When we last heard from Patrice Corneli (see our Artist Profile in March 2011), she was enjoying rediscovering art after an 18-year hiatus while focusing on raising two little girls and on her “second love,” evolutionary biology. The latter stemmed from growing up on 5 acres in Illinois on the Wisconsin state line with seven siblings, a cow and lots of goats; the former from an artistic and literary mother. In college, she double majored in art and biology: “I could never give up either interest.”
Now, she tells us: I have had a wonderful career in evolutionary biology and have continued to evolve with my art. I have gone from fooling around with the nature of paper and pigments by folding and tearing heavy-weight Arches and German etch on which I added variously watercolor, pastel, powdered graphite, acrylic and Conté crayon to concentrating on field sketches while visiting backcountry Utah, Idaho and the Oregon coast. These I transformed to studio watercolors and oils. These have not been realistic but reference landscape and atmosphere.”
In 2018, she is returning to the conceptual and abstract work she explored 15 years ago; to her love for manipulating paper and pigment and objects. “I am working for myself and doubt that these will appeal to others,” she says. “But this is now what I want to return to.”
Every January we check in with Utah artists to see what the new year holds in store for them.