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									WWW.PETALUMAPOST.COM                                                    THE PETALUMA POST                                                 OCTOBER 2007• 29



                          Post Notes
           Happy Birthday, Pat!

I
      magine a life in which       fine art and travel. She’s never    ence as it was under the Medi-
      you earn a good living       looked back.                        cis. But under these roofs are
      from work you love,              When she exhibited her          modern kitchens and baths,
      achieve critical and pop-    cool, electric blue images of       Swedish teak furniture and
ular recognition, and travel       Alaska, critics and collectors      CD players. I hear the roar of
widely in search of inspira-       began to notice. With “The          20th Century civilization: the
tion. Pat Smoot will be 82         Spaces of Baja”, her reputa-        loud whirr of motor scooters
years old this month and she’s     tion grew. “Images of Africa”       and garbage being dumped Sea of Cortez, 1976
spent most of the past five de-    attracted 5000 people. When         into waiting trucks.”
cades living that life.            she went to China with re-               Smoot works to music
     A fourth generation San       nowned San Francisco wa-            chosen to match the mood of
Franciscan, Smoot can trace        tercolorist Dong Kingman            the painting in progress. On
her lineage to General Fran-       in 1980, she was unable to          primed jute canvas with a “re-
cisco Castro, commandant of        mount a show because many           markable texture”, she applies
the Presidio in 1821. She was      of the paintings were pur-          a burnt sienna undercoat. She
born in the city, but her fa-      chased before the pigment           first draws her design in chalk.
ther gave up business for dairy    was dry. She’s now visited 72       When she’s satisfied, she
ranching at mid-life, so she       countries and can often fi-         draws over the chalk with ink
was raised near Tomales. Like      nance her trips by pre-selling      “strongly, rapidly, intensely.”
her mother, an accomplished        paintings yet to be done of         She believes that her paintings
pianist and harpist, Pat Smoot     places on her itinerary.            are essentially abstracts -- ar-
attended UC Berkeley, gradu-           When she travels, Pat           rangements of relating shapes
ating with a degree in Fine        Smoot takes photographs and         and vibrant colors. In an in- China, 1980
Arts. She married and raised       makes sketches in ink and wa-       terview with George Roberts,
a son -- now President of          tercolor as reference for the oil   she described the experience
Patrick Henry University in        paintings she’ll create at home     of adding the colors.
West Virginia. During that         in her Petaluma studio. In the           “Working over a warm
time, she produced ads for the     margins of the sketches, she        ground creates so many sur-
Emporium, Breuners Furni-          writes her impressions of the       prises. Cool colors are more
ture, Macy’s, and the San Jose     location or subject. About the      intense. Cadmium Orange
Mercury News. In 1962, after       Florentine rooftops at right,       Deep is dazzling against the
a trip to Europe, she decided      she wrote:                          transparent burnt sienna. The
to devote herself exclusively to       “This is the medieval Flor-     work can take on a color qual-
                                                                       ity like the illumination of
                                                                       stained glass.”
                                                                            Professional critics often
                                                                       shun a “commercially” popu-
                                                                       lar artist, but Pat Smoot has
                                                                       enjoyed accolades from scores
                                                                       of connoisseurs and museum
                                                                       directors. She’s won dozens of
                                                                       major awards and her work is
                                                                       included in many important
                                                                       museum and private collec-
                                                                       tions.
                                                                            When she was a little girl,
                                                                       Pat Smoot dreamed of being
                                                                       an artist and world traveler.
                                                                       She’s done it. Keep it up, Pat
                                                                       – and Happy Birthday!            Florence, 1995


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