For sale is a gorgeous original scratchboard drawing by contemporary artist, Michelle Pattee. "Nassir" is a very powerful piece of art, as are all of Michelle's pieces. She has mastered the art scratchboard!! The art measures 3 3/4″ x 4 3/4″ and the frame is 8 3/4″ x 9 3/4″. Both art and frame are in excellent condition. We have a nice collection of her art.
FYI: Sometimes referred to as scraperboard (especially in Great Britain), but usually called scratchboard in North America and Australia, is a form of direct engraving where the artist scratches off dark ink to reveal a white or colored layer beneath. Scratchboard refers to both a fine-art medium, and an illustrative technique using sharp knives and tools for engraving into a thin layer of white China clay that is coated with dark, often black India ink. There is also foil paper covered with black ink that, when scratched, exposes the shiny surface beneath. Scratchboard can be used to yield highly detailed, precise and evenly textured artwork. Works can be left black and white, or colored. Ref: Wikipedia
Connecting with the natural world brings peace and reprieve to many individuals caught in the landslide of everyday life. For Scratchboard artist Michelle Pattee, her connection with nature and wildlife has always helped her escape into another realm and find serenity. Her incredible lifelike art brings some of that inner peace to viewers.
Pattee was born in Portland, Oregon but grew up near the beautiful desert mountains of Grand Junction, Colorado. Her grandparents raised her in their home, across the street from the cemetery where her grandfather worked as a gravedigger. As a child, Pattee loved playing in the quiet, peaceful graveyard and in the mountains on the Grand Mesa and the Colorado National Monument, where her family often went camping. As a result, she developed a deep love for nature and the endearing creatures that inhabit it.
When she was very young, Pattee began drawing these creatures as well as other subjects, sparking her lifelong passion for art. Many of her family members were also artistic and encouraged her as she toted pencils and paper wherever she went. Her grandmother helped her enter a drawing in her first art show when she was about eight years old.
As she got older, she continued to grow her artistic skill through time and experimentation. One day, while she was in her local art supply store, Pattee stumbled upon Scratchboard, a medium that was unknown to her and many others at the time. She began with paper-based Scratchboard, using needles to etch her designs before she learned that there were other tools available. Later, when the art supply store closed and Pattee had to find new Scratchboard, she discovered Ampersand Claybord, which she now uses instead of the paper-based board.
After years of working in the medium, Pattee has developed a technique for creating her masterful Scratchboard art. “To begin a piece,” she explains, “I do a rough sketch of the subject on tracing paper, because it’s thin. I then tape the paper to the board and trace over the sketch with a pen (the ink from the pen shows me where I’ve been). Then I use the indentation for my pattern. My first pieces were just black and white; not until maybe 6 or 7 years ago did I begin to do more ‘fur’ techniques. More realistic. I still do both techniques.” She uses different kinds of Scratchboard blades, called nibs, to scratch her lively creations into the black India ink. She believes strongly that “you should never stop learning and growing with your craft” and continues to cultivate her abilities.
Pattee still carries her childhood love for animals and nature with her, and her work reflects this love. On her Scratchboard, she creates renderings of creatures that are full of life and energy. She says, “I’m always hoping that my artwork brings out their personalities and makes people aware of how important our Mother Earth and animals are to us.” When she is creating her animal pieces, she focuses on the eyes, and collectors often comment on how stunningly lifelike their gazes are.
She deeply admires the strengths of animals and thinks that humanity can learn many valuable lessons from the way they interact with each other and the world. “They know their place here on earth,” she says. “They are not greedy, they don’t hurt each other’s feelings, and they don’t kill for pleasure. They love and respect each other unconditionally, no matter who or what they are.” Pattee still finds joy and peace being out in nature and observing animals. “It helps keep me grounded.”
Pattee also finds inspiration in the work of fantasy artists like Arthur Rackham, Brian and Wendy Froud, and Stephanie Law. Though she mostly focuses on wildlife, she has tried her hand at fantasy work in the past and utilizes elements of that style in all of her work. When she is creating, she feels that she is transported to a “different world,” outside the ordinary, and this is part of the magic of her creative process. Her fantasy art influences also allow her to follow where her creative spirit leads her. She explains, “I also feel that when I am creating a piece of artwork, as it begins to emerge, some creature will demand to come through and form on the board before me, saying, ‘Hello!’ I must follow this intuition. When I am working at my best, I try to step aside and allow for this spontaneity. Having that relationship with the art makes every piece personal and special.”
Aside from living in Southern California for a short time, Pattee has always lived in what she considers to be her true home, among the Rocky Mountains. She now lives in Grand Junction, Colorado, and has her studio in beautiful Downtown Grand Junction. When she is not in her studio, she enjoys photography and gardening.
Pattee is a member of the Western Colorado Center for the Arts, the Glenwood Springs Art Guild, The Association of Miniature Artists, and the International Society of Scratchboard Artists. She has been featured in many shows over the years and has won a number of awards, including first place two years in a row at the Brush & Palette Annual Regional Judged show and the People’s Choice Award from Seaside Art Gallery’s 25th International Miniature Art Show. “The People’s Choice Award is one of the most important awards I’ve ever won, because it was from ‘the people,’” she says. Pattee continues to show her work at Seaside Art Gallery in Nags Head, North Carolina. She has sold work to a number of prominent collectors, including John Hendricks, owner of the Discovery Channel, and Albert Alarr, who directs “Days of Our Lives”.
Throughout her life, Pattee’s love for nature has been a major driving force. She feels that her mission as an artist is “to bring awareness of our Mother Earth and the beauty of our pets and wildlife. We cannot live without one another.”