In 1991 with her first son off to college and the second a junior in high school, Patti Sevensma breathed a sigh of relief and headed off to become the artist she had always wanted to be. Watercolor had intrigued her for years so she signed up for classes with teacher and mentor Loretta Sailors. Loretta, whose degree is in abstract art, was very encouraging. It wasn’t long before Patti was being pushed to think outside the box.
With winter came classes dedicated to experimentation and Patti found she liked those months best of all. New materials and methods were introduced as well as opportunities to learn in workshops with other instructors. During a mixed media course at the local community college, Patti’s instructor found out that she had never taken life drawing. Patti was encouraged to sign up and spent the next two and a half years developing better drawing skills.
The community college art department offered occasional trips abroad and Patti was able to join them for 18 days of study in Greece. She became hooked on art and travel. With a camera in hand, she started taking photographs everywhere she went. It wasn’t long before Patti had an extensive photo collection and realized that, she loved taking photos, and people seem to enjoy perusing them as well.
Patti’s goals started to change. She felt the need to combine her love of painting, drawing, and photography in some way. She started with several printing methods, such as Lazertran and rice paper. Those images would then be collaged into her painted work or onto other photographs. She also experimented with hand coloring some of her photographs. Mixed media and collage were very rewarding techniques but Patti really wanted to use all her own imagery.
In November of 2001 Patti joined the computer age, which would help her with editing and expanding her photographic skills. She started doing montages and collages that were being accepted into regional and national exhibits. During an opening held in Fort Worth, Tx., Patti was able to see an exhibit by Andrew Keifer. He had taken gouache to his photographs, which unified his subject matter and design. This was an eye opener for Patti. As she started experimenting with this method on both glossy and matte papers, Patti developed a series of nine pieces using her own photography, combining them together in collage and using gouache to unify these pieces.
This is just the beginning of the evolution of Patti’s art. Who knows what she will try next? Thanks to her family and art friends, Patti has been allowed time to play and develop her own style as an artist.
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