Artist Spotlight: Pat Dews

Time for another Artist Spotlight! This time, we are featuring artist, Pat Dews. We love her bold painting style and advice to fellow artists!

When did you first get started as an artist? 
I started my art career as a child. In the 50’s I was drawing woman’s faces on matchbook covers advertising Draw Me Art Instruction Schools. I also was watching Jon Gnagy {Mr. Learn to – Draw} syndicated series on TV. I wouldn’t miss it and practiced my art with his great design book. I still see it in an art stores at the holidays. 

When did you first get started as an artist? 
I started my art career as a child. In the 50’s I was drawing woman’s faces on matchbook covers advertising Draw Me Art Instruction Schools. I also was watching Jon Gnagy {Mr. Learn to – Draw} syndicated series on TV. I wouldn’t miss it and practiced my art with his great design book. I still see it in an art stores at the holidays. 

Could you tell us a little bit about your background? 
I graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology. I worked in the art department of J.J Newberry’s, NYC doing layouts and mechanicals. From there I worked in the art department of Simplicity Patterns, NYC doing layouts. I married and became a stay at home Mom after having my first child. I did my art, nap times and at night, sometimes until 2:00 a.m. in the morning. My eldest son was 1 years old when I first starting entering shows an exhibiting my work at outdoor fairs. 

What can you tell us about your painting style / favorite medium(s), favorite subject matter(s) / etc.?
I started out as a realistic painter using watercolor as my medium. I was very proud of painting an onion that looked like an onion. At outdoor fairs I could see that work wasn’t  as good as other painters working in a realistic manner. I was fortunate enough to take a one day workshop with the late Nicholas Reale in NJ., where I now lived. He never used a brush, using instead tree branches, sponges, straws and I knew this was what I should be doing. I went home, painted, dripping paint all over the kitchen floor and knew this is what I was meant to do. I now use mixed media – watercolor, heavy bodied acrylic, inks and collage on paper and canvas. I know paint the abstract  essence of nature.

Why do you paint?
I paint because I must! I feel very fortunate that my vocation and avocation are the same. I do feel it is a gift in good times and especially in the bad times. I am blessed that I can go into my studio, listen to Tchaikovsky and paint. I think some are born with this innate talent and passion. I have been fortunate enough to be able to nurture it with hard work. When you love what you do, work becomes play

What inspires you as an artist?
The shapes and textures of flowers, rocks, water, crumbled walls, rusty objects are some of the things that inspire me.

What advice do you have for someone who is just getting started or would like to improve their painting skills?
Take courses from artists whose work you admire, if possible. Read art books, go to Museums when once again you are able, go to YouTube to see artists in action. If I were more techie, I would be right there, but still hoping. PAINT! Have 25 pieces of paper – if you have one sheet of paper, your painting better be good! Know that you can alter failed starts. If you always wanted to paint, don’t wait until you retire. You might not be here. Painting takes time and tenacity. Practice makes perfect. 

Can you tell us a little bit about your favorite aspects of the San Diego Watercolor Society?
I was fortunate enough to teach a workshop there and be a juror for one of the International Exhibitions. It was the best facility. Everyone was friendly and helpful. The space was fabulous!

If people would like to view more of your artwork, what’s the best way for them to follow you?
They should go to my website, www.patdews.com. They can also look on line for my books, [the painter’s workshop] Creative Composition & Design and Creative Discoveries in Watermedia. My videos, Designing Great Starts with Texture and Form and Let’s Get Started Finishing are available through Cheap Joe’s Art StuffI am honored to have been asked by artist Laurie Goldstein Warren to be part of her new book, which hopefully will be publishrd by year end. There will be 10 women in the book and  the title will be Her Voice, subtitled Contemporary Watercolor  Masters Speak. I am excited!

Leave a Reply