Patricia Saxton has spent a lifetime crafting all things art and writing. Exhibited widely throughout the New York/Philadelphia metropolitan areas before moving west, Saxton is an equally accomplished painter, illustrator and graphic designer. Creative director of design firm Saxton Studio, she is also the author-illustrator of an inspirational design book (52 Weeks of Peace) and three best-selling children's books (Book of Mermaids, Book of Fairies, Book of Dragons). Her approach across mediums is both intuitive and disciplined, with an eye for detail and a spirit of originality using a palette that reflects a deep sensitivity for light and color.
A New Jersey native and graduate of Wittenberg University, Saxton currently resides in Sedona, Arizona and is represented there by Rumi Tree Art Gallery at 40 Soldiers Pass Road. If you're in town, this beautiful gallery is a must visit!
ASKING AN ARTIST TO TALK ABOUT HIS WORK IS LIKE ASKING A PLANT TO DISCUSS HORTICULTURE. [JEAN COCTEAU]
I could tell you stories of how some paintings come to be (sometimes swooping in like a sudden storm, sometimes a quiet, persistent nudging). I could tell you how free it feels in the sweet-spot moments of creation. I could talk about colors, or the thrill of late afternoon light. But I can't tell you why I may choose to paint a pear or a pot or a sky or variations of a horizon line. There are symbolic suggestions within subjects and styles - but these are after-things; after-the-fact musings on deeper meanings. In the moment, I can't explain feeling compelled to paint this or that, why I'm drawn to curves and shadows or often feel a slave to my imaginings. It's a mystery of spirit that moves differently in every artist; what feels beautiful or unnerving, what inspires individual expressions and forms unique bodies of work that may touch some hearts and not touch others - after all, art speaks differently to each viewer, and that's all I really know. Spirit moves and you follow. - Patricia
FROM THERE TO HERE
I wanted to be a teacher. Or an archaeologist, or a psychologist. I wanted to help others and "save the world". I saw life as a great big place with a thousand trails to discover. I thought I might follow one of those trails - with a sketchbook and writing pad at my side, "just because".
In retrospect, it seems my course was set. Written in the stars perhaps?
Raised with gardens and sonnets (my father was a farmer-turned-chemical engineer; my mother a poet), I was a fourth child with time to explore and hand-me-down crayons at the ready. And so it began. Plop little me in a corner with a pens, pencils, paints and paper and I was fairly content.
Fate got a push during an early year living in Europe. My father had a lengthy business assignment in Germany, so the whole family packed up and sailed the Queen Mary towards our life abroad. There my young eyes devoured castles and white-robed alps, tulip fields and wooden shoes, cobbled streets, weathered old signs, and miles of purple vineyards. It was a visual feast, and all the while my mother told me, "remember this". So I did. And I fell in love with wonder.
Quickly abandoning crayons for the finer points of a pencil, my private art school would become a flowerbed, where I might be found studying the lights and darks that made up a rose petal. My school was also found in faces, a salt shaker, a bowl of fruit - subjects were endless. I would practice for hours on end and awards would follow. And sitting right next to the act of honing my crafts was a desire to keenly observe the world around me; to know the behaviors of shapes and shadows and understand the ways of humanity. (I'm still learning.)
By my early twenties, three overlapping professions emerged: as graphic designer, illustrator and fine artist. With an AT&T art and marketing stint under my belt and a New York City backdrop, I launched my illustration & design business at age 27, serving a largely Fortune 500 clientele to this day. Between then and now has included more travel, motherhood, teaching, and books getting published. There were yearly get-togethers with Milton Glaser, and there were art exhibitions (including a treasured 9/11 retrospective show alongside notable artists such as Yoko Ono and Ultra Violet). There's been a lot of life lived, some really good, some really hard, and along the way a whole lot of work produced.
Now I seem to have returned to where it all began. A place that might be called art for art's sake - and with it, an insatiable desire to express the mysterious, the ordinary, the magical, the whispered - simply because it wants expressing.
The path is often right in front of our eyes all along.♦I post a lot on social media, especially on my FaceBook and Instagram pages, and would love to have you to join me there (found by clicking the icons at the bottom of each page) - but if you'd like to be among the first to personally hear of new work and special events, our newsletter sent by email is the way to go.