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Pat Bailey

Pat Bailey


Born in upstate New York, I spent part of my childhood on my uncle's dairy farm, north of Syracuse, with six cousins. While growing up, my family moved around the country a bit, living in Texas, Oklahoma, and Missouri, before returning to New York.

We all have "coming of age" events and periods in our formative years that standout, or hide, in our memory. These play a huge role in how we see and emotionally respond to things the rest of our lives. Being a romantic, I tend to focus on fond memories. Some that show up for me, that I dare mention, are: haying season and bringing in the cows for milking, while on the farm; hopping freight trains to go fishing, during my Huck Finn days in Missouri; working nights at the Velasko Inn, then stopping afterwards at an all night diner, during my high school years; my summer working carnival games in upstate New York; going to college as a single parent, in Rhode Island; and teaming up with two inspiring partners to create a tee shirt and design business, to finance my college years.

I studied illustration and painting at Rhode Island School of Design. Remaining in Rhode Island, I developed a successful illustration career, in association with my reps in New York City. My clients included Paramount Pictures, Atlantic Records, Avon Books, Harper Collins, Playboy Magazine, Anheuser Bush, Seagrams, and Volvo. I enjoyed my success and there were a number of awards, that at the time, seemed important to me. During this time, I was a guest lecturer at four colleges and at an International Design Conference in Karachi, Pakistan. It became apparent to me that it was time for a change.

In the mid 90s, I moved from a small island town off the coast of New England to a city in the Arizona desert, and merged from illustration to a painting career. This is the fine art and western half of my life. Since this move, my work has been shown in galleries in Scottsdale, AZ; Santa Fe NM; La Jolla, CA; Palm Springs, CA; San Antonio, TX; and Marin County, CA.

My early inspirations included N.C. Wyeth, Andrew Wyeth, Winslow Homer, and Edward Hopper, then later, Joaquin Sorolla, Burt Silverman, and Wayne Thiebaud. I love to combine my passion for painting with my passion for travel. I have made extensive road trips across North America, Mexico, and England, and sojourns to Italy, the Antilles, and primitive villages in the Darien Jungle in South America.

I tend to be a little reluctant to talk about art. It speaks for itself, but eventually, after asking myself over the years "why are you compelled to do this?", it begs some response. Being an artist is always being in the state of becoming. As communication, art has the potential to be genuine magic, an expression of love. A painting is a response to the experience of being alive.

To me, the difference between a nonobjective abstract work and a painting of known objects is the same as the difference between music without lyrics and music with lyrics. They both are inspired by emotions and a desire to communicate and they both succeed, or not, on their merits. I've never understood any argument between the two camps. I think everything is abstract and everything might be real.

As for subjects, I have painted anything that speaks to me, anything that evokes an emotion. I see sensuality in the shapes of a flower or an automobile. I see romance in a barn, a diner, a carnival ride, a road, or a face. Currently, I am fixated on repetitious shapes and forms of toy marbles and stones.