by Patty Voje
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Artwork Photography for Patty Voje
As Edward Hopper famously said, “what I wanted to do was to paint sunlight on the side of a house.” I often feel like this about farm animals. Nothing makes me happier than stumbling upon a well-lit cow in a field. I grew up on a small hobby farm where I had the good fortune to include pigs, sheep, and the occasional chicken as members of the family. I have always been fascinated by animals. Perhaps I understand them better than humans or maybe I just find them easier to get along with. Now I find myself a city dweller that spends weekends driving through the countryside to search for the little farms of my youth—scenes that are getting harder and harder to catch a glimpse of, which may be why they figure prominently in my art. Outside of farm animals, I’m also intrigued with small town life and enjoy painting scenes of shops, streets and neighborhoods. Plein air painting figures prominently in my art and I paint on location, from life as often as possible.
I paint in the alla prima style – a painterly approach: large brushes loaded with paint that is sloppily yet thoughtfully laid down. And therein lies the challenge of painting and why I’m driven to paint in the first place. The fun part is trying to capture the humor on a cow’s face or the sense of day in as few brush strokes as possible. I live and paint in Saint Paul, Minnesota.
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