Artist Patti Mollema

An example of fine art by Patti Mollema

Photo of Patti Mollema


Patti Mollema uses a painting knife for most of her oil paintings and occasionally a small detail brush. But having broken her knife early in one painting trip, she has used her fingers to paint with as well!   She first discovered the magic of color while finger-painting at age three and decided on a lifetime of studying Art, from kindergarten through college, marriage and the raising of a family, and a 22-year career of teaching.  Retiring to paint full time, she found out there was much more to learn about color and how to use oil paint.   Michigan's four seasons kept her passion for color alive with its waterways and hilly landscapes undergoing extreme change year around but she has learned that it is actually light conditions and moisture in the atmosphere that determine color.  In recent years, she has learned most from the Colorist approach which holds that each color change defines space and volume and she finds it to be a fascinating, lifelong study.
When a subject attracts her attention in a joyful way, she wants to hold that moment a bit longer, make it a bit more permanent and share her joy by translating what she sees into oil paint.  Gathering visual information makes painting outdoors, en plein air, her favorite place to paint.  "It has to happen fast and becomes more like a timed sport of fitting together puzzle pieces of quickly changing light and shadow," she says.  Indoor still lifes under controlled light are also helpful in her learning.  She occasionally uses soft pastels but favors oils.  She paints on panel for ease of transport while using a painting knife for its energy and direct application.  Her goal with each painting is to capture the right relationship of colors within the given light key.  She is fond of stained maple floater frames, samples of which you can see on the About [...]

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