Oil painter Pat Wattam presents a collection from her portfolio, inspired by travel and life experiences. See more of her artwork by visiting her website.
I grew up in a small town in Arkansas with ten acres for my playground, horses, donkeys, and a few chickens. Even then, as a little girl, I was interested in capturing images. My dad gave me his old Brownie camera when I was about seven. I was always taking photos of my horse or my friends.
I was also drawing from a very young age, mainly horses. But, like my dad, I started playing piano, then woodwinds, and headed off to college to get degrees in music. I had a great career in music and didn’t draw any more. Eventually I became a successful realtor, which actually led to my art career.
I’ve always loved the ocean, waves, palm trees, and beautiful clouds. All of them became the subject of my first paintings after I bought a beach condo in Alabama. A friend suggested I study with her teacher, and the talent that had lain dormant just exploded. So, late in life I found my third career.
I create realistic oil paintings. Sometimes they are taken from life and sometimes from photos. My husband and I love to travel and that gives me some of the best ideas for my paintings. Hawaii, Santorini, the beach, hidden waterfalls — it’s an excuse to seek out beauty wherever we travel. I paint what I love and it shows!
I’m inspired by the beautiful lighting you see in a sunrise, a sunset, the glowing light from within a church, reflections in the water. I just love capturing those on canvas. I’ve always been intrigued by fall leaves as a photographer because they looked like stained glass. Now as an artist I get to really study them and then create them.
Winning ribbons and awards is nice because I am so competitive. However, the thing I enjoy most about painting is creating a beautiful piece of art that speaks to someone and brings them joy. I particularly enjoy commissioned pieces that will be kept in a family for generations to come and passed down. These are things that won’t get tossed in the end (I see this a lot as a realtor).
I’ve had the pleasure of studying with several regionally and nationally renowned artists. I believe that I have to keep studying and growing as an artist. It’s what makes this career a living, breathing part of me. What a wonderful way to spend the rest of my life!
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