Early in 1954, I picked up a pencil and sat in front of the TV with Jon Gnagy’s New Television Art Book and my stack of white envelopes, ready to learn to draw, how to shade cones, cylinders and cubes, all the while hearing about the principals of perspective and other valuable information. Jon believed that everyone has a time in their life when the Art Spirit is dominant. I suppose I was right on target and the seed was sown.
Crayons, colored pencils, tracing paper and coloring books gave way to pen and ink, and I soon begged my mother to purchase art lessons from Art Instruction, Inc. in Minneapolis, MN. around 1962. You know, the one with the draw the pirate contest. I won. I think everybody won, but my Mom paid the $500.00, and in a few weeks a huge box arrived with an oak adjustable drawing table (which I still own), pads of paper, pen tips and ink, charcoal sticks, watercolors, brushes, a wooden T square and my first palette knife, which continues to be my favorite tool.
I finished every lesson and mailed off the homework to be critiqued by H. Okins, my instructor. After the first year, I received a Certificate of Accomplishment and was urged to keep going. Another student of this school was Charles M. Schulz. I was in good company. From that humble beginning, I continued through my whole life painting and drawing, constantly moving forward on my journey through art.
Currently, my work is abstract on panel and paper. Continuing to be self-educated, I am ever as always moving forward. My work has been shown from coast to coast in many galleries and purchased by large corporations.
Today, and for more than a decade, I have woven strings of color with the same palette knife from childhood, creating surfaces of deconstructed relief, crumbling stucco and contemporary fresco. My paintings have been highly influenced by Jackson Pollock, Marcia Myers and Anselm Kiefer. In studying their work and other contemporary artists, I began what was to be the backbone of my current style with a surface I can’t walk away from.
Every painting or series has been influenced by a voice. That is to say, the music in the studio. The emotional complexities of the music have an enormous effect on the outcome of every piece, and this “voice” is listed on the back of every painting.
Patricia Oblack’s Studio, Glencoe, MO