Almost 60 years later, American expressionist Holly Patton Schul clearly remembers the moment she first set foot in her uncle’s Southern California art studio. Soon, the 12-year-old child at the time was fascinated by the brilliance of his oil paints. Their sharp, floral aromas filled her senses and solidified her lifelong love for a challenging yet gorgeous artistic medium. She remembers leaving the studio with a new determination that day. “I want to try It, “She thought.
So why did she wait until her mid-40s began?
“Many years ago, my dear friend and my mentor told me,’Holly, not every piece needs to be a masterpiece,'” said Patton Schul, now 71, with a laugh. It was. “I think the fear of failure was my block.”
Before the oil
She never forgot her experience with oil paints, but the bright young artist cultivated her talent by creating with other media, especially pens and inks. After graduating from high school in 1968, she entered Western Kentucky University and majored in art, as she always wanted.
But when parents, who were very concerned about the prospect of a woman’s employment at the time, said she would not continue to fund her education unless she added an educational element to her degree, Patton Schul. Refused. She could no longer pay for school education and did not participate in the program for two years.
“I didn’t like babysitters, not to mention the idea of teaching a room full of kids! So I let go of it before painting was an option.”
A self-proclaimed “free spirit,” Patton Sur spent the next few years traveling and exploring, spending some time in the Canadian commune. She eventually settled in Austin, Texas for some time with her first husband and began to build a renowned career in sales and retail, but she continued to pursue her creative passion.
“I was absorbed in becoming a seamstress and did a lot of sewing and embroidery,” recalls Patton Sur. “Of course, I also draw pictures. I always make them with my own hands.”
“Pick up a brush”
In 1991, Pattonsur moved to Williamsport, Pennsylvania with his daughter and third husband to embark on a new adventure. The marriage didn’t last long, but she stayed in the area and was immersed in the local arts and theater scene. There she met her fourth and last husband. On her 43rd birthday, she gave her the most meaningful gift she had ever received: her own set of oil paints.
“It was life-changing for me. I remember going. He gave me these paints, so I’m not going to be chicken and I won’t do it.” And it’s it was love. “
Under the wings of an artistic leader and friend who gave her an informal apprenticeship at the pajamas factory, Patton Sur finally began to learn the intricate art of oil painting. With each piece she completed, her passion for work grew. “I was painting when I wasn’t hitting the dollar.” So when Patton Schul was able to retire in 2016, she chased the dream she had since childhood, I decided to become a full-time artist.
Patton Schul will temporarily leave Williamsport the following year to help take care of her sick brother-in-law in Kentucky, as fate has it. While there, she remembered an interesting bite she grew up and heard – people over a certain age could attend a state university for free or at a discounted price. After examining what was available, she decided to apply for the prestigious Height Art Institute at the University of Louisville. There she was gladly accepted after submitting credits and a comprehensive portfolio nearly 50 years ago.
Finally, Patton-sur spent four semesters on track to earn a college degree. This was exactly the same amount of money I spent in my first school in the 1960s, completing advanced-level courses and completing my skills. Then a COVID occurred. During the shutdown, Patton Shull introspected. What is the most important thing for her?
Of course, the answer was her daughter who still lived in Williamsport and her growing granddaughter. With a characteristic bold move, she decided to quit school again to get closer to them. This time, but the decision is …
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“My best paintings haven’t come yet”: This 71-year-old artist is still breaking new ground | on the pulse
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