to some really ridiculous work, and I started to hate it. It ate at my conscience as an artist: I was creating paintings I knew would mean nothing to the world or even the people buying them. I wanted to paint something new and original that I thought was beautiful, and that’s all I wanted. It became such a stress for me that I decided to take a break! — not from art entirely, but from performing and taking commissions.
Life always has a way of changing the trajectory of where you think you’re going, and everything happens for a reason — I know that much. In 2017, I met the love of my life Andrew, and we rescued our lovely cat Willow (a.k.a. Dill), who is the love of our lives. We purchased our first home together, and settling into home life and the house became a single focus. But it also gave me for the first time a proper studio to work in; and with the space and time to focus on my fine art painting, I decided to make a change, to focus on something greater, to the work I felt as though I neglected. Spray paint art will always be a love of mine, but I really wanted to shine in my canvas paintings, the path I neglected, where my heart really lies: smeared across a massive white canvas, the bigger the better.
It was 2018 when I discovered and contracted a classical figurative oil painter Eric Armusik in Hamburg PA. I was sort of back in school again, working with him every week, finally just focusing on refining my abilities at painting and drawing. Working with Eric really grounded my work and gave me a new patience with painting I didn’t have before. I started working with oil paint more than ever, and these days it’s all I have been working in. I bounce back to spray paint art and charcoal drawings occasionally, but think I’ll be focused predominantly on oil paintings and pan pastel drawings for a while.
Here I am now finding where I fit in as an artist. I cannot call myself just one type of artist. My style continuously changes, and my attraction to colors and different mediums comes and goes. I love doing detailed paintings, abstracts, and modern art. I have no idea what one category to fit myself into. I struggle with always trying to define my work and explain why I paint what I paint. I don’t always have an answer, or maybe it’s just that I don’t want to say why. My paintings are personal, alive and each one speaks on its own. I paint because I need to, not because I can. It’s a necessity to my well being, and all I can hope is that someone out there finds their attention drawn to my work, whether they love it or hate it. If it makes you stop, even just for a second, then I did my job as an artist. I love when people ask me “Why did you do that? Why did you put that there?” And honestly I love turning it back on them and asking “Well what do you see? How does it make you feel?” I want to hear what you think; who cares what I think? That’s really what art is. Because what I see and feel is not what you see and feel. I really don’t believe in “fluff” in my words to describe why I created something. I think it’s all bullshit. That’s not what I want to give you. I want to give you real art, great art, a variety of art that’s alive and speaks to you in your own individual voice. What you see and feel is what you get, so I want to know what you think. I did my job. Now you do yours as a viewer.
Shoutout to the absolute best FATHER in the whole world! You're still getting a kick out of what I paint! Anyone who knows, knows "DAD" from the shows! You made all of my custom tables and setup, and always listened to the little details! From tear up to tear down, you were always there! You always support me and my dreams! Thanks for letting me be the boss! :)