Patty Haller (www.pattyhaller.com) explains, "I'm an analyst who paints. I create interior views of natural spaces which orchestrate water, botanical and geologic elements into coherent compositions. I study art history and philosophy to learn techniques and attitudes. Then I combine ideas, using my Pacific Northwest surroundings as a source for visual experiments. I might interpret the far river bank as a German etching but visualize the foreground plants as modern flat abstract shapes. I love the idea of finding big data in the forest and taking on the role of a gentle visual organizer, letting the natural elements speak for themselves on the panels, and using color to define spatial relationships. My art has a devotional quality which is intentional, and meditative to create."
What artist do you most identify with?
My art is about the devotional treatment of the natural world. I identify with all art that feels sacred, whether or not it's religious. I love the tenderness of medieval icons, the supreme technique of Bellini, della Francesca and Van Eyck, the strength of Masaccio and Mantegne, and the delicate space of Micheal Pacher's polychrome altarpieces. I love Japanese nihonga and ceramics. I admire many Germans/Swiss/Austrians: Albrecht Durer, Paul Klee, Egon Schiele, Gustav Klimt, Anselm Kiefer and Gerhard Richter. I love sculptors Barbara Hepworth, Alberto Giacometti, Ruth Asawa and El Anatsui. All this art touches the divine, or at least a highest ideal of human potential.
Where can people find you hanging out?
My meta-answer is I hang out with the thoughts in my head,wherever I am. And that's actuallytrue.Iam content to meditate on life and art. Of course I'm in my art studio at Magnuson Park as much as possible. I frequent art supply and book stores in the U District. I drive my kids around in Seattle traffic, listening to their radio station. I fit at least one visit to Edison every month and spend time at the family cabin on Whidbey. When I really bust out, I head to ocean beaches and old growth forests. My favorites are in Olympic and Mount Rainier National Parks. I'm a people loving nature gal who loves a good road trip. And if it looks like I'm spacing out, I'm probably just thinking about Brunelleschi or the Bauhaus.
If you could own a work of art by any living artist, what would it be (or whose)?
Could I maybe have one of Gerhard Richter's "Candle" paintings? I'm not picky which one. "Kerze", "Zwei Kerzen" (Two Candles), or "Schadel mit Kerze" (Skull with Candle) with its Northern Renaissance memento mori. Seeing one of these from Paul Allen's collection at the EMP stopped me cold. I immediately and silently wept. I promised myself I'd become an oil painter, one is who not afraid to use any technique, modern or classic, abstract or pictorial. Just like Gerhard Richter.
Tell us a story of when you sold your first piece?
I'll share about my first sale to a public collection, a panel painting for a medical center. I had been obsessing about the whole transaction from an insecure artist perspective. Was the title dumb? How would my art compare to the artists installed nearby? A few months after the installation I received an email from a cancer patient who said she visited my painting every day during her treatments. That affected me deeply. The painting had an existence and purpose outside my life, it was supporting someone who needed it, and she is actually took precious time to tell me. The painting didn't need to be perfect, it just needed to be made with care and good intention, which it was. Care and intention is always in my control. So that has become one of my motivations for making the paintings. Approach my art sincerely, work to make it richer in meaning and better crafted, then get it out there in the world where it can do its best work.
What kind of art can we find in your home?
I have masterpieces absolutely everywhere. Actually I have images of masterpieces in the hundreds of art history books that are lying absolutely everywhere. Someday I must organize them better. There's a very large carved German Teutonic Knight which is cool and unexpected. Martin Blank's glass art near my computer transmits colored light and keeps me company. There are two wood stones by Andrew Vallee, a real stone by Lucy Mae Martin, a few geodes and Native American baskets. My own paintings, a Russell Chatham landscape and my kids' artwork round out the collection.
What is the best home for your art?
I make my art to satisfy my own interests. But once finished, I consider my paintings to be gestures of goodwill to their viewers, so their ideal home is wherever people need that support. I hope my paintings infuse spaces with life-affirming energy and encouragement. I say this without irony. I'm a mother, and I hope people will hang the paintings in their family homes. I've been a desk-bound office worker, and I hope organizations will hang the paintings to uplift stressed peoples' spirits. I hope to see more of my work in medical centers. We need more love in the world, more expressions wellness and care for those around us.
- 2017 Smith and Vallee Gallery (Edison) WA
- 2016 University of Washington Center for Urban Horticulture (Seattle) WA
- 2015 Carillon Point Properties (Kirkland) WA
- 2016 Smith and Vallee Gallery (Edison) WA
- 2016 US Botanic Garden (Washington DC)
- 2016 Anacortes Art Festival Juried Gallery (Anacortes) WA
- 2016 Arts Alive Invitational (La Conner) WA
- 2015 Attleboro Arts Museum (Attleboro) MA
- Anacortes Arts Festival Permanent Collection (Anacortes) WA
- Group Health Cooperative (multiple locations) WA
- Evergreen Health Medical Center (Kirkland) WA
- Island Hospital (Anacortes) WA
- Numerous private collections