Patty Voje

Saint Paul Fine Artist

“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 promiently 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.

Patty Voje’s website

Patty Voje Interview

“I remember a long time ago in a class where everyone was painting flowers and vases with flowers and stuff and I was painting a pig and everyone is like ‘Oh that’s a funny choice. Why are you painting a pig?’ and I’m like ‘I don’t know. I just kind of gravitate towards it.”

Voje moved to a 10 acre farm when she was in the 4th grade and has had a connection to farm animals ever since.

“They have emotions just like people do and they have bad days and they have good days and they get scared and they’re happy. It’s all there.”

“Nothing replaces the in person experience… I hope it makes people happy to look at them.”