01/15/14 By Janessa Osle
Patti Mollica, gifted oil and acrylic painter and author of Modern Acrylics and Color Theory, first became passionate about art when she was a little girl. Her first role model was her babysitter, who would come over with a sketchbook and oil pastels.
"I still have those sketchbooks! She would sit and draw from her imagination, including beautiful scenes, people, etc. I was completely mesmerized by her, and so inspired to follow in her footsteps," Patti says.
After these early artistic encounters, Patti asked her mother to buy her a sketchbook and some oil pastels, and thus began her lifelong career as an artist.
Many of Patti's favorite artists have also been a source of inspiration to her, including Joaquin Sorolla, John Singer Sargeant, Richard Diebenkorn, William Hook, Marvin Franklin, and Robert Cunningham. She was also encouraged to pursue her dreams and artistic endeavors through the support of her parents.
Living in New York City, and thus driven by so many sources of inspiration, Patti has never had an issue staying motivated—once she starts a painting, the inspiration happens naturally.
"When I go into NYC, I see paintings everywhere I look—it's very inspiring!" Patti says.
In addition to working in oil and acrylic, Patti enjoys working in mixed media and pastels. Her favorite subjects to draw are cityscapes, city scenes, and still lifes.
For artists just starting out, Patti advises that practice makes perfect. She believes the only way to learn to draw well is to practice constantly. Looking at the bigger picture can be a great help, including thinking globally when it comes to composition.
Patti feels that she has a unique perspective in approaching composition, thanks to a background in graphic design. Expressing that a strong composition outweighs detail or rendering when it comes to the success of a painting, Patti stresses the importance of being aware of design.
"It is the large abstract shapes that are the foundation of a painting. If the composition does not work in black and white (think logo), then it will not work in color," Patti says.
Patti admits that her work has evolved over the years. She is now more sensitive to color and has learned the importance of using it sparingly, only when needed. She agrees with the words of famous illustrator Andrew Loomis who said, "Colour is very much like a bank account. If you dip into it too much, soon you have none."
Aside from art, Patti also enjoys snowboarding, exercising, and Eastern spirituality. She is an avid supporter of environmental causes and animal rights.
Janessa is Assistant Editor at Walter Foster Publishing. With strong opinions about everything, Janessa has an insatiable appetite for life and a profound love for the Ramones (and music in general), literature, art, nature, and her cats.
Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.
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