Artist stays grounded in ‘real world’

Pat Farrell is best known at the Fine Line Art Gallery here for her surreal, dream-like paintings. But her background in scientific research always has kept her grounded in the “real world.”
“I like to see the world as it is, without blinkers,” she says.
With advanced degrees in science and psychology, Pat and her husband, Gary Nuttall, provide consulting services to corporations, universities, government agencies, and individuals.
The purpose of this “cultural research” is to help people and organizations uncover their core values—and then incorporate these values into decision-making at all levels.
“Our consulting business is very portable, which allows us to live at our cabin on Rainy Lake for half the year and in Sarasota, Fla. for the other half,” Farrell noted.
“As far as I am concerned, these are the two most beautiful places on Earth!”
Farrell has been drawing since she was a child and throughout her years in “academia,” she periodically has taken courses in art “as a way to purge myself of science.”
Ironically, her love for surrealism and fantasy works well with her scientific background. “For me, art must be technically accurate. I want my work to realistically portray fantasies,” she stressed.
Five years ago, Farrell started painting more seriously and opened a studio at her lake property. She has combined her consulting experience with her love for art, and provides unique training sessions for both gallery members and the public.
For example, when the goal of a workshop is to abstract reality, or to get in touch with the inner truths that guide one’s art, Farrell uses guided meditation exercises as a first step.
“In this way, we allow ourselves to encounter new things,” she explained.
“It takes a degree of faith that something will emerge,” she admitted. “[But] it always does! Then we paint what we see.”
Farrell currently is focusing on portrait painting and has been teaching classes at the Fine Line Art Gallery in face and figure drawing. She also has opened her studio for private portrait painting.
When she returns to the Rainy Lake area next season, Farrell plans to provide classes in drawing, abstract art, and collage.
See you at the gallery!