Pat Stacy | Beyond What I See
While Arizona painter Pat Stacy has always felt drawn to art, her road to creativity has been a long and winding one. Unlike many artists who can point to pivotal moments in their childhood or an inspirational mentor early in life, her pursuit of art is borne of a lifetime of experience with the human condition. Her powerful, mystical work touches viewers at a deeper level; Pat speaks to the spirit, painting beyond what she sees.
Pat is a Licensed Professional Counselor, practicing first as a school counselor, working with teens for 26 years as a first teacher, and then a counselor at local high schools. Her work earned her the Outstanding High School Counselor award by the Arizona School Counselors Association and her Student Assistance Program earned top national honors from the Student Assistance Programs and Professionals Association and brought her local and school district awards. She retired from her profession in 1994 to care for her seriously ill husband who died later that year.
After his death, Pat became a disaster mental health volunteer with the American Red Cross, continuing her work as a facilitator and helper to those who needed her. This she did for the next 13 years, doing disaster work across the nation, teaching classes, becoming state and chapter lead for mental health, and serving as a Manager in 9/11 and on the Aviation (Critical) Incident Response Team. Pat believes that we are here to make a difference, and she believes that her work, did indeed, make a difference.
Her work was cut short in 2007 when her breast cancer from 2001 returned. Staph infections and surgeries in 2008 led her to pick up a paint brush. She had always said “Someday I will paint” although she had never tried artistic pursuits to any great extent. She had many hours of surgery that year, and found that if she painted, she didn’t hurt—distraction is a sound principle of pain management! And so she painted! It very quickly became a passion. In much better health in 2009, she sought out instructors and mentors who could help her learn technique and develop her style. “I was starting late in life, so the learning curve was straight up!”, she recalls. She studied with Bruce Marion, Betsy Dillard Stroud, and Nancy Reyner among others. “I would find artists whose work I admired, and then I would find out if they taught classes.” Another career was born, and she began to show her work later that year.
At first, Pat would try out the styles of the artists from whom she was taking classes, but very quickly she began to develop and cultivate her own unique style. While she had first worked toward purely abstract compositions, her paintings evolved to include symbols and spiritual imagery. “I intuitively know from my experiences that there are many realities I do not see,” Stacy says, “and my art began to touch viewers at a deeper level. I would have people see my work at a show and tell me that they felt something powerful emanating from the imagery—or that they find an energy in my booth.”
Pat’s subject matter draws from or is inspired by ancient and native cultures. Some of the symbols in her work come directly from native art, while others are her own creations, an artistic mythology that helps Pat convey her artistic vision to viewers.
“I often have a figure in the painting with a diagonal line to the shoulder,” Pat explains. “That figure I call an ‘Entity’, and the diagonal line represents the light of the Creator coming into the painting - my “thank you” for being allowed to create the painting, and my acknowledgment of where all creativity comes from.”
Over time, she has developed a symbolic language which she uses in her work. “Another symbol I have for the light of the Creator is descending squares,” she continues. “I have one or both of these in every painting, sometime very visible and sometimes somewhat hidden. I also use a spiral somewhere in most of my paintings. This represents the journey to the center of being for me, the quiet where we rest, regroup, and journey out to the world again. It is my hope that the viewer will develop their interpretations of the symbols and make them own.”
Pat’s current body of work is done on four wooden panels held together with dowels. She calls this type of piece a “Quadruvium”, meaning a crossroads where four roads meet. Pat creates the heavily textured paintings by building up layers of acrylic paint and employs crackling techniques to give the surfaces depth.
Despite being relatively new to the art market, Pat Stacy has developed a strong following for her work. She shows in galleries in Scottsdale, Sedona, Fountain Hills, Payson and Pine, Arizona. She has collectors across the nation and internationally as well. Her husband, Loren Anderson, has been a staunch supporter of her newly launched art career. He constructs her Quadruvium blanks, helps her prepare for and set up shows, and handles the paperwork of the business.
“I feel like everything in my life has been preparing me to create the art I’m creating today,” Pat says. “I’ve learned through the many experiences that I have known or seen that life can be difficult, but also incredibly beautiful. I would like to encourage people to find beauty, hope and meaning in their lives—and let art help guide them on the path.”
River of Hope
“There’s a river of hope
There’s a mountain of peace
There’s an ocean of joy
Waiting somewhere for me
If I trust in my God
Not what I see but what I know
I will always find
A river of hope”
-----Susan J. Paul
PStacy Fine Art
12698 E. Poinsettia Dr.
Scottsdale, AZ 85259