Passion Never Retires for Patricia Ariel

What is the best thing that I love about my work?

I love the freedom to tell my own stories, to send messages through images and make connections with other human beings, and through those connections, stir up something inside them. Artists have great power. We manipulate symbols, archetypes in the collective and personal unconscious. It is like creating magic. In my illustrations I am the teacher, and through symbols, I attempt to reveal and put people in touch with our source as humankind. In my paintings, figurative and abstract, I am the mortal, battling against (or attempting an alliance with) my own demons and seeking transcendence. It is cathartic, lonely, but also a way to connect my humanity with other people’s humanity. They can look at my figures and see themselves in them, like a mirror, and even when our stories are different, to find a point of contact. And that is what is more fascinating to me, not only in my work but in the arts in general, one image/sound/movement can tell different stories according to the viewer. It’s like bridges being built. I love to have the ability to do this.

What is my idea of perfect happiness?

I am a simple person that really doesn’t need a lot to be happy. Having peace of mind is key. Now that I have crossed the midpoint of my life happiness to me is a house in the woods, near water, surrounded by animals, where I can paint away while drinking a good beer and listening to my favorite music, grow my food, and walk around naked.

What is my greatest fear?

Getting trapped in a situation in which I won’t be able to be myself or doing what I love. Living a life without meaning.

What is the trait that I most deplore in myself?

I hate that I am hopelessly messy and disorganized. My energy is always going in different directions because I am so enthusiastic about different things and my mind never stops. I always say “first things first” but can’t help doing “fun things first” a lot of the times.

Which living persons in my profession do I most admire?

So many, it is really hard to list them all… Henrik Udalen, Julio Reyes, Jeniffer Genari, Candice Bohannon, Brad Kunkle… It is insane how many fantastic painters are out there in this time and age.

What is my greatest extravagance?

Craft beers and rich dark coffee.

On what occasion would I lie?

Everybody does small lies, and since I am a person who likes solitude, once I a while I lie for my right of not socializing and be on my own. Big ones, I would do to protect someone from suffering.

What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work?

Selling it! It is very rough to put my work out there for potential buyers to see. It is like trying to sell my insecurities and imperfections with a satin ribbon.

When and where was I the happiest, in my work?

I am the happiest every time someone writes me with a personal story and how a certain piece of mine connects in a positive way with that specific moment in their lives. I feel like I am in the right track in this existence and it is so special and gratifying. Also, when I finish a painting and I see it got pretty close to what I had envisioned. It is never 100% “there”, but the feeling of materializing a dream is indescribable.

If I could, what would I change about myself?

I would be less self-critical and kinder to myself. More focused in one project at a time instead of just have my energy all over the place. More organized and efficient when it comes to time-management; I see people doing a lot in what seems to me very little time, and that’s something I wish I could learn the secret to. I don’t have a very good grasp of some of the material aspects of life, and that can be very frustrating.

What is my greatest achievement in work?

I think that just by being able to make a living out of what I love, even with all the struggle and instability, is something to be celebrated.

Where would I most like to live?

I always had this dream of moving to the UK, I think Scotland would make a lovely place to live. These days I have also thought a lot about Canada. But I am very happy in the Pacific Northwest, it really fits my personality. The rain, the sea, forests and mountains in one place makes my heart sings. I am now planning to move somewhere a little more secluded, but preferably not too far from here.

What is my most treasured possession?

My hands.

What is my most marked characteristic?

Not sure. My partner would say it’s my stubbornness. I would say courage. Not a “let’s climb the Everest” type of courage, but the courage of facing life challenges as they come and finding alternatives, even if it means to destroy things in order to give place to new ones. I don’t fear life, and I don’t fear ends. And I love to reinvent myself. Okay, maybe this is stubbornness.

What is my most inspirational location, in my city?

It is not exactly in my city, but not too far away: Widbey Island. The beauty of this place takes my breath away. I love to walk in its beaches and woods to recharge and connect with the energies inside and outside me.

What is my favourite place to eat and drink, in my city?

I love The Independent bar, a couple blocks from home.

What books influenced my life and how?

They are mostly childhood books. It is incredible how their lessons get ingrained in our little brains. “The Little Prince” and “Tistou of The Green Thumbs” marked me so deeply in childhood that established a foundation for a lot of what I am today. In adulthood, “The Spirits Book” by Allan Kardec opened a new path in my understanding of spirituality and life in general. It literally changed everything.

Who are my favorite writers?

I admire many authors, especially the Brazilian ones. We have such a rich literature in South America! But I have a penchant for the fantastic and the mythic, so I stick with Neil Gaiman, Isabel Allende, and Anne Rice.

You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day?

“Ceremony”, by New Order. Or anything Cocteau Twins.

Who is my hero or heroine in fiction?

Jo March, from “Little Women”. Morgaine, from “The Mists of Avalon”.

Who are my heroes and heroines in real life?

Amanda Palmer and Siouxsie Sioux. They are powerful creative forces that don’t bend to the music industry and follow their own paths. And Alan Moore, because he is absolutely brilliant.

Which movie would i recommend to see once in a lifetime?

That’s a hard one. I would go with “Revolutionary Road”, by director Sam Mendes. It is a bitter, even cynical movie, but that makes you think a lot about how conformity to societal roles can be suffocating.

What role plays art in my life and work?

Art is everything, it’s like air. It’s what moves me. It’s the stuff that has been saving my life since very early age. Without it, I probably would no longer be here.

Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime?

My partner, painter and photographer Justin Crabtree. He’s been teaching me a lot about painting from the heart, about the importance of the process above the end result. He is also very supportive of my endeavors, and the voice of reason that sometimes is so hard for me to hear. And my best friend, Brazilian musician Regis D’Avlis. We share the same aesthetic preferences and artistic dreams, and we laugh a lot together. We’re two peas in a pod, and it is so sad that we have to live so far from each other these days.

Whom would I like to work with in 2018?

Painting is a very solitary endeavor so, collaboration-wise, I am not sure if I can work with many artists. I dream of doing multi-disciplinary things though, maybe not so soon in 2018, but at some point in the future. Something combining painting with dance, music, poetry, or film, would be fantastic and very enriching.

Which people in my profession would i love to meet in 2018?

I can think about a ton of interesting, creative people I would love to meet, but I would probably hide if we were in the same physical space. I will say my fellow artists in the collective I am a part of, Copycat Violence. They are so much fun, such a talented and inspirational bunch! I think I definitely would not want to hide from them.

What project, in 2018, am I looking forward to work on?

I have an ongoing art portraiture project about women’s identity in the 21st century, very much along the lines of this one. I’ve been trying to finish it for so long, always getting stuck because of lack of funds. But this year I plan to be able to finally complete it somehow. The concept matured with time, as well as my skills, and I will surely be able to do something much better than when I started.

Where can you see me or my work in 2018?

I have reduced the number of shows I do yearly, so I can be able to dedicate myself more to personal projects. So far I have 3 places confirmed: Sally Centigrade Gallery (Colorado) in February, True Love Gallery (Seattle) in April, and Inverarity Gallery (Aberdeenshire, Scotland) in October. Other than that, one can keep up with my work evolution here: (website) (Instagram) (Facebook)

What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me?

That I will probably die on my drawing table.

Which creative heroines should Peter invite to tell their story?

Clara Engel (musician), Ivette Endrijautzki (artist), Mollie Kellogg (artist), Liba Warin Stanbollion (artist)

How can you contact me?

Through my email


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