Los Angles based artist Elizabeth Patterson uses colored pencils and solvent to recreate, very faithfully, the absurdly complex formation that water droplets make on rain-streaked windshields. Patterson begins with her own photography and often utilizes several images for a single drawing, finding the details and patterns that feel right for each composition. Patterson’s imagery is strikingly similar to Gregory Thielker, whose artwork I wrote about back in 2010. While Thielker artwork is oil based, Patterson relies on colored pencils.
Originally from Pennsylvania, Elizabeth Patterson earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at Minneapolis College of Art and Design and relocated to the Los Angeles area in 1979. She worked in numerous mediums and styles with a strong proclivity for graphite and color pencil rendering. Though she won recognition from a very early age, her success as an emerging artist came to an abrupt halt in 1984. A severe crash injury resulted in a complete loss of use of her drawing hand and necessitated two years of intensive medical treatment. Feeling uncertain that she would ever draw again, Elizabeth put her artistic pursuits aside and embarked on a completely different career path.
In 1986, Elizabeth traveled to Hawaii where she explored the magnificence of the undersea world. Little did she know that the visual impressions of that experience were committed to memory and would surface many years later to inspire her magnificent color pencil drawings. Thirteen years after that trip, when her partner insisted that she resurrect her art career, she was stunned to discover that her gift for drawing was unaffected by the distressing injury. The result was a series of brilliant aquatic drawings that catapulted the artist back into the world of creativity. She continues to expand her subject matter, demonstrating an admirable mastery in graphite and color pencil drawing. Her work has won critical acclaim and numerous awards including the prestigious honor of signature status in the Colored Pencil Society of America.
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