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Photo credit: Patricia Waldygo


PATRICIA WALDYGO
ARTIST’S STATEMENT



Living in Jamaica from 1976 to 1980 was instrumental in my development as a painter. In this remote setting, I had the luxury of endless stretches of time to observe nature in all its glory. Each day was a visual feast, and nighttime had its own mysteries. For many years, the stunning light and lush colors of the tropics influenced my palette and my style. Now, in New Mexico, the vast oceanic skies and unique high-desert landscape fulfill a similar role.

In my paintings, I try to evoke the elemental energy of nature or to portray enigmatic, spiritually significant events—the outer and the inner worlds. I hope my work sparks a sense of upliftedness in the viewer and provokes an awareness of the mind’s infinite potential.

I often take photographs to capture fleeting moments when the light and weather are most dramatic, then may use the photos to paint from in the studio. I admire plein air painters, but when I work, I’m too much of a wimp to be outdoors contending with the blazing sun and biting insects in the summer, or the winter’s bitter cold and gale-force winds. Maybe if I lived in California . . .

While in Jamaica, I painted in watercolors, but since 1980 I’ve used oils almost exclusively. My large paintings take anywhere from six weeks to three months to complete, and a few extremely detailed or ultra-large ones took from seven months (“Spider Rock at Canyon de Chelly,” "Moonlight Night (The Path to the Sea)" to a year or more ("The Kabbalistic Tree of Life," "Dream of a Future Memory"). Smaller paintings require much less time.

I prefer oils over any other medium because they allow me time to contemplate and revise, to sometimes use thin glazes or create atmospheric fuzzy edges. With large paintings, I often work in layers and a final step might be adding more light with strategic glazes before I’m satisfied with the result.

In addition to landscapes, I occasionally paint narrative types of scenes that depict significant dreams or experiences—either my own or other people’s.

My favorite artists are some of the contemporary American tonalist landscape painters; the German Expressionists, especially Emil Nolde; April Gornik; Leon Spilliaert; Paul Gaugin; J. M. W. Turner; Nicholas Roehrich; and Outsider artists such as Martin Ramirez.

The work on this website spans several decades and styles, giving an overview of my path thus far. The prices are based mainly on size, but paintings that are extremely detailed are more expensive because they took much longer to finish.

Regarding the paintings in the Sacred Sites series, I felt that to honor the various tribes’ sensibilities, I should stick to reality and not be wildly interpretive. As a result, the paintings are more or less representational, although I took many liberties with lighting and color.