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Art & Life with Patricia Leonard

Today we’d like to introduce you to Patricia Leonard.

Patricia, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
Art has always been a huge part of my life. I grew up surrounded by art because my mother was an oil painter. She was always encouraging my sisters and me to express ourselves visually. I majored in Fine Arts at UCLA, but after graduation, I decided to pursue a career in advertising. I worked at J. Walter Thompson and the Los Angeles Times for many years. In 1998, my husband was transferred to Phoenix for work. When our children were young, I volunteered in their school art room. I enjoyed sharing my love of painting and art history so much, that I decided to return to college to get my teaching degree.

I began teaching elementary art for Gilbert Public Schools just two short years later. Now, I’m retired, with time on my hands, so I began painting for myself. I paint in acrylic and alcohol inks. I only recently discovered alcohol inks. The colors are incredibly intense, yet quite different from regular inks. It’s fun learning new mediums. I capture the beauty of the Southwest in all its vibrant colors. Bright colors excite me. When I walk through an art gallery in Scottsdale, it’s the bright paintings that draw me in. My home decor also reflects my love for colors. It boasts of rich golds, blues, and reds. I look forward to sharing my art with others during this time of my life.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
I come from a very traditional art background. Studying at UCLA gave me a tremendous understanding of the elements and principles of design, and the proper rules of composition. I had a great art education, but once retired my formal art education went out the window. Van Gogh, Picasso, Warhol, among many others challenged traditional art norms. My paintings are also a departure from convention. My paintings are whimsical and bright; depicting the beauty of the Southwest with my own narrative. Art is universal. In a time when our country seems so divided with opposing political views, art becomes the glue that unities us. I allow the viewer to derive their own meanings from my paintings. This allows an individual to draw their own conclusions based on their life experiences. Art appreciation is a personal journey; much like someone’s taste in music or movies.

“Art isn’t what you see; it’s what you make others see.” ~ Degas

Artists rarely, if ever pursue art for the money. Nonetheless, we all have bills and responsibilities, and many aspiring artists are discouraged from pursuing art due to financial reasons. Any advice or thoughts you’d like to share with prospective artists?
Painting is my passion, but once I graduated from UCLA, I realized that making a living selling art would be tough. I decided to pursue a career in advertising instead. I’ve spent my entire life working in advertising and teaching art. Now I finally have the confidence to sell my art online and at shows. I’ve sold several pieces since I began painting full-time. My Society6 merchandise store has also done surprisingly well. It’s been a learning experience for me. Selling my paintings is so much more than creating in the solitude of my studio, and posting online. It means putting myself out there for the world to see. My advice to those beginning this journey is to take lots of art classes. Master color theory, composition, and elements of design. When you finally have the confidence and positive feedback from your instructors; set yourself free and create. You’ll know when the time is right!

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
Selling art online has become increasingly competitive this day and age. Thousands of professional artists are posting on online galleries. However, posting online is simply not enough. Social media is also an important component in marketing one’s art.

People can see my paintings on my website www.Patricialeonardcreations.com. I also post on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. In addition to my website and social media, I also have a merchandise store on Society6.com. Society6 prints my paintings on everything from notecards to cellphone covers. It’s a fun and affordable way to sell my art.

Come February 2019; I will be selling my paintings at several art shows around the valley in association with the Scottsdale Artist League. My website will contain all the details. Please stop by to say hello to one of my shows. I love meeting new people, and discussing art!

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Timothy Leonard photography, Patricia Leonard photography

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