I hope you do not see me as being egotistical writing to you each
week as if every one of you is interested in hearing so frequently what
I am doing and what I am painting. These letters are important to me
because they constitute a weekly diary that I am able to look back on
from time to time. Corrado Gabellieri is also pleased to have the letters
for the Museum archives. "You are going to be the best documented
artist of all time," Corrado tells me.
I do not want you to feel you have to read every letter in full to
consider yourself a collector of my art. Of course I am happy that the
letter is looked forward to by many of you because of the glimpse it
provides of my unconventional life that leads me to distant places.
However, know you will still be my friend whatever you do with these
This week I have completed a painting called The Basket Collector.
Having a modest but well loved collection of baskets of my own, the
painting came easily to me. Like those of us who paint, the basket weaver
often works alone and enclosed in tranquil thought. When I pick up one
of my baskets, I am enriched by an awareness of the weaver's patient
striving for perfection and the peacefulness of the basket's creation
passes into me.
Opening day at the Finn Gallery.
My early impressionistic paintings have become a subject of considerable
discussion since my return from Panama. The docents at the museum have
been speaking of visitor interest in my painting Boats and
people have been asking why they do not see more paintings in that style.
The answer is that apart from half a dozen of these paintings owned
by family members, all were sold long ago. At the foot of this letter
you will read more on this subject and what I propose to do about it.
I may, one day, turn the clock back and again paint with palette knife
and oil while still continuing to create my watercolor images in a separate
This past weekend was a busy one. To start with I attended the opening
of The Finn Gallery that has taken over representing my work in the
Tampa Bay area. The gallery got off to a flying start and its attractiveness
received all around praise. I congratulate Tim Finn on what is obviously
a highly successful start to a new phase in which the next generation
takes the lead.
Visiting the Chihuly glass exhibit.
My sister Mary (known as Honey by some of you) and her husband Bill
arrived on Thursday for the week and on Sunday we were joined by Josephine
and Bill Salle and daughter Marisa. During my years at the Washington
Irvine High School, Josephine was like an older sister to me. Because
the school only accepted children from New York and, in those days,
Staten Island was not a part of New York City, I went to live with Josephine
and her mother Aunt Mary Beretta. Josephine was always most kind to
me and came to my defense whenever her mother called me "Pig"
which she often did because of the untidiness of my room. My room was
the tiniest of rooms with just enough floor space to take the single
bed and a small bureau. I had to keep most of my clothes under my bed
and my other possessions under the bureau. By nature I am not a meticulous
person and it was inevitable that I should get into trouble in these
Dinner on Sunday night with the Italians in the majority. From Pat
clockwise, Bill Martin, Mary Martin, Lou Rousis, Ines Rousis, William
Salle, Josephine Salle and Marissa Souza. Malcolm took the photo.
The house was in Astoria, near to the Steinway piano factory, and at
my young age I was quite impressed that my aunt lived near such an important
place. Aunt Mary cooked the most delicious Italian meals and if I close
my eyes now and concentrate, I can smell again the aromas that came
from her kitchen.
On Monday Malcolm left for Panama where he will be working on a number
of projects to do with education, including the receiving and distributing
of the thirty-two computers donated by Texas Hover Craft through the
auspices of the Foundation.
Brownie Troop #662 on a "pajama tour" at the Museum.
Troop #662 making crafts at the Museum.
At lunchtime today I will be attending the Suncoast Girl Scout Women
of Distinction luncheon. This year's guest speaker will be Deborah Norville
and I am looking forward to meeting her. Meanwhile Brownie Troop #662
had a lock-in at the Museum on Friday night. After craft making and
pizza, they toured the Museum exhibit and visited the Museum's doll
house where most claimed to have found 40 toy mice which was a remarkable
achievement because as far as we know there are only 29. Perhaps eleven
real mice snuck into the house that night and stayed very still to be
counted. Late into the evening the troop watched movies before going
to sleep in sleeping bags on the floor.
Impressionism. Remarks by Malcolm:
Although Pat is known worldwide for her Valley Style that has been
prominent in her published works for the past thirty years, it was a
very different style that lifted her on to the first step of the ladder
An impressionist scene she painted in 1965 while living in Port Arthur,
Texas, won Pat the top award at the Virginia Museum's 1967 Waynesboro
Chapter Art Show. She had named the painting simply Boats.
As a part of her prize she was given a one-person show. At the show
most of her paintings sold.
Boats, palette knife, oil on board. 8 x10 ins.
The combination of Pat's inborn sense of color and light and her exceptional
talent for design, brings to her impressionist works a quality that
delights the eye and stimulates the desire to see more such paintings.
Pat continued with her impressionist style during her early years of
painting in Waynesboro while at the same time evolving her better-known
Valley Style. Eventually the demand for the latter became so great that
she put aside her oil paints and concentrated on watercolors of the
Valley scenes. Almost all of her impressionist paintings sold and disappeared
into private collections. Only the few that she kept for herself and
her children have remained within her family. One of these is Boats.
A gentleman living in Charlottesville is the owner of a painting much
admired by many of us at the Moss Portfolio and by Museum director Corrado
Gabellieri. Dockside is also a palette knife oil painting.
Dockside, oil on canvas board, 8-3/4 x 12 ins.
In response to recent requests for prints of Pat's impressionist period,
Pat is planning to publish Dockside as a giclee print, the
edition of which will be small in number. We will have more to tell
you as the publishing plan develops.
I believe that in Pat's impressionist paintings and her ability to
create more in the years to come, we have the prospects of forming some
exceptional collections for those art connoisseurs for whom this style
is of paramount interest. I am personally most excited.