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Posted on January 23, 2015
Patricia Faris finds inspiration in all that surrounds her. Her artist’s eye is drawn to the way light dances across a face, to the many nuances of color displayed in nature, and to the way light plays with shadow. With so much beauty, Faris says it can be difficult to select just one subject to focus on in her art. She admits, however, to having a favorite – the horse. “It provides multiple opportunities for light, shadow and color,” says Faris. “I guess it’s their beautiful form, their motion and their spirit that captivates me.” Faris’ passion for these powerful animals is evident in her work, “Montpelier Hunt Races, No. 1,” which was named the John Tyler Community College Foundation Art Award winner for 2015. “I was exhilarated and could not believe that I was the winner,” Faris said. “It was, to me, a confirmation that I may be going in the right direction with my work.”
Faris, who lives in Midlothian, says her interest in art began in kindergarten, when one of her drawings was published on the cover of the school newspaper. Her father, an architect, encouraged any form of art, and Faris says she and her sister always had a supply of crayons and watercolors with which they could experiment. Although her love of art continued through high school, Faris decided to pursue a career in nursing. In 1983, she graduated from John Tyler Community College with her degree and went on to work in neurosurgery. In 2005, Faris decided to go back to school to explore her artistic talents. She says she ended up back at Tyler because it was close to home, was affordable, allowed her to take classes without declaring a major, and offered classes that were small and personal.
Faris recently retired from nursing, but she continues to hone her art skills. She is enrolled in an art class at Tyler and has just completed the second painting in her Montpelier Hunt Races series. She plans to create three more for the series, and once those are completed, she hopes to have all five paintings go on display in the Richmond area. In the meantime, her first Montpelier Hunt Races painting will be featured on the new John Tyler Community College Foundation Art Award poster.
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