Guest Column: An artist’s thoughts about her work

by Patricia Oblack, Artist

As an intuitive artist I never know for sure how people will respond to my art. I recently sold one of my works to a professional who spends a great deal of time at her desk with no one around except her thoughts. She purchased a work of mine from a jpg or Joint Photographic Experts Group image, never seeing the actual thing, after spending several hours on my various links. She said how amazed she was, it was so much more than she could have imagined and how happy she was, as it would be her only companion while she worked.

I was blown away by that reaction, but not totally surprised.  I’ve been told by galleries and viewers at art shows people linger on my work (sometimes for more than an hour), touching the surface and searching, hoping to find the hidden meanings or messages on the surface, trying to understand my thoughts and processes.

That said, I am not the norm in terms of the artists that I have experienced. I never use ‘art speak.’ Completely self-educated, I work on a level most people/artists perhaps don’t grasp. My work, if I must explain, is based on a gut reaction to the surface, to music and often memories that rush through my head when I put paint to surface. Only after a board is complete, do I really study it, wondering, where was I when I painted this? I’m serious. All my years in Fine Art have been produced with the use of palette knives, even if the piece is 8’x8′, I still use nothing but my small knives.

I love the naming process, which also mystifies, what is the hidden meaning? My work, each piece, is most likely a smidgen of my soul and they are my children. Any number of artists can linger and speak in eloquent prose on the meaning of their work, but when the paint is dry, it’s difficult to say if there is a value beyond your own heart. And, while I may note that my work has not evolved, that would be untrue, the same tools are used and there’s a link from painting to painting, so much so that I’ve been told, when entering a gallery, it’s been said: “Oh my god, you have an Oblack!”  My children have somewhat common threads.