Patricia Miller Uchello never had a moment when she realized that she wanted to be an artist. There was never a question.
Ever since the tender age of six, she has been passionate about the world of art: making it, observing it, and constantly striving to improve her technical skills. In fact, she says that she has always been in love with art and color for as long as she has been breathing.
Raised in New Orleans, Uchello says her representational style is the result of studying fine art her entire life. After graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Tulane University, she continued her studies at the Pratt Institute, where she received a Masters of Fine Arts. From there, her career blossomed.
Uchello has lived in Northern Virginia for 27 years. She and her husband currently reside in Alexandria. They have two children, who also live locally, and a two-year-old grandson.
An accomplished painter, Uchello has been widely collected over the years, and has shown in Venice, Italy, as well as across the United States. Her work has been collected by IBM, the IMF, HealthSouth, Tulane University, the American-Italian Renaissance Foundation and many other institutions. Locally, she has exhibited her work at A Show of Hands, The Art League, Beall and Brumbraugh Gallery, Green Springs Gardens, NIH, and the Georgetown Hospital Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Institute.
Throughout her career, much of Patricia’s art has emphasized fruit, flowers and people. She says she is inspired by the turn-of-the century works of John Singer Sargent, a leading American portrait and landscape painter. “I love his loose brush strokes,” she says.
Patricia’s latest works are featured in her one-woman show entitled, “Inspired by Nature,” now on exhibit at River Farm, headquarters of the American Horticultural Society (AHS). Her artwork is on display until Jan. 7, 2013.
An avid gardener, Patricia is exhibiting more than 60 paintings that are original oils of River Farm's buildings and vistas, flowers, landscapes, seascapes, fruit and vegetables.
Patch: Describe the type of art you have created for this current show.
Uchello: Throughout my life, I have always had a connection to all-things natural. I have a love for gardening, and have belonged to garden clubs for over 25 years. Painting flowers, fruit, vegetables and landscapes is right up my alley. I’ve also always enjoyed visiting the beautiful grounds at River Farm, right here in our own backyard. It’s truly an oasis.
Patch: What do you want people to walk away with after viewing your work?
Uchello: Either a greater appreciation of nature, or a greater appreciation of art … either way I’d be happy. I also hope that the exhibit encourages some first time visitors to explore the grounds of River Farm. The AHS is such a great cause, and they really need support to help renovate some of their buildings. River Farm is such a gem for so many reasons. Not only is it architecturally [the buildings] and historically significant, but also its gardens and views of the Potomac River are phenomenal. What’s not to like?
Patch: What is your goal as an artist?
Uchello: To achieve the highest level that I can. I have learned over the years that the only way to get to that point is to paint weekly, and not let it slide. As a wife, a mother, a grandmother, there can be a lot of distractions in my life. However, I realize that I need to focus on my painting to achieve that level. My husband and family have been really supportive over the years, and that has given me the freedom to thrive as an artist.
Patch: What’s your favorite thing about being an artist?
Uchello: I just enjoy painting so much. At times, it can be challenging and difficult, but in the end it’s always rewarding. It’s always worth it when I experience those magical moments: like when a painting turns out better than I thought it could, and when I see that I have hit a new level of expertise.