The Naples Art District showcases member artists every week through their Artist Spotlight! Series, highlighting their work and artistic methods. The Naples Art District (NAD) artist in the spotlight this week is Patrice Schelkun.
Patrice Schelkun is a professional artist with a portfolio that includes paintings and works in glass. Born in 1959, Patrice grew up in the suburbs of New York City. In her early years, she developed a love of drawing and photography. She enjoyed her hobbies, which her parents encouraged and nurtured. Patrice’s interest in painting developed later; in 2000, she became a painter and muralist as an adult, adding stained glass window painting and design soon after. Patrice has used various mediums to create her art over the years, from acrylic paints for mural work to specialty glass paints for stained glass work. While she got her start using acrylics, she has been using oil paints in her more recent work because she loves “the fluidity and color blending properties of the medium, as well as its juicy, richly colored characteristics.” Of her glasswork, she references her attraction to “the concept of a transparent surface that allows light to penetrate the ‘canvas’.” Patrice has been commissioned to create several large stained glass windows for churches and other institutions. Relatedly, she enjoys using a specific tool as she works: a paintbrush. “I really love any new brush in my hand,” she remarks. And with regard to her oil paintings she notes, “Though some oil painters prefer to do an under drawing in pencil or charcoal, I have always dived right in with my brush as a drawing tool and feel most comfortable doing so.”
Patrice has been influenced in her artistic endeavors by many other great artists who have come before her. “I have always been a fan of classical Baroque painters like Caravaggio, who used dramatic lights and darks in a technique known as chiaroscuro,” she relates. “I also love the French Salon painters of the late 18th century—particularly William Bouguereau whose handling of flesh painting is exquisite beyond words.” Patrice says she is drawn to Bouguereau’s large genre paintings of peasant women and children. Further, she shares that she is also a fan of more modern artists: she enjoys the work of John Singer Sargent, Joachim Sorolla, and other 20th-century realist painters, especially their skillful use of color and value shifts that allowed them to capture the effects of natural light in their paintings.
People might be surprised to learn that Patrice’s formal education is in the field of journalism and that she is a published medical/health writer. But these days, her focus is on pursuing her career as a professional artist. When Patrice isn’t working in her studio, she enjoys other passions including family life (like spending time with her husband, four children, and four grandchildren) and church volunteer activities (such as her current interest endeavor of teaching stained glass to high school students in a local church youth group); she also stays active through biking, boating, and skiing. You can view Patrice’s work online or at the Shirley Street studio and gallery in the Naples Art District where she creates and exhibits her art.
The Naples Art District (NAD), the largest concentration of working artists in Southwest Florida, is home to many professional artists like Patrice who maintain studios and galleries there. NAD artists share their work and their artistic processes with visitors to the District via exhibits and special events; these experiences allow the public to learn more about fine art and gain a greater appreciation of its value to society. The Artist Spotlight! series provides an opportunity for NAD artists to shine, while they connect and inspire people through their art. NAD publishes a calendar of events, classes, and workshops online for anyone interested in meeting member artists. Contact the Naples Art District online or by phone at 239-249-1977 any time to learn more.