By Bonnie Gangelhoff
Lipstick tubes, high-heeled pumps, and trendy handbags. These are a few of Jeannie Paty’s favorite things. The Colorado painter is known for casting her artistic eye on ordinary objects and then bringing a fresh sense of color and high energy to her tableaux. Earlier this year, Paty won high praise from California painter Brian Blood, who selected her painting LIPSTICKS & NAIL POLISHES #14 (at right) as a finalist in a national online competition. “I felt Jeannie captured a bit of Wayne Thiebaud in this one,” Blood noted. “I’m a sucker for well-drafted works with juicy paint.”
Recently another of Paty’s lively tableaux, SUNFLOWER, BLUE PLATE & ART BOOK (below), won an honorable mention award at the prestigious Salon International show at Greenhouse Gallery of Fine Art in San Antonio, TX. The still life hangs alongside an array of paintings by established artists such as Dan Beck, Jeff Legg, and Robert Spooner. Paty admits 2010 has been a really good year so far.
She is also quick to point out that while her subject matter may seem whimsical on the surface, she is very serious about her art. Her subject matter of choice is merely a vehicle to explore nuances of colors and shapes. In other words, she views landscapes, objects, and figures in the abstract.
Lately Paty has been drawn to the colors and shapes of accessories like shoes and purses—a fascination that developed after examining some of her friends’ possessions. “I’m lucky to have such stylish girlfriends, and I’ve raided many of their closets,” she jokes. The visual structure of such seemingly playful works is carefully planned to convey what she may not be able to express in words. “Paintings can be a way to communicate in the same way music can evoke the right emotions you feel or want to express,” she explains.
Paty relishes playing with light, medium, and dark values. Pushing the medium values towards either the light or dark allows her to create a stronger composition, she says. “Whether my painting is of a figure or an inanimate object like a shoe, I am drawn to the rhythm and harmony of things,” she says. “How a person may shift his or her weight or the randomness of a tossed-off pair of shoes is usually what catches my eye.”
Paty also believes in painting directly from life. If she does use photos as reference, she first creates color studies from life and then keeps them close by as her main reference material. Like many artists, she strongly adheres to the idea that something is lost when paintings originate from photographs.
As a child, Paty says, she was highly visual and often studied the way light moved and created things like long shadows at sunset. Raised in Maryland, she spent many days as a teenager in nearby Washington, DC, perusing the paintings at the National Gallery of Art. She later earned a degree in industrial design from Arizona State University in Tempe and also studied painting at the Art Students League of Denver.
After numerous art classes and years spent in her studio, Paty says she has developed a strong sense of what she wants her art to accomplish. “I’m an artist who appreciates beauty and how it can impact a person. People’s souls can be renewed and spirits lifted by a piece of art that is created by a living, breathing person,” she says. “That’s what I want my art to accomplish.”
The Gallery at Rich Designs, Colorado Springs, CO; Frisco Fine Art Gallery, Frisco, CO.
Summer Art Market, Art Students League of Denver, June 12-13.
Featured in June 2010