San Rafael, CA
Pat Margis* is a professional artist living in California who creates fine art oil paintings in the styles of Magic Realism, Surrealism and Precisionism.
Early on she developed a deep appreciation for the beauty of landscapes when her family purchased the Alfred Stieglitz, Georgia O'Keeffe estate in upstate New York called Oak Lawn. Like Georgia's paintings, she was deeply inspired by Lake George, Tea Island, the Adirondack Mountains and the surrounding oak trees.
Those early years at Oak Lawn still have a major impact on my paintings today. For me, Oak Lawn was heaven on earth. Whatever I paint today must have some sense of beauty as a reminder of and a tribute to the beauty and euphoria I experienced back then.
Pat started her first drawing class at 6 years of age at the local art center. By the time she was 10 she had sold her first painting. She progressed onto more advanced art classes in high school and eventually landed at Moore College of Art and Design in Philadelphia where she majored in ceramic sculpture. She wanted to broaden her art studies so chose sculpture. It was an opportunity to learn about three dimensional forms and create with the clays of the earth. But she continued to draw and paint. By that time artists like Robert Arneson, Dale Chihuly, Clayton Bailey, Boehm porcelain, David Hockney had become creative influences.
She then went on to work as a ceramicist in Belgium and travelled to Paris, London and Rome to explore the European art world.
When she returned to the US, she landed work doing schematic product drawings for Charles Schulz and Lucasfilms.
Then an opportunity came up to work as a Sr. Art Director for The Sharper Image, a retail company. "They were fun and exciting years. Initially I was given creative carte blanche. Daily, I worked with talented photographers who opened my eyes to lighting techniques and special effects that would later influence my paintings. I learned to focus and concentrate on how color and light affect what I want to say. During this period, I also spent a great deal of time illustrating, designing and playing around with shapes. I studied how my eyes would flow from one object to the next in print. I still use this eye flow technique consciously and I'm sure subconsciously on my canvases.
Before coming full circle back to fine arts, PA (Pat) took on one last job as a Creative Director for plos.org, a science/medicine internet startup. I never thought this job would have any influence on my fine art career but in the end it gave me some valuable lessons." She watched as this tiny company persevered and grew strong against overwhelming resistence. It was started by a few scientists including Harold Varmus (a Nobel Prize winner) and became a major player in sharing science and medicine information. It was a harsh reminder of perseverance against all odds that to this day has carried through to her painting career. "I learned strong lessons to keep going. Persevere and paint. Just keep doing it and move forward."
Now Pat is a full time oil painter. She spends a good part of her time focusing on the rhythms of painting. What parts of the brush strokes to concentrate deeply on and what parts to release and let flow. It's a dance. Mostly I prefer to communicate on a deep intricate level so that I can get my specific point across and settle into a meditative void. Other times I experiment with being less detailed so that I get a broader more aggressive idea across. Oddly enough, my brush strokes have evolved into lessons in communication.