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Askren, Pat

It seems like I am always telling a story in my work, usually based on a quirky inspiration.
I have been drawing all my life – and delight in finding humor in the ordinary. I lived in Alberta, Canada for many years, where I went to school, received recognition as a printmaker, taught at the Banff Centre for several years and later, owned a gallery showing local artists. I also lived several years in England and Greece, both providing inspiration, and fueling the unique narrative of my work. 

I love opportunities to teach - to bring out that creative side in everyone - to play with new ideas, new tastes, new images. My work experience includes art making, teaching and catering. I live in Gig Harbor and work for REACH ministries, a non-profit serving kids with life-threatening illness. Contact me at: pataskren@aol.com. 

 

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Chair Affair Artist

It seems like I am always telling a story in my work, usually based on a quirky inspiration.
I have been drawing all my life – and delight in finding humor in the ordinary. I lived in Alberta, Canada for many years, where I went to school, received recognition as a printmaker, taught at the Banff Centre for several years and later, owned a gallery showing local artists. I also lived several years in England and Greece, both providing inspiration, and fueling the unique narrative of my work. 

I love opportunities to teach - to bring out that creative side in everyone - to play with new ideas, new tastes, new images. My work experience includes art making, teaching and catering. I live in Gig Harbor and work for REACH ministries, a non-profit serving kids with life-threatening illness. Contact me at: pataskren@aol.com. 

 

How Lavender Honey is Made

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I love designing in a circular format, to have the design bend and sway and curl. This wonderful table set begged to be a “Sun and Moon” story, but a landscape happened along the way. The painting swirls like the spring wind… inspired by a French country landscape. Lavender blooms on the hillside and the bees make their journey across the fields from flower to hive. Fish are jumping in the rolling waves and the sun shines down on it all…. from a bird’s eye view.

The table is painted with oil paint – should be quite durable.  The accompanying little side table is unpainted, but could be a commission piece – maybe a night scene to match? (with proceeds shared with the NW Furniture Bank of course!)

Please contact me to seal the paint with a clear finish after it has had time to set. pataskren@aol.com. 

The Embrace

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This chair has a big personality on its own – hard orange finish, strong architectural lines. My sister picked it up for me from NW Furniture bank… How could I paint such an assertive chair? (The color matches my kitchen walls, too!) I love the cutout in the back – it spoke of cityscapes and windows. I struggled with it, then knew it had to be a couple: face-to-face: nose-to-nose. And because Valentine’s Day was in the air, it became The Embrace.

Is there a hint of shyness? A new romance?

Once I began painting I looked the chair up online – there’s a label underneath…. Tribecca… Benchmark Design Group. Yikes! This exquisite chair is available for $546 new. Their motto is: building honest furniture and enduring relationships. Well, that’s just about right! Their logo is an image of two men in overcoats – in a somewhat curious encounter. I think I caught their design spirit in my plan for the chair, I hope you delight in it!

Returning to Fallow

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I recently saw a bronze sculpture of a chair - that had a fig tree growing out of the back of it - the chair disintegrating into the new growth. As the gallery owner described it, the artist was paying homage to the origin of materials.

The book of Ecclesiastes tells us that there is a time for everything; that all things will ebb and flow, good and bad. It encourages us in the steadfastness of creation as well; all things will remain the same-repeating life in a cycle.

This sculptural piece plays with that same idea – the chair returning to nature – to a field of windflowers. anemos-wind in Greek.

The Anemones have been ‘planted’ firmly into the wood, the roots coming through underneath. I couldn’t resist drawing the shadows cast by the leaves – a reminder, too of the ephemeral nature of life. 

The Blue Horse – Starry, Starry Night

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I was inspired by Van Gogh’s painting of swirling stars for this old style rocking horse. It is covered with stars, and a warm moon peeks through the clouds. I hope this toy will give your little ones many hours of imaginative adventures, riding through starry nights and sunny days.

Kourelou

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Kourelou is a wonderful Greek word. I know it as the colorful bits and pieces sewn into rugs my mother-in-law made. There is a wonderful song about a ship sailing across the night sky that talks about kourelou – I imagine kourelou as colorful pennant flags hanging from the mast of the ship.

This chair has wonderful vertical slats that I am cushioning with the strips and squares of felted wool.

Please “fluff up” the strips if they get flattened by leaning on them over time. If dusting is required, use a vacuum with a diffuser!

Little Tiny Chair

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I am fascinated how things can continue to grow after they have been cut down. Near my sister’s house is a tree trunk that doubles as a fencepost - that now has a fully formed tree growing happily out of the top of it! Cut celery, chives, green onions and other vegetables will regrow as long as they have a little water and sunlight. And, surprisingly, abandoned places regrow once left to flourish.

That is the theme for these drawings: that a pair of chairs can return to a full-sized grove of beautiful growth in an amazing persistence of nature.

Verdant Regrowth

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I am fascinated how things can continue to grow after they have been cut down. Near my sister’s house is a tree trunk that doubles as a fencepost - that now has a fully formed tree growing happily out of the top of it! Cut celery, chives, green onions and other vegetables will regrow as long as they have a little water and sunlight. And, surprisingly, abandoned places regrow once left to flourish.

That is the theme for these drawings: that a pair of chairs can return to a full-sized grove of beautiful growth in an amazing persistence of nature.