Her brush goes beyond sight

With a deep God-given belief that she was not only born to paint, but also speak through a brush with her artwork, Patricia Wietholter was only four when she began drawing. Although she doesn’t recall the exact subjects sketched, she says: “I suspect they were flowers or the usual stick figures.”  Yet some 50 plus years later, artist Wietholter continues to receive much satisfaction as she taps into the “inner recesses of my soul” to create her visions on canvas.

     Born and reared in Petersburg, Virginia, it was during her high school years when her determination to study art heightened. Unfortunately, there were no art education classes offered at Thomas Dale School, but they did offer mechanical drawing or known as industrial arts. However, the encouragement she received from her parents as a child, re-surfaced her intense drive to hone her drawing skills, in turn she signed up for the classes. “For a year, I was the only girl in the class,” said Wietholter.

     Upon her high school graduation, she went on to study fine arts at Richmond, Virginia’s Professional Institute College and then began working in the graphics department at Fort Lee. While at the base, she met her husband, Stan. This led to other career paths—wife and motherhood. Yet, she continued her artwork that also graced the walls of the Quartermaster’s Museum. Eventually, the new Wietholter family returned to her husband’s roots, New Knoxville, Ohio, but the relocation put a fourteen-year hold on her chosen professional life until her third born was almost four-years old.

     Most of her artwork gives the viewer a different perspective. Her strength is her technique. “I learned it by observing the masters and kept painting until my genuine style came forth,” she said. In her works, the lights and darks depicted in day and night scenes are highly notable by her use of vivid colors in the windows of homes or buildings.

Hometown Main Street series - New Knoxville, Ohio

     “My own style has developed out of whom the Creator made me as an individual,” she said. Described as a quiet, serious and thoughtful person, her everyday practice of patience with balancing of her time deepens her sensitivity to define the subject matter. Those attributes are reflected in her paintings that portray the local historical architecture and the landscapes.

     Wietholter’s unique eye for detail has not been part of her artistic makeup, but a learned skill she has honed over the years. Aside from her formal training—mixed with “lots of self-taught procedures,” she reflects upon having the opportunity to not only work with, but also observe experienced artists during the introduction of her career at Fort Lee.

     Her painted collection exceeds well over 500 from locations around the United States with many of them nabbing top honors in shows. She has had works reproduced in limited editions and appeared in various national and state magazines. In addition, she did the cover illustrations for Author Glena Meckstroth books: “Tales from Great Grandpa’s Trunk” and “Surviving WWII: Tales of Ordinary People in Extraordinary Times.”

      In learning her craft, she found “my hardest dimension has been the subject matter.” But she finally harnessed the roadblock through the art of relaxation and enjoying her world with the “expectation it will come out in my work,” she said.

       Although, the central subject matters in her artwork goes beyond what brings her much joy, depicting landscapes, doorways, and street scenes, she chooses them because of their universal appeal. Her goal is to provoke the viewer to see the endless variations “of just life as it is found happening” in their once original form.

     In 1984, she founded her own business, Custom Art Work. Initially, Wietholter’s offered technique consisted of a blend of commercial with fine art, however has since evolved with the subject matter painted with acrylics on canvas. She adheres to a self-philosophy: “I have learned to do what I do best and leave the rest to the others.” 

 Editor’s Note: First published Spring-Summer 2005 by Ben Rayman




Published by on May 2011. Filed under Archives, Art-to-Art Palette Journal, Cover Section, Paint Box Section. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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