Patrice DeLorenzo likes to “illuminate” the softer side of life.
For her, that means painting flowers and landscapes, and hidden little places. And that’s reflected in her exhibit “Soft Spoken” on display now at the Olio restaurant and art gallery in Mancos through early February.
“I enjoy being able to paint what makes me feel good, and beautiful places,” she said. “They’re not high drama. I love sunsets and I love sunrises, and all that is stunning and really is moving.
“I find, though, that I’m very drawn – as far as painting goes – I’m drawn to those really quiet little places that you may not necessarily come across.”
Painting and drawing have always been a constant in her life, she said, starting in her early childhood.
“It’s part of my being,” DeLorenzo said.
She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in fine arts in painting, and then took several different paths, serving as an assistant professor at a university shortly after graduate school.
Now, she works as a GIS specialist with Energy Inspection Services in Bayfield, in addition to painting and teaching art in Durango.
It’s all about maintaining balance and having some sort of creative outlet, she said. There was a time when she didn’t have that opportunity to be creative, and “it was very difficult,” she said.
“I’ve realized over the years that the creativity to me is a bigger connection,” DeLorenzo said. “Like a spiritual, meditative connection that is a part of me.”
She enjoys bringing students into her world, and showing them that they can indeed paint – and help guide them to see the “positivity” in their work.
“You can’t see the potential in your own work,” she said.
She enjoys painting in real life, but now she tries to focus on capturing the essence of a place, or a memory connected to it.
“Because what we have around us is so incredibly moving, and I will see things that I try and burn into my memory, and so then I can take that and paint from memory, paint from my experiences,” she said. “Paint the feeling of a place.”
While typically DeLorenzo focuses on landscapes, this year she has been painting a lot of florals, which feature prominently in her exhibit at Olio.
The show kicked off with an artist reception Saturday, Dec. 14, and it will remain on display through Feb. 8.