Hawaii is my spirit home. When I was a young girl living on Oahu in the 1950’s, I sensed the mystery and beauty of nature all around me whether hiking up streambeds to secret fern forests and waterfalls, or playing in the surf. This feeling stayed with me as my family moved to Montana and then onto California. I always found peace when alone with nature. I believe this is why plein air painting (painting outside) resonates with me. Being outside, completely engaged with what I see, smell, and feel is my meditation and a connection back to the awakening of my spirit as a child.
I am now concentrating on painting people. In college I took several figure drawing classes and later an advanced portraiture course. During my training as a Rosen Movement teacher, I studied anatomy, and learned to see the how the entire body, not just the face, holds and expresses emotions…even down to the finger tips! I bring all of this experience into my oil paintings of people which I love to do.
Patti Gildersleeve’s early years were filled with a wonder for nature inspired by the beauty of Hawaii: turquoise oceans, crashing waves, brightly colored flowering trees, fragrant flowers, rainbows, and softly glowing sunsets. Her need to express what she was experiencing around her through art began with a watercolor painting of the sunset glow on crashing waves when she was in grammar school on Oahu.
Since then art has continued to be her touchstone…as an art major in college, continuing art studies while raising a family, and during her 25-year computer graphics career. In 2004, Patti began focusing on plein air paintings with soft pastels and in 2014, her first love, oil painting. She is fascinated by the challenge of expressing this precious gift of life through painting: exploring color, value, composition, light, rhythm, and mood. Always an admirer of the Impressionists, she challenges herself to be expressively bold with strokes and colors. An impression of the moment, not a photo depiction, is her goal. In 2013, Patti moved from California to Maui to become a full-time artist.
University of California, Davis, BFA Oil Painting 1970
Pastel studio class with Donna Fenstermaker
Pastel workshops with Terri Ford, Kim Lordier, Michael Clements
Oil Painting workshops with George Allan, John Cosby
American Impressionist Society
Portrait Society of America
Maui Plein Air Painters
Plein Air Painters of Hawaii
Hui No’eau Annual Juried Exhibition 2018
The Healing Power of Art, Inspiring the Positive, Juried Exhibition,
Manhattan Arts International 2017
Hui No’eau 10×10 Juried Exhibition 2017
Maui Open Studios 2015, 2017, 2018
Hui No’eau Annual Members Exhibition 2015
Pastel Society of the West Coast Annual Juried Members Show 2015
Hui No’eau Annual Juried Exhibition 2015