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A Hero Gives Their Life to Something Bigger

9/22/2015

Shea Stanfield
Arts Columnist

Joseph Campbell, the great American Mythologist, wrote in his book The Hero’s Journey, “A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.” This is the extraordinary truth of local artist Pat Stacy. Mythology, ancient mysteries, and symbols have a way of emerging in the landscape of this realm, choosing carefully those exceptionally sensitive individuals among us to carry their message. The subjects of Pat’s canvases lure their viewers in with the promise of deeper understandings in ancient shapes, the sensuality of their textures, and the warm glow of long forgotten earthly colors. Through time, Pat has developed the symbolic language used in her work. A symbol for the Creator’s light, the spiral of man’s journey, the spirit’s passage find their way into Pat’s deeply soulful creations.

Pat readily shares that she has always been drawn to art; she did not know art would become her life’s passion. A native of Phoenix, Pat attended West High before going on to Arizona State University obtaining her Bachelor of Arts in Education, a Master of Science, and finally a Master of Counseling before she set off on a highly successful career as a Licensed Professional Counselor. Pat retired, in 1994, to care for her seriously ill husband, who sadly passed away in 1995. Answering the call, once again, to return to her work in the service of others, Pat became a disaster mental health volunteer with the Central Arizona Chapter of the American Red Cross and National Red Cross. Her life’s philosophy has always been, “We are all here to make a difference.” 

In 2007, Pat received the sad news that her breast cancer from 2001 had returned.  She spent most of 2008 living with infections, surgeries, and recuperating. At this point, Pat’s life took a fateful turn. She picked up a paintbrush, for the first time, while attending art therapy, and learned to paint with oils. It wasn’t long before she also discovered the charms of painting with acrylics. Surprisingly, Pat found she could manage her pain using the creative process. By 2009, Pat had recovered her health and she set out on the journey to “find a teacher”. Well, as the old saying goes, “when the student is ready the teacher appears.” And so they did: Pat sought out painters whose work she admired, many were willing to teach lessons, the rest became “her sacred space where she found herself again and again.”

Pat’s current body of work is done on four wooden panels, constructed by her husband, held together with wooden dowels. She calls this style “Quadrivium”, meaning a crossroads of four roads. The works are heavily textured, employing the building up of layers in acrylics, crackling techniques, acrylic gloss, with uniquely blended colors combining to enhance her ever present ancient and mystic symbols. 

As Pat believes, “There are many realities we simply cannot see, it’s about channeling the energy that comes through you. Everything in my life has been preparing me for expressing creatively today.”

Over just a few years, Pat Stacy has attracted a strong and supportive following across the U.S. Her work has been represented in galleries in Scottsdale, Sedona, and Tubac, AZ, as well as a gallery at “gateway to the Canyonlands” in Moab, Utah. Her full schedule of gallery representations, shows, and beautiful samples of her latest work can be seen on her Web site: www.patstacy.com.

Contact Arts Columnist Shea Stanfield at flowingquill@yahoo.com.