Saturday, April 9, 2016


"Times Square Messenger"  14x14"  Acrylic  Click for Info

The all-time worst piece of advice I ever got from a teacher was that at all stages of the painting it must look good. That crazy idea stuck with me for years and so many paintings were trashed before they ever had a chance to develop.  There are ugly stages - especially the start (see below). I'm glad I eventually learned to persevere thru "the uglies" or I'd have given up on art years ago. That being said there are those paintings that never quite graduate out of the ugly stage. But everytime I wrestle with one of those stubborn pieces I learn something new. And if theres one thing in life I'm completely sure of, theres always more to learn!

This morning I saw a facebook video by a writer who described the struggles of growing into the artist you aspire to be. I shared it on my facebook page, "Patti Mollica Art".  It's for real.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Abstracting City Shapes

"Looking South on Tenth Ave."  12x12", Acrylic  Click for info
Sometimes I like to paint the same image more than once, and push it in different ways. This is the same intersection as "Gallery District NYC", posted a few days ago, but much more abstracted. Again, I had to create people to give interest to the focal point, but this time I left in the van and delivery truck.  I think they work in this version because they help lead your eye to the focal point. Plus I think they add some needed diagonal direction to balance out the strong vertical and horozontal shapes.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Chelsea Watertowers

Chelsea Watertower  13.5x13.5  Acrylic  Click for Info

I'm a pretty bad photographer, which sometimes I think is a blessing in disguise. It forces me to use my imagination a lot, and design my paintings, rather than rely on what is actually there, since often I can't see what's there.  I guess it is the "make lemonade from lemons" approach.
I worked on this piece at the same time as it's sister piece (below) - I wanted them to work together, as a series. Maybe I will paint another one so that there are 3 in the series - or 4... I have a lot of bad photos to choose from!

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Gallery District, NYC

"Gallery District, NYC"  Acrylic  20x20"  More Info
This is an intersection at 25th and Tenth Ave. From where I was standing when I took the photo, there was a delivery truck blocking the corner. I took the photo because I liked the light cascading across the street. But by the time I got halfway into the painting, I realized I didn't have a very strong focal point so I decided to remove the truck and put people in its place.  I had no reference for people in the scene, so I had to make them up. I really don't like doing figures without reference, altho it is a great exercise... but not my idea of fun. I think they turned out well considering I had to imagine their movement and the light /shadow effect. Lesson learned (again) - think before you paint, Pat!

On another note, a friend of mine - Francesco Fontana, a very talented artist from Italy, is teaching a workshop in June - July 2016 in Giverny - by Monet's Lily Pond! I hear there are only a couple of spots left.  If you are interested in more details... click here.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Cupcakes and Candies

"Sweet Stuff"  12x12" Acrylic

Practicing some quick techniques on sweet delectables for my upcoming workshop this weekend in Long Island, NY, called "How to Paint Fast, Loose and Bold." Just in time for Valentines Day! Come join us if you can...

Friday, January 29, 2016

East Side NYC View

East Side View of Manhattan, 60x60"  Acrylic  SOLD

 This is a commission project I was hired for recently, from a city couple who saw one of my paintings on a magazine cover, and wanted their Manhattan East side view painted for display in their Florida apartment. They gave me the exact size to paint  it 60x60", a square, altho the entire view was completely horozontal (see below)The first thing I had  to do was figure out how to squish and stretch and cut and do whatever, to turn the format into a square. Closeups are attached too. It is signed, sealed and headed for sunny florida!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Work in progress

 I just fished this painting out of a pile of old flops that I have been storing forever, knowing that there are problems I have to deal with someday - or just trash it. I had painted a largish figure on the left  walking towards me, and a smaller figure crossing the street. I didn't like either of them for a number of reasons. So... time to paint over them and wrestle with 'now what do i do'. 
The first obvious idea was to cut the panel down to 18x24 now that both focal points are gone.  But panels are so hard to cut and... jeez, what a cop out!  So I stared at it and thought - ah - a biker! I put one in and now the piece is feeling like it has some potential. The reference looks like it was from 19th street and 6th ave - where the old Bed Bath and Beyond was - or still is? Other than the biker, the city reference is long gone, so I will just keep staring at it, keep wondering 'what do i do now" , try out some ideas, and hope for the best!

Monday, January 18, 2016

Look for the art stores near you!

"Pepper Party"  8x10, Acrylic  $295  Click for Info

My recently posted pepper painting was commissioned by Strathmore Paper Company, for the front cover of their new product, black canvas paper pads, which you can find in retail art stores. I could not reveal that information until they officially introduced the product on their website.  Nor could I offer the painting for sale because they needed the actual artwork to photograph. It arrived back today, and is available for any would-be collectors.

BTW If you've never worked on a black surface, try it, you'll like it. The colors really pop!
Click here to read more about Strathmore 300 Series Black Canvas Paper.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Chelsea Building, New York City

"Chelsea Fire Escapes"  Acrylic 14x14"  Click for Info
Lately I am working with old paintings that were started but never finished. In this case I barely got the painting going when apparently life got in the way and it got shuffled to some uncommon place, not to be seen for years. Who knows what reference I was using, a sketch? a photo? whatever, it's gone. It can be freeing to work out of my head when no reference is available, and give myself permission to make fresh decisions about how to make the piece work. I decided to work in a triad color scheme - tried and true red, yellow and blue.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Times Square Intersection

"Comings and Goings"  10x10"  Acrylic  Click for info

I've painted this image many times, it's from a photo I took at a Times Square intersection. I like to experiment and use the same reference to take paintings to a new place, try out new ideas. Here's a new place...

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Crosswalk at Franklin Street, NYC

"Crosswalk" Acrylic  10x10"  Click for Info
Way back in August of '2000, I sat at Franklin Street in Tribeca, sketching the view, thinking I might do a painting of it. I never did, but recently ran across the photo and sketches (below). I decided to give it a try, and to my surprise the painting took on a colorful life of its own.


Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Union Square, NYC Sketch

"Union Square"  Mixed Media  16x20"  $350  Click to Buy

I have so many sketches - mostly figures, lots of cityscapes, layover at the airport sketches, etc.  It can be interesting use them as starting point for a painting.
This sketch/painting was from Union Square, NYC, just across from the subway station on Broadway, looking West. I sat on the sidewalk curb and sketched using vine charcoal on an 18x24 pad. The buildings are mostly red brick but the atmosphere was much more colorful, louder, and everything was so in my face -- busses, people, signage etc. I didn't want to work from a photo - that wouldn't have captured the excitement. The zany energy was the real subject here!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Playing with Color Notes

"Jazzy Nude" Acrylic on paper
In early December I went to Florida to attend a 5 day conference sponsored by Golden Paints. The event included presentations by my colleagues on topics such as internet marketing, how to plan travel workshops, intuitive painting techniques, mixed media and collage, and much more. I learned so much my head is exploding.

One of my favorite workshops had us start out in an abstract, spontaneous manner, using a variety of mark making dry and wet materials, and gradually rein in the painting. Here is one of my paintings using that technique. The reference I used was a traditional figure painting I did back in the '90s, painted very realistically. I started out with a quick sketch and explored from there. It's an interesting approach that lends itself to abstraction, intuition and imagination ... a very enjoyable process!

Friday, December 11, 2015

Pepper Fiesta

"Pepper Fiesta" Acrylic, 10x10"
I found the feather duster and have officially dusted off my poor, neglected blog in the hopes that I can start posting again. Life has been busy with traveling workshops, tradeshows and more. My latest adventure was Art Basel, where I showed at the Projects Gallery in Miami, while also attending a 5 day Golden Paints Conference where I learned exciting new painting processes and techniques. Upon return, I had several "past due" deadlines waiting for me, including an illustration for the front cover of a new art product that will be sold in stores soon. My client requested that this new product info stay confidential until it is formally announced. Till then, keep an eye out for this painting, in an art store near you!

Monday, October 12, 2015

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Apples and Cherries

"Opposites Attract"  8x8"  Acrylic  Buy Info
I finally got my still life stand and lights functioning in the new studio. It felt great to be back at the easel, working from life, with all my creature comforts nearby. The picture below shows my acrylic corner - and on the other side of the room are my oils and mixed-media work areas. If I get stuck on one project i just move a few feet to the next. Love it!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Nyack Stroll

Nyack Stroll  12x12"  Acrylic on Canvas

Greece was great! Now I'm back, home sweet home - but not for long. Heading to Carmel, CA to teach a 5 day workshop Oct. 19 - 23. Here's the info - come join us. Learn to  "Loosen Up and Get Painterly!"

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Cheers to Dionysus

"Merlot"  8x10" acrylic  Buy Info
As of now, I'm Greek-Isle bound. (Well not exactly, I'm still at JFK). I read an interesting fact today: mythically speaking the island of Skopelos, where I'll be teaching,  is strongly linked to Dionysus, the Greek god of Wine. I consider this a very good omen.  I don't care if the wine is good or bad I'm just glad to be going!

YAH-sas  (Hello/goodbye in Greek)

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Amy's Barn

"Amy's Barn"  10x10"  Acrylic  Buy Info
I'm having some fun playing with abstracting my subject and taking a lot of liberty with color. It's a very freeing experience!  (Original Photo by Amy Shawley)

Friday, August 28, 2015

"On the cover of the..."

"Zig Zag Thru Midtown 2"  14x14"   Buy Info

Well its not the cover of the Rolling Stone, but it's a cover! One of my paintings is featured on the front of City Magazine this season. I like the way the art director coordinated the masthead and text with the colors in the painting.
A nice result of this art usage is that the day after it hit newsstands I was commissioned to do a 60"x60" painting of a panoramic view from a high-rise NYC apartment. This view encompasses all of Long Island City to the east, the UN building in front, Lower east side/FDR, Williamsburg Bridge in the far background all the way to the Empire State building on the West.  Its a total horozontal format that I will be turning into a perfect square. Unfortunately there is an obnoxious Trump building on the far right (naturally). But I'm not concerned, it will be edited out of existence. Artistic license... or maybe artistic revenge...

Monday, August 24, 2015

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Thursday, August 20, 2015

The Girls

Phyllis and Esther  Acrylic 10x10"
Meet my girls - Polish Chickens. They are amazingly personable and quite funny. I was watching them outside my window the other day and decided to grab my paints and paint them - finally! There is a squash plant that is overtaking their coop.  See the series of pictures I took in sequence - they seem to be reacting to my husband AND to each other.  Is that cute or what?

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Greek Courtyard 2

"Greek Courtyard II"  Acrylic 8x10"  $295 Buy Now
Same reference (below), another day, another interpretation. 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Greek Courtyard

"Greek Courtyard"  8x10" Acrylic $295 Buy Now
One of the things I like to do is take a scene and 'make it my own' - by simplifying the detail, playing with with warm and cool colors, simplifying values, even abstracting it a bit. It's a fun exercise which I will be giving in my upcoming workshop - not that I am expecting the scenes to need any help! Below is the actual reference.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Great Views

"Last Room"  8x10" Acrylic
If your passport is current and you have a sudden urge to travel to the Greek Isles for a painting workshop there's still time - and one room left. Click here for the scoop. The views are stunning. Speaking of nice views, here is another, taken from my studio window today. The owners of the barn next door bought a little pony, cute or what?

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Green Lakes State Park

"Green Lakes Park"  9x12  Acrylic  More Info
Green Lakes Park, just outside of Syracuse, NY is perhaps my favorite place in the world. It is a magical place to take long walk, along beautiful trails that seem to go on forever. There are two lakes there, that are the crowing jewel of the park. These lakes are a stunning turquoise caribbean blue-green. I have never attempted to paint them because I feel I could never capture the beauty in paint. Here is a scene from one of the winding roads.

I'm leaving tomorrow for New Hampshire, to teach a 4 day plein air workshop. We will paint the lush scenery and grounds surrounding the Gibson House B&B, I'm looking forward to it. Happy 4th of July!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Ray and Margaret's Backyard

"Ray's and Margaret's Backyard"  Acrylic 10x10"  Click for Info

I'm gearing up for my plein air workshop in New Hampshire, and decided to paint one of the views from my studio window. I didn't pick it because it inspired me, I actually picked it because it didn't inspire me, so that made it more challenging. (photo below) I wasn't sure beforehand what the focal point was going to be or what I was going to play up. But I eventually figured out a direction to go in and like the way it turned out.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Memorial Day on the Jersey Shore

"Jersey Shore"  Acrylic  (SOLD)
 Finally summer is here! Don't you feel like packing your (beach) bag and heading for the shore?

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Painting Demo and Student Work

"Yellow Tulips"  Demo  8x8"  Acrylic  (SOLD)
Here is my painting demo from Day 2 of the workshop. I always time the demos, because the name of the workshop is "how to paint fast, loose and bold", so I have to be aware of living up to the title. It took 23 minutes from start to finish.
Below is a painting from one the so-called "beginner" students. I have included the still life reference so you can see how she interpreted it. Is this painting cool or what? Love the stylization and color translation.

Monday, May 25, 2015


"Blue Cup" Demo  8x10" Acrylic (SOLD)

"Orange Slices" Demo  8x8"  Acrylic (SOLD)

One of the best things about teaching workshops is the mutual sharing. I share what I know and in return my students share their interpretations of what I am teaching.  I am often most inspired by the so-called "beginners" who interpret the assignments and exercises in such fresh and unexpected ways.

I just returned from teaching a 5 day workshop at Greenville Arms, where I had the pleasure of working with a fabulous group of talented, inspiring, inspired artists. I learned at least as much from them as they (hopefully) learned from me.  We had a great time. They teased me about how I don't blog anymore, so I will try to remedy that.

Above are photos of Day 1's Demos:  The goal was to show how to paint quickly using big brushes (2"), demonstrating my process. Each was completed in less than 25 minutes.

On Day 5, we started out the day doing an exercise where we all worked from the same still life.  The intention was to incorporate the fundamentals that we worked on the previous 4 days: simplified values, value to color translations, brushwork, speed. I gave them verbal instructions, step by step, mostly what value to use, not so much what color to use.   I couldn't see what they were painting and many of them couldn't see what I was painting. What a surprise when I turned around and saw their paintings... WOW!! I wanted a group photo with all these amazing paintings in one shot, here it is, below.