Local artist Priscilla Patterson aims to tell stories of aviation and public service professions through her unique scope of artwork.
Her upcoming solo exhibit will feature some of this aviation and public service inspired artwork at the Sequim Museum &Arts from July 5-Aug. 31.
Patterson said initially her exhibit was going to feature aviation-inspired pieces but she decided to include other subjects, such as local Clallam County fire trucks and old automobiles and motorcycles spotted throughout her daily life on the Olympic Peninsula.
While art came later in life for Patterson, she said she has been mastering her craft for more than 30 years now.
“We were in Alaska for 23 years and flying and aviation was a big part of our lives,” she said.
“Marrying a pilot helps.”
Patterson’s husband Butch was a former Navy and U.S. Fish and Wildlife pilot for 20 years. She and her husband lived on Kodiak Island in the Gulf of Alaska for 23 years before they moved to Sequim.
She said it took a lot of library books, workshops and learning from other artists to create enough material to submit to the American Society of Aviation Artists — a group whose primary focus is to promote aviation and aerospace art as a genre in itself.
Before she began painting aviation related subjects, Patterson painted landscapes, wildlife and still-life subject matter.
“Working with aviation as an art form helps you become a better artist,” she said.
Patterson also is a member of the Canadian Aviation Artists Association, the Northwest Air Force Art Association and the Coast Guard and Air Force Art programs.
She also is certified in composite drawing for law enforcement and served as education chairman for the American Society of Aviation Artists.
Patterson said by creating artwork for programs such as the Coast Guard and Air Force Art programs, it allows her to be affiliated with these public service professions.
“I can do it through art,” she said. “And work with them and share their stories through the art.”
When she was younger, Patterson said her mother told her she needed to get a job. She worked as a manager for a telephone company in California before she moved to Alaska and added if she could do things over again she would have joined the military.
All the work she now creates for these programs is donated. She said maybe a half a dozen pieces she has created for the Air Force art program work have been hung in the Pentagon.
“It’s humbling to be able to associate with people who have done the work and to tell their stories.”
One of the paintings that will be featured in her upcoming exhibit includes a piece she calls “Answering the Mayday” where she recreated a Coast Guard rescue scene after interviewing two Coast Guard helicopter pilots who recounted what happened.
“After working with these crewman, I didn’t have it out of my system so I did another painting,” she said.
She said essentially it is work such as these pieces that allows her to share these stories through art.
Her other subject matter that will be featured in her exhibit includes local automobiles spotted while sitting in line for the ferry and a couple of motorcycle paintings. Most of her work is done with oil and watercolor mediums.
She hopes the paintings displayed at the Sequim Museum &Arts will be able to speak for themselves by telling different stories.
“I’m hoping to share with (Sequim residents) the stories that they will see in the painting,” she said. “ And that maybe they will see some history.”
Aside from her artwork, Patterson said her recent artistic ventures have led her and her husband to music.
Her husband sings with Peninsula Men’s Gospel and she sings with Peninsula Singers. She also has a CD featuring her vocals called, “Wonderful World” that she said is both classy and jazzy.
To learn more about Patterson and her artwork, visit http://priscillamessnerpatterson.com/ or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.