I’m excited to introduce you to artist Patti Vincent and her outstanding Gouache Miniatures!

Wait. Who’s Patti Vincent?

Ah, that would be an artist whose work caught my eye during my evening Instagram scrolling. Hey, no judging. As an art teacher, Instagram is a great source for viewing my favorite artists’ latest works and learning about new artists like Patti. Here’s a sampling of what stopped my scrolling.

Patti Vincent Gouache Miniatures featured on Pastimes for a Lifetime's Blog

Gouache Miniatures

 

Okay, but what’s gouache? What’s a miniature?

Hold on. All will be revealed in the interview ahead.

Without further ado, I’m pleased to introduce you to Patti Vincent and the story behind her exquisite miniature gouache paintings.

LRW: What is your style of painting referred to? Why gouache? For our art students, would you please describe what this style means or represents?

PV: My small gouache paintings shift back and forth between representational and abstract. I always paint from life, mostly en plein air (outside looking at the landscape). But I am always trying to simplify every shape and color into abstraction. One might call me a reductionist.

 
 

LRW: I like the term reductionist. I’m reminded of one of my favorite abstract artists, Piet Mondrian. He founded the De Stijl movement which was also based on the reductive theory. Please go on.

PV: Originally, I chose gouache because it is water-based and I needed that to travel overseas. I was participating in a 30-day challenge which meant painting in airports. Gouache made that easy. I fell in love with the ease of using a water-based medium. I also paint in oil.

LRW: Nice. I fondly remember painting poster-like projects in my  2-D art classes at CSUN (California State University, Northridge) back in my college days. I liked gouache’s opacity. My students have not yet explored gouache. May I ask, what are the similarities and differences of gouache to watercolors?

PV: Gouache is often described as an opaque watercolor. The opacity is due to the high pigment concentration. Because of gouache’s opacity, strokes of color can be layered and the white of the page is not precious, unlike watercolor. Gouache dries to a lovely matte finish.

LRW: Thanks for clarifying. The high pigment concentration explains the higher price for this medium, compared to transparent watercolors. What sizes do your gouache paintings range from? Can you please describe your easel setup that best accommodates them?

PV: My daily habit paintings are 2 x 2 inches. I routinely paint 12 x 12 inch gouache paintings. My largest gouache painting was 16 x 12 inches.

 
Patti Vincent Gouache Miniatures featured on Pastimes for a Lifetime blog.

“Friends” Gouache 16″x12″

 

LRW: Gorgeous pieces. I like the idea of daily habit paintings. So that’s the impetus behind the 2 x 2 inch works. What is your workspace set up?

PV: I have three different easel set ups:

1. A wall easel in my studio for still life work or when working from photographs. It allows me to stand up while painting. That is a big preference for me as it encourages me to step back frequently, unlike sitting down.

 
Patti Vincent Gouache Miniatures featured on Pastimes for a Lifetime's Blog

Wall Easel

 

2. When painting in my Jeep, I use a large black clip from Home Depot to secure my viewfinder to the steering wheel. Tansy Hargan made that viewfinder and I find it essential. I live in Colorado and frequently find it too windy, sunny, or cold to paint outside so my Jeep is another essential tool to my daily painting habit.

 
Patti Vincent's jeep easel is mentioned in Pastimes for a Lifetime's blog.

Jeep setup

3. When I paint outside, I stand at a pochade that I made but it is patterned after one that James Gurney created and promotes as a DIY. That pochade accommodates my 2 x 2” up to my 12 x 12.”

 
Patti Vincent's outdoor workspace is mentioned in Pastimes for a Lifetime's blog.

Outdoor setup

LRW: Great options. I’m impressed especially with your jeep setup, conquering inclement weather conditions. Our students are interested in the latest tools of the trade. May I please inquire, what is your preference for paints and brushes? Do you paint on canvas board, panels, or…? Do you finish with a varnish or leave as is?

 
Patti Vincent Gouache Miniatures art studio is mentioned in Pastimes for a Lifetime's blog interview.

Supplies setup

 

PV: My gouache paints are all designer or traditional gouache, not acrylic. I use Winsor and Newton, M. Graham, and Holbein brands. I have one brush that I use for 99.9% of all my paintings. That brush is a Raphael size 16 flat bright by Kaerell. My small gouache paintings are on Crescent illustration board. I also use gouache on cardboard, smooth wood, and hot pressed watercolor paper. I never varnish.

LRW: Good to know. I didn’t realize Holbein produced gouache as well as oils. I’m going to ask my local Carter Sexton art store for sample or travel size tubes and illustration board to share with my students. May I ask, are you represented by any art galleries or do you work solo?

PV: I am represented by Portfolio Gallery in Breckenridge, Colorado.

 

Patti Vincent is represented by Portfolio Gallery as mentioned in Pastimes blog.

 

LRW: Nice! For our students, what do you believe are the pros and cons of gallery representation?

PV: Portfolio Gallery exposes my artwork to a vast audience that would probably never see my artwork if it wasn’t for the gallery. The commission is the only con, but a great gallery earns it.

LRW: True. At what age did you realize you wanted to be a professional artist?

PV: When I was in my 30s, I wanted more oil paintings in my house but couldn’t afford them, so I started taking oil painting classes and never stopped.

LRW: I love that. Did anyone try to talk you out of venturing into an art profession? How did you handle it?

PV: No.

LRW: Glad to hear. Much of your recent work features landscapes, still lives and animals. What is the story or inspiration behind your choice of subject matter?

 
 

PV: The subject matter that interests me most is what I paint. That interest can be sparked by my sunlight-seeking cats, colors or light in the landscape, light on a mountain, or flowers in my garden. Paint what you love, and it will show.

LRW: Lovely. Did you study art in college or are you self-taught? What are the pros and cons of studying at a university vs. self-taught?

PV: Even though I took private art classes as a child, that stopped when my teacher moved. In high school, I wanted to be in the Army Nurse Corp, so I got my Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) right after high school. But after I started taking painting classes as an adult, I always wanted more, more painting and more of the fundamentals. I ended up using my GI bill to earn my Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) at Wright State University, Dayton Ohio, Summa Cum Laude, 2015.

Even though I concentrated in painting, I fell in love with printmaking and drawing. At the university, students always worked from life and drawing was heavily stressed. I learned the value of those practices. I loved art school! I graduated with a 4.0 and honors. I’d be embarrassed to tell you my BSN GPA.

LRW: Go, Wright State Raiders! What a great story. “Follow your bliss”, which in your case is the same as mine! Do you teach any workshops via Zoom or in-person? If so, how may we enroll?

PV: Yes, I am currently ironing out the details for a workshop via Zoom that will occur next Spring. It will be promoted via my Instagram account and newsletter. Pre-pandemic, I taught weekly drawing and gouache classes in my studio.

LRW: We’ll look forward to your course details this Spring. I would like to attend. Maybe some of my students and my assistant, Jessica Sanders will join me. What is some advice you can give the young artists studying at Pastimes?

PV: Draw from life daily. There is no substitute for that practice. Study with as many artists that you admire as possible. Sometimes we must hear things over and over or perhaps taught from a different angle for it to sink in and become second nature.

LRW: Wise words. Thank you for the inspo. Art can touch people’s lives, bringing happiness and hope. For example, my school partners with CoachArt to provide free art classes for families impacted by childhood chronic illness. Is there a charity you are fond of or support, that you might like our readers to learn more about?

PV: I have supported numerous charities with donations of my artwork.

LRW: That’s very generous of you. Thank you so much for your gracious time stepping away from your easel to be interviewed for the blog. I have a feeling my students will be asking to try their hand at gouache. I know I’m ready to revisit it.

You can learn more about this remarkable artist and get in touch with her on her website, Instagram page or on Facebook.
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If you enjoyed this interview, please feel free to share on your favorite social media to get the word out about this great artist! Thank you for your support.

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Pastimes For a Lifetime Art and Piano School is located in Valley Glen, California. 818-766-0614. School is open Tuesday – Saturday year round, except major holidays.

You can learn more about Pastimes for a Lifetime’s Art Curriculum and founder/instructor Linda Wehrli by clicking the links or feel free to explore the website.

Ready to learn to draw or paint? Set up a free consultation with founder/instructor Linda Wehrli or book a Trial Art Class.

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