Pat Custer Denison is an artist whose story stands to be told. Despite not having a lot of people rooting for her, she looked inwards for inspiration. And, look what unfolded!
It is often said that an artist is born, and not made. But, artist Pat Custer Denison is all set to quash this stereotypical notion and is doing a stellar job of it. Growing up, she was barely in the forefront of anything, especially art. But, Pat decided to persevere and follow her passion irrespective of the fact that not many offered to inspire or encourage her.
After completing her art degree from Michigan, her artistic genius was pretty evident to all. She has always been the one doodling or reading in one corner away from the spotlight. The portraits got little or no attention at all and that's why when people heard that she majored in arts, it came as a huge surprise. She continued working hard on her art and it slowly evolved into something truly wonderful.
Talking about her medium she used initially for her artwork she said in an interview: 'I have changed up a lot, I started out doing woodblock prints and etches, very nice printmaking process that. Very graphic, and then from there; once we moved up here, a friend got me out doing plain air watercolor. And that’s where I am now. Sitting on the floor doing 40 by 60 watercolors'.
Now hooked on watercolors she creates a variety of paintings which are displayed at The Michigan Artist Gallery in Traverse City. Switching her art form from doodling to full-blown painted portraits was not easy. It took a lot of hard work and time. The inspiration Pat found was indeed a strong one. Most of her paintings are about the place which she refers to as her 'immediate place', her home.
Pat wants her watercolors to tell the story of a mythic reality which is narrated in a poetic manner which can be understood universally. For her, the paintings are more than just a signature of an artist saying that they were here. Initially, she was recognized for her ceramic tile work but she resumed her watercolor when she moved 'Up North' in 1998. Here she discovered a type of painting called plein air, an art form inspired by outdoor locations.
Since then she changed her painting style from 'conjuring up of an image' from her 'inner resources' to an 'aesthetic documentary' which was all about the world outside. Pat goes on to explain the similarities about her art saying, "At first this 'backward' thinking seemed very novel and refreshing, with new directions to explore. In the end, I find more similarities than differences in both of my styles. I usually ignore correct shadowing, graphically flattening most objects. I think as a print-maker and work in terms of layers more than blends. A strong graphic line is always important. I draw with paint. Achieving a realistic look is not as important as the rhythms and energies of the colors and lines and the story told".Disclaimer : This is based on sources and we have been unable to verify this information independently.