Born in Syracuse, New York, I spent part of my childhood on my uncle’s dairy farm, north of there. While growing up, we moved around the country a bit, living in Texas, Oklahoma, and Missouri, before returning to New York. We all have “coming of age” events and periods in our formative years that stand out, or hide, in our memory. These play a big part in how we see and emotionally respond to things, the rest of our lives. Being a romantic, I focus on the fond memories. Some that stand out for me, that I dare mention, are: haying season, and bringing in the cows for milking, while on the farm; hopping freight trains to go fishing, during my Huck Finn days in Missouri; working nights at the Velasko Inn, then stopping at an all night diner, during my high school years; my summer working carnival games, in upstate New York; going to college as a single parent, in Rhode Island; and teaming up with two inspiring partners to create a tee shirt, and then design business, to finance my college years.
I studied illustration and painting at Rhode Island School of Design. Remaining in Rhode Island, I developed a successful illustration career in association with my reps in Manhattan. My clients included, Paramount Pictures, Atlantic Records, Avon Books, Harper Collins, Playboy Magazine, Anheuser Bush, Seagrams, and Volvo. I enjoyed my success and there were a number of awards, that seemed important to me, at the time. During this time I was a guest lecturer at four colleges and at the International Design Conference, in Karachi Pakistan. It became apparent that it was time for a change.
In the mid 90s, I moved from a small island town off the coast of New England to a city in the Arizona desert and merged from illustration to a painting career. This is the fine art and western half of my life. Since this move, my work has been shown in galleries in Scottsdale, AZ; Sante Fe, NM; La Jolla, CA; Palm Springs, CA; San Antonio, TX; and Marin County, CA. I am pleased to learn that some of my work has been acquired by collectors with some owning numerous pieces.
My early inspirations included N. C. Wyeth, Andrew Wyeth, Winslow Homer, and Edward Hopper, then later, Joaquin Sorolla, Burt Silverman, and Wayne Thiebaud. I love to combine my passion for painting with my passion for travel. I have made extensive road trips across North America, Mexico, and England, as well as sojourns to Italy, the Antilles, and primitive villages in the Darien Jungle in South America. Between gallery pieces and commissions, I am working on a collection from the jungle. It will be a “Portrait of the Darien”.
I have always been a reluctant to talk about art. It speaks for itself, but eventually, after asking myself over the years, “why are you compelled to do this?”, it begs some response. Being an artist is always being in the state of becoming. As for communication, art has the potential to be genuine magic. It is an expression of love. A painting is a response to the experience of being alive. To me, the difference between a nonobjective abstract and a painting of known objects is the same as the difference between music without lyrics or music with lyrics. They are both inspired from emotions and a desire to communicate. They both can be wonderful and they both succeed, or not, on their merits. I’ve never understood any argument between the two camps. As for subjects, I paint anything that evokes an emotion, anything that speaks to me. I see sensuality in the shapes of a flower or an automobile. I see romance in a barn, a diner, a carnival, a road, or a face.
— Pat Bailey’s bio from pbailey.com