McGaw Graphics is delighted to welcome painter Patty Voje, whose spirited animal portraits appear in the new Summer 2018 Supplement. Based in Saint Paul Minnesota, Patty Voje was raised on a small hobby farm, inspiring her to paint animal portraits infused with spontaneity, color and natural light. We spoke with Patty to learn more about her process and inspiration behind her engaging images (interview below). See the Patty Voje Print Collection:
MG: What medium do you work with?
PV: Oil on Gessobord.
MG: What inspires you? What artists inspire you?
PV: (I’m) Somewhat inspired by the usually uninspiring and often unattractive- pigs, cows, old store fronts – animals and scenes that often get overlooked. Two artists that inspire me are Rosa Bonhuer and Edward Volkert. They’re both painted lots of cows in the 1800’s. I keep prints of their work in my studio for inspiration.
MG: What are your hobbies (besides art)?
PV: I love almost anything outdoors – love to explore national and state parks, small towns, road trips. I workout every morning. I love music and go to lots of concerts at a wide variety of venues. From opera to hip hop. I have two bulldogs and I guess you could consider them a hobby.
MG: Describe your workspace:
PV: I have a large studio in my home. I have two large easels set up and one small one. I love this studio. It provides lots of natural light and drying racks on two walls. I keep a lot of my old paintings on hand so I can learn from my mistakes. There are also two dog beds, though honestly my dogs usually just sleep on top of each other while I paint. I have a large workbench along one wall that’s really fantastic! Hand-crafted by my brother Jerry, it offers lots of flat space for varnishing and framing and vertical space underneath to store boards and frames. Also, scattered around the studio is my collection of 1940’s chalkware pigs.
MG: How many years have you been an artist?
PV: I’ve been painting on and off my entire life, but about 5 years ago I really decided to put forth some legitimate effort to get someplace with it.
MG: Do you work in silence or with music? If music, what do you listen to?
PV: I almost always have music on and many of my cows and pigs have picked up their names from songs and/or artists. I listen to a wide variety. Lots of Bruce Springsteen though!
MG: If you were not an artist what would you do?
PV: When I was a kid I always thought being a pig farmer sounded fun. It still might, not sure ;).
MG: What jobs have you done besides being an artist?
PV: I’ve spent the better part of my life as a creative director in the agency world.
MG: What is your dream project?
PV: Any day I can stay in my studio and paint a cow is a dream for me.
MG: Is there a painting or project that you are especially proud of?
PV: I had a woman in San Diego commission a large 4 x 5 foot cow. I was a bit nervous and thought this could really be a terrible experience. Worried what I’d do if she didn’t like the final product. I learned tons in the process, for instance if you call Ampersand they are happy to build whatever size panel you want ;) The painting turned out very well. I named her King of the Road and shipped her off to California. It inspired me to paint larger and not to be afraid of commissions.
MG: What is your favorite color?
PV: Yellow is my favorite color, might explain why my paintings all have a warm underpainting. I love capturing the warmth of sunlight in paint.