“Creating rhythms, movements and most importantly vibrations of light and color, a painting is capable of evoking an emotional expression unlike the experience of simply looking at recognizable objects.”
A painting class at the University of Toledo’s School of Design piqued Patricia Rhoden Bartels’ interest, and for 40 years she has been creating magnificent paintings with oils, acrylics and water colors. Today she is an artist, and also an art teacher at Brown County Public Schools, applying the craft of painting to the next generation. She has won numerous awards, and her work is permanently exhibited in the Indiana State Museum, the Fort Wayne Museum of Art and the Civil Rights Museum.
Her gold-leafed ornate painting technique is one aspect that allows Patricia’s art to distinguish itself from works by other painters. She knows of no other artists who currently use the same method. Color inspires her and is more important to her than shapes and recognizable subjects. “My paintings are a celebration of the exceptional beauty of nature, represented in vibrant broken color,” Patricia says. “Slashing emotional brush strokes and scintillating, vibrating colors follow the movements of thick paint applied in the impasto technique, which creates flickering touches of light and color.”
Painting is an emotional and beautiful process for Patricia. “Although I appreciate other artists’ work, I do not try to copy their style or technique,” she says. “My paintings are my reactions and emotions. On a good day there is a rush or sense of exhilaration that takes you away during the creative process.” Patricia has painted series with Anti-War and Dignity in Death themes because she tries to express her beliefs through her art.
Being a Hoosier is central to Patricia’s work, as the rolling Indiana countryside inspires her landscape paintings. With the acceptance of her work into Indiana Artisan, Patricia hopes that doors will open to new opportunities. “I hope to find new markets and gain more exposure,” she says.