Artist Statement Patricia Calderone
I am a southern girl by choice. Loving the pace, the natural beauty of the mountains where I live in the forest on many acres under Rabun Bald in North Georgia. I find inspiration for my work here not only in the beauty but in the rawness of the terrain, the weather, the topography, and the people. This painting is one of several I have been doing of local people that stand out for their uniqueness and contribution to the community, but not in the usual ways. “The Poet” is a painting of Laurence Holden, artist, writer, poet, musician, philosopher, and friend. I have been working on these types of portraits for several years. I love the illusive quality derived from the watercolor medium. There is my direction and choice of materials. I rarely use any other paper then, Arches 140 lb. paper. Arches started making paper in France in 1492. The consistent quality is unmatched. The 100% rag paper is made from the extra long cotton fiber that grows in that region of France. The water in that area is some of the purest in the world. I also have become quite enchanted with the line of Prima Tek watercolor paints developed and sold by Daniel Smith. This line of natural pigment paint is has been collected from mines around the world. They now offer over 38 colors and are continually working to find and develop more colors. I have always been a bit fascinated with chemistry and alchemy as well as all things natural. All this being said being able to experiment with the addition of the alchemy of choices of pigment, and the amount of water or mist there is another factor that is somewhat magical or spiritual. My choices of models are from a circle of friends who are connected by a consciousness of simplicity, purpose, beauty, connectivity and respect for the earth and the universe. There is a certain fascination for me in the study of the figure. The facial expression, the body language, the mood, being able to make that connection while doing the initial sketches out of soft, pliable willow charcoal. Which allows the fluidity of line and tone, to be modeled and adjusted over and over till the drawing catches their inner nature and essence. That is what I strive for. In the portrait of Laurence, I feel I have captured his deep contemplative nature. And the essence of what should be such a sweet existence.
I have a small working studio and gallery near Sky Valley on the scenic highway to Highlands. On occasion, I offer an open studio where a group of artist’s gather to draw or paint from a live model. The artists can often be as fascinating as the models.When we are able to gather it is always the highlight of my week.
I teach and paint in several mediums. Have been the President of the Art League of Highlands and Cashiers for the past three years. I am also a member of the Georgia Water Color Society.