© 2019 by Patricia Green | Nashville, TN | info@patriciagreenpaintings.com

A Biography of Patricia Green

A Visual Soliloquy by Linda Lee Kaye

“Stream of Consciousness is not just a way to write, it’s the way I paint—I call it stream painting,” muses Nashville based artist, Patricia Green, as she talks about her distinctive approach to expressing complex and highly abstract themes on canvas.  A life-long Southerner, Green won’t be stereotyped.  She asserts that she’s highly independent, even a cowgirl of sorts.

 

The label of “eccentric” has followed her most of her adult life, but it’s more accurate to describe her as daring, bold and free-spirited. Green appreciates many aspects of the South’s traditional culture--from the fragrance and sensuality of the landscape to the soulful music and the culinary riches.  However, she can’t and won’t abide the all-too-common bigotry and racism that still exists below the Mason-Dixon Line.

These views started while she was a college student, led her to become actively involved in civil rights and later, the feminist movement, both of which would shape her thinking and ultimately her adventuresome expression as an artist.  She says she might have been a writer, but her thinking would have definitely “caused some heartburn”.  Abstract painting provides a little more cover,” she laughs.


Speaking of writing, her literary foundation which started early and has had a deep and lasting impact on her paintings. included not only the classical literature, but poets, and philosophers as well. She has a particular fondness for Southern writers such as William Faulkner, Harper Lee, Tennessee Williams, Pat Conroy, and Barbara Kingsolver to name a few.

Barbara Kingsolver’s novel, Poisonwood Bible, inspired the painting, “My Africa,” and similarly, her book, Animal Dreams, inspired the painting by the same name. 

My Africa

The ancient poet Rumi also influenced her. Some of his most beautiful lines inspired three of her paintings: “Tender Like The Evening Star”, “The Longingness Of The Stringless Harp”, and “The Wound Is Where The Light Enters.”

Tender Like the Evening Star
The Longingness Of The Stringless Harp
The Wound Is Where the Light Enters

Having a mother who was a gifted porcelain painter is Green’s earliest recollection of wanting to paint.  “I remember watching her in awe,” Green says fondly.  “She would start with this fragile ‘blank’ piece of porcelain begin applying the paint to her chosen form, she would deliberately create her compositions, bending and twisting the flowers over and around the shape of her piece until the design felt right to her.

“I learned about color, composition, depth of field, perspective, light and dark contrast from years of watching my mother painstakingly produce those exquisite pieces.”

Later, in high school, Green’s love of art caught the attention of a couple of teachers who became her early mentors.  During her summer vacations, she also started taking classes with an accomplished local artist, George Little of Chattanooga.  In her senior year, her efforts ultimately got recognized--she won the Art Award.  Green subsequently attended the Mississippi University for  Women where she studied art and philosophy for two years, then transferred to the University of Tennessee where she completed her degree.

For the next twenty-five years, Green painted for her own enjoyment while raising a daughter. Time for painting was a luxury, however.  Working first in the corporate world and later starting her own organization development consulting practice, time for painting remained difficult.  She always thought that when she retired someday, she would return to her first love; however, in her fifties, fate intervened.  She suffered a life-changing accident that left her left arm and hand seriously injured enough to force her to give up her demanding career as a management consultant. She took less fulfilling work with lower salary and no travel in order her to have the time to once again pick up her brushes. For a couple of years, someone else would have to unscrew the lids of the paint tubes for her.

 

“With a critical change in my life, and a paradigm shift in my thinking, I was able to return to my painting with great passion.” She left her more classical painting and ventured into the world of abstraction. For Green, the painting process is as important as the final end product, which explains her advice on how you might view her work.  "To those who say that they don't understand abstract art, I say look for the forms, sense the energy, try to follow the flow … of line, colors, even the brush strokes themselves.  Look for the ‘music’ in the painting.  Abstract painting is a lot like improvisational music … you can appreciate the compositional elements for their own sake to enjoy it; you don’t have to understand the artist’s intent.  You have a lot of freedom to interpret what you see or experience and assign your own meaning to it.”

 

Some highlights of her years in painting include:

  • First Place in Painting at the Tennessee Art League’s National Competition on for “Non-Linear Ways” from her Light Beam Rider series. The next year’s Tennessee Art League’s National Competition brought a Second Place in Painting for “Night Walk on The Rim” from her Grand Canyon series.

  • Green has had four solo exhibitions in local Nashville galleries.

  • Many of her paintings were shown on the ABC TV series, “Nashville” which had six seasons. “Ascension” is one of her favorites.

Having a mother who was a gifted porcelain painter is Green’s earliest recollection of wanting to paint.  “I remember watching her in awe,” Green says fondly.  “She would start with this fragile ‘blank’ piece of porcelain begin applying the paint to her chosen form, she would deliberately create her compositions, bending and twisting the flowers over and around the shape of her piece until the design felt right to her.

“I learned about color, composition, depth of field, perspective, light and dark contrast from years of watching my mother painstakingly produce those exquisite pieces.”

Later, in high school, Green’s love of art caught the attention of a couple of teachers who became her early mentors.  During her summer vacations, she also started taking classes with an accomplished local artist, George Little of Chattanooga.  In her senior year, her efforts ultimately got recognized--she won the Art Award.  Green subsequently attended the Mississippi University for  Women where she studied art and philosophy for two years, then transferred to the University of Tennessee where she completed her degree.

For the next twenty-five years, Green painted for her own enjoyment while raising a daughter. Time for painting was a luxury, however.  Working first in the corporate world and later starting her own organization development consulting practice, time for painting remained difficult.  She always thought that when she retired someday, she would return to her first love; however, in her fifties, fate intervened.  She suffered a life-changing accident that left her left arm and hand seriously injured enough to force her to give up her demanding career as a management consultant. She took less fulfilling work with lower salary and no travel in order her to have the time to once again pick up her brushes. For a couple of years, someone else would have to unscrew the lids of the paint tubes for her.

 

“With a critical change in my life, and a paradigm shift in my thinking, I was able to return to my painting with great passion.” She left her more classical painting and ventured into the world of abstraction. For Green, the painting process is as important as the final end product, which explains her advice on how you might view her work.  "To those who say that they don't understand abstract art, I say look for the forms, sense the energy, try to follow the flow … of line, colors, even the brush strokes themselves.  Look for the ‘music’ in the painting.  Abstract painting is a lot like improvisational music … you can appreciate the compositional elements for their own sake to enjoy it; you don’t have to understand the artist’s intent.  You have a lot of freedom to interpret what you see or experience and assign your own meaning to it.”

 

Some highlights of her years in painting include:

  • First Place in Painting at the Tennessee Art League’s National Competition on for “Non-Linear Ways” from her Light Beam Rider series. The next year’s Tennessee Art League’s National Competition brought a Second Place in Painting for “Night Walk on The Rim” from her Grand Canyon series.

  • Green has had four solo exhibitions in local Nashville galleries.

  • Many of her paintings were shown on the ABC TV series, “Nashville” which had six seasons. “Ascension” is one of her favorites.

Non-Linear Ways
Night Walk On The Rim
Ascensions

Today, Green really has forgotten about retirement. She has continued to work outside of the studio to bring in sufficient income. She has continued painting more, but has had little time for tending to the business side of art or exhibiting until now.

"The process of painting is my lure, my bait, and is my life line. It has become my journal. I have to paint."

Green has never left the South and maintains a Southern lifestyle, but has embraced a much broader view of the world politically, socially and certainly artistically.  Her paintings reflect that universe in an almost cosmic expression, but leave room for our own interpretations to go with her flow.  
 

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