Pat Goslee

Washington, D.C. | by August 29, 2008

After a long hiatus due to spring and summer craziness, I am happy to resume my posts with a studio visit I had this past spring with DC artist Pat Goslee. I was first introduced to her work back in 2002  and I was excited to see the transformation from the the textured encaustic pieces to now the layer upon layer of delicately painted forms oozing with tons of color on canvas and on gesso board. Combining water based oils with spray paint Pat talks about what makes her tick. You’ll be able to see her paintings in person at three venues this fall including two solo shows. The first one at the McLean Project for the Arts opens on Sept. 11 and runs through October 25. The opening reception is on Thurs. Sept. 18 from 7 – 9 p.m. The second solo show will be at the District Center Arts Center (DCAC) in Adams Morgan

See for more details on these exhibits and her work.

“I know only one thing, that I know nothing” — Socrates

Pat: “Some people can’t tolerate this state. It requires a kind of intellectual courage in the face of questions for which there aren’t easy answers. Questions that straddle the line between theoretical physics and philosophy. Questions about the nature of existence itself. 

At the same time, there’s a freedom in the unknown. Freedom to operate through intuition, tapping into what Jung called the collective unconscious. ”

“I never begin with an idea. Rather, I use what I call a shotgun method, working on lots of different paintings at the same time. Some days, I mix up only one color and apply that one color to 24 different paintings. Some days, I simply sit in my studio for a length of time. Because my studio is in my house, I can do this while brushing my teeth, in my underwear. The main focus of my current work is pattern, which I first came to through encaustics 11 years ago. At the time, I had been layering hot wax on top of various materials — cheese cloth, mesh netting, etc. — in order to build up surfaces to a sculptural level. Eventually, I put the wax aside. I just picked up some of the materials that I was using to build up the surfaces and I dipped those into paint and applied them directly to the canvas — a kind of decalcomania, like Max Ernst used to do. In the layered patterns I created, I discovered a kind of infinity that was not just space, but energy. More and more people seem to be making this kind of work: Inga Frick, Carol Brown Goldberg. ”

“One thing that excites me is how pattern and layering represent how we store “stuff” (information, emotional bagage, awareness). What do we take in? What do we filter out? What layers need to be removed, or rearranged, in order to change? There’s a lot of back and forth when I work. Foreground changes to back ground, and background pops in to foreground. I can get lost in the patterns, whether it’s cutting stencils or just drawing with colored pencils on a painting on paper. ”

“The most important thing is to try and stay open. Knowing that I dont know, but letting knowledge flow through me. We are all energy conduits, blocked to a greater or lesser degree. My paintings are a way of visualizing that energy.”

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