Art of the Job

New York Husband/Wife art critics, Jerry Saltz and Robert Smith each recently posted similarly on their Instagram pages. They name five jobs they have had and posed the question to others. Well, she specified “first five” jobs and Jerry did not specify. Since the word count there is so limited and I was energized by this subject, I am giving myself over to that topic here…

Jobs not an ascending process—although it may feel that way at times when each seems a little more dignified and better pay, etc.—looking at the long views reveals more of a parallel adventure in the name of becoming who we are and surviving along the way.

I’ve had at least thirty jobs and another ten creative endeavors in the realm of freelance/art business efforts.

1.     Babysitter ~ Being a girl born in the 1950s, this was my first job as a teen  and I got a lot of mileage out of that one well into my 20s. My first “real” job was a brief few weeks as a cashier at one of Buffalo’s first discount box stores called Two Guys.

2.     Sandwich Maker ~ During Summer of 1973 I worked in a late-night sub shop inside a Cape Cod nightclub featuring rock bands—same Summer I hitch-hiked to the Summer Jam Music Festival in Watkins Glen, New York.

3.     Waitress ~ Beginning with Pizza Hut and ending with a San Francisco Fisherman’s Wharf seafood restaurant serving coffee and eggs to actual fishermen early in the morning. Between those places, there were a few others, but most memorable was serving breakfast to European tourists staying at a hotel in downtown SF. The busy dining room was managed by a portly Frenchman who had frequently called me out in the kitchen: “Patrizia, Patrizia…hurry, hurry, hurry…they are waiting” and a stint in a Long Island seafood establishment that involved carrying heavy trays loaded with lobsters and clam chowder. 

4.     Fashion and Art Assistant ~ During the 1980s I worked  in a NYC  Soho design studio helping to make and sell stylish clothing and accessories. Another brief scenario in the garment district required standing around long tables painting floral flourishes onto not-so-hip clothing. After taking a typing class, I managed to land in the Photograph Library at The Metropolitan Museum of Art where I had a chance to hang one of my paintings in their first ever Employee Art Show and enjoy many leisurely walks through the halls and galleries delivering envelopes between departments in a time before email.

5.     A few more illustrious job titles…House Cleaner, Taxi Driver, Secretary, Project Manager, Executive Assistant, Art Therapist, Counselor, Case Manager, Clinician, Sales Associate, Telephone Solicitor, Data Entry Associate.

Then there is that murky area of freelance/creative business in the name of getting money for art or creative products/services. In my case, these efforts were light on the business side in terms of income, yet a lot of inspiration and productivity resulted.

I sold ceramic mugs and bowls, batik scarves and t-shirts as a San Francisco Street Artist at the Embarcadero Plaza in the mid-1970s, followed by sewing some clothing items in the late 1970s-mid-1980s and hand painting…eventually had a line of children’s shirts and a line mesh tote bags before reusable tote bags were a thing. Typically, I sold some of my production and gave away many more as gifts.

I began writing online content in 2010 and learned to submit short informative articles to Demand Media. That led me writing a monthly column (blog) called Pat’s Cracked Cup for a couple years and writing art exhibition and book reviews for free alternative press in Buffalo (Artvoice and The Public). I facilitated a monthly Buffalo Writing Salon groups for a few years and printed some painted designs onto cotton fabric in 2016 and played around with sewing flags and neckties…called this endeavor PATOLOGY.

Consistent through all of this for the last 25 years has been making paintings, occasional exhibitions, and generally sharing the work in some way, such as this website.

 

SHAPE SHIFTING: Context is Everything - Playing with Scale in Virtual Galleries

I am not a diligent Instagram user, though in an effort to create new content during a time when I am not making new paintings, I looked around at apps for previewing wall art. I found Photofunia to be easy and fun to try some of the various gallery views available to upload images of my own paintings into and scale up my small to medium size work. The gallery walls have a feeling of The Metrpolitan Museum so my imagination was immediately captured. I posted twelve of these virtual gallery views on Instagram. Here is a sample of that…

RED CHAIR, 2018 - original is 5 x 8 inches, acrylic and collage on wood.

RED CHAIR, 2018 - original is 5 x 8 inches, acrylic and collage on wood.

INFLUENCES, 2019 - original is 8 x 12 inches, acrylic and collage on wood

INFLUENCES, 2019 - original is 8 x 12 inches, acrylic and collage on wood

EXPRESSIVE MOMENT, 2018 - original is acrylic and collage on wood

EXPRESSIVE MOMENT, 2018 - original is acrylic and collage on wood

I looked at some of the other apps that tend to give generic room options, but returned to a virtual gallery wall that I created a few years ago from a photo of a vintage sofa that was in the community space of the loft building where I reside. The sofa was a conversation piece that some loved and others did not. It eventually was seen covered with rain and ice by the dumpster, but my virtual Gold Couch Gallery remains…

RE-ENCHANTMENT, 2017 - original is 21 x 21 inches, acrylic and textiles on pizza box

RE-ENCHANTMENT, 2017 - original is 21 x 21 inches, acrylic and textiles on pizza box

FALLING TOGETHER, 2018 - original is 12 x 12 inches, acrylic and collage on canvas

FALLING TOGETHER, 2018 - original is 12 x 12 inches, acrylic and collage on canvas

ARRANGEMENT, 2018  -  original is acrylic on paper, 30 x 22 inches

ARRANGEMENT, 2018 - original is acrylic on paper, 30 x 22 inches

Part of making art is arranging and shifting of perceptions. Making is one thing—then looking at the finished thing is another. Hang the painting on the wall—stand far away—stand close up. Take a photo. Crop it to the edge or leave some wall showing behind. Look at just one corner. See patterns and connections moves us forward in life and art.

The virtual gallery is way of extending this kind of play. Seeing my creations in a new light is energizingand makes me want to paint new ones.

There was a wonderful coffee table book from the 1980s that features a red couch photographed all over the country. I love the idea of putting the same thing in a different context. Then there was the movie Amelie—she had her own game of photographing a garden gnome all over the place. I am fascinated by looking at old photos and seeing a familiar object. Just today I looked at a twenty year old photo of myself taken by a friend in Denver. We each moved to different cities and he died a few years ago, but I noticed in the corner of the room a stool that he gave me when he moved. I see that very stool now in my studio as I write this.

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See more virtual galleries…

patpendleton@instagram

VOX POPULI: Objects of Desire...

“I just happen to like ordinary things. When I paint them,

I don’t try to make them extraordinary.

I just try to paint them ordinary-ordinary.”

Andy Warhol

Blame it on Andy Warhol.

Images of ordinary domestic objects, toys, and food are ripe with associations that we easily connect with.

During the later 1970s, I took this photo in the kitchen of my apartment in the Mission District of San Francisco.

patpendletonstudio.com

patpendletonstudio.com

I began taking lots of photos of small still life shots of ordinary things and have continued to enjoy seeing the mundane framed as special. Often one single item is best, in the tradition of vintage flash cards…

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I have collected my own personal archive of Objects of Desire. These are just a few

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patpendletonstudio.com

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Can’t you smell the waxiness?

I admire the work of two local painters who make complex and varied work, but each as also produced a series of small paintings featuring one single item that fall into this category of Objects of Desire, domestic objects or toys—Candace Masters and Sara Zak.

Another local artist draws and paints Objects of Desire, such as your favorite metal Monopoly game markers (mine is the Thimble) or favorite toy figures. A.J. Fries has recently made a small painting a day for a year—all appealing everyday items, such as cupcake, jelly donut, rubber duck, butter lamb, paper bag, and 360 other things.

All will be on view January 5th (6-9pm) at 515 Main Street in Buffalo. Find out more here.

November Show at Artspace Buffalo Gallery

HARVEST: Recent Paintings by George Grace, Pat Pendleton, and J. Tim Raymond…

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Most of this work done in the past year has been shown in the Gallery or Blog, but seeing it all together on one wall adds so much to the viewing of one at a time…

PATTERNED SERIES - Fall 2018 (each painting on paper is 12 x 12 inches)

PATTERNED SERIES - Fall 2018 (each painting on paper is 12 x 12 inches)

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WINDOWS SERIES - Fall 2017 (each painting on paper is 15 x 15 inches)

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WINTER SERIES - Winter 2018 (each painting on wood is 8 x 10 or 5 x 8 inches)

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Patterned Four

I have utilized art challenges in the last couple years, as they are a motivator to do something different.  A site called saetastudio.com hosts “30 in 30” twice a year. This is a collection of studies on twelve-inch square paper with patterned collage elements to start me off with the acrylic paint...GO!

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Patterned Three

I have utilized art challenges in the last couple years, as they are a motivator to do something different.  A site called saetastudio.com hosts “30 in 30” twice a year. This is a collection of studies on twelve-inch square paper with patterned collage elements to start me off with the acrylic paint...GO!

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Patterned Two

I have utilized art challenges in the last couple years, as they are a motivator to do something different.  A site called saetastudio.com hosts “30 in 30” two times a year. This is a collection of studies on twelve-inch square paper with patterned collage elements to start me off with the acrylic paint...GO!

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Patterned One

I have utilized art challenges in the last couple years, as they are a motivator to do something different. A site called saetastudio.com hosts “30 in 30” two times a year. I am a little late arriving to this one. I will use twelve-inch square paper with patterned collage elements to start me off with the acrylic paint...GO!

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