Patrycja Whipp is an educated, well-travelled and highly intuitive abstract painter living in Adelaide. Growing up in Poland, as a creative child she remembers passing time drawing princesses, horses and birds. Encouraged by her school teachers, she went on to study Visual Communication at the Academy of Fine Arts in Poland. After graduating with honours from her master’s degree Patrycja set her sights on the next adventure and moved to Australia where she secured work as an in-house graphic designer in a large corporation. In 2014, while pregnant with her second daughter, Patrycja started experimenting with fluid art. Her work started attracting attention and she held her first solo exhibition at the South Australian Living Art’s Festival. Opportunity kept knocking and before she knew it she was teaching local art classes and found herself on a path to her dream career.
“My favorite thing about being an artist is the freedom of style, medium and subject matter it gives me. Being able to explore them in your own way and interpret is what makes me feel inspired to create more art”. Her style, described as semi-abstract expressionist combined with fluid art, along with her playful use of colour makes up her joyful collection of work.
Patrycja is inspired by the world around her, guided by her intuition she is in touch with the energy of life. Allowing herself to be open and vulnerable in this way brings her closer to a state of inner peace and maximises her creativity.“The sense of movement in my abstract fluid works is a metaphor for life itself. It creates space which is dynamic, vibrates and echoes the rhythm of life”. Her spiritual connection to nature and the universe itself provides her with constant motivation to create.The ocean, planets, nature and her local surroundings on the southern Fleurieu Peninsula all fuel her fire. She draws from emotions, interactions and experiences of places she has visited with Brazilian, Italian and other exotic references scattered through her work. “From these adventures, I always try to take a memory home with me. Whether the tropical birdlife, fragrant flowers or even tiny insects, they’ve all found their own little place in my world on canvas”.To keep these precious experiences alive she imprints them on her canvas using a method she calls ‘flow-fusion’, a marbling effect from a paint pouring process, an explosive experience of colour and texture.
Most of Patrycja’s work is instinctive.”The best pieces are created spontaneously without plans, drawings, models, photographs or preconceived ideas. Instead, I create a canvas full of colours and textures, a canvas full of potential life, but based on emotion”. She does however have a couple of different creative processes, depending on the task at hand. “When creating a cohesive series of work, my process starts by creating some notes of things that I have seen and ideas that come at random times… I then either work out a composition in my head or sketch it up on a paper or in Photoshop”.
The intuitive process that she adopts when doing abstract work is unique every time. Occasionally Patrycja is immediately drawn to something nestled in the colour or texture of what is in front of her and on other occasions she waits patiently in front of her canvas until something is revealed and an image unfolds. “Eventually, I am able to grasp what the canvas is showing me and I outline or highlight what appears. I add transparent colours and textures that form a shimmering veil through which the painting’s subject reveals itself. I continue to layer more shading, contour, outline, colour and texture until the painting itself announces that it is complete”.
Patrycja’s work is characterised by the strong use of colour in it. She enjoys working with a warmer colour palette, rather than a cool one. “In my works you will see a lot of oranges, lime greens and reds, however my favourite colour combo would have to be cool against warm, so turquoise and orange or Cadmium Red Light. Turquoise symbolizes peace, truth, compassion and healing and it reminds me of the ocean and the sky. Warm tones remind me of fire and emotions. This mix is bright & intensely saturated. I just love how striking it is”.
Amplifying these gorgeous colour combinations in the way Patrycja does requires precision, skill and a verity of brushwork techniques. “I explore the many ways of paint application, from particular paint strokes, glazes, impasto, to the scumble. Using brushes, palette knives, fingers and rags, I look for various ways of painting to provide texture and vibrancy… I feel like it’s an expressive combination of traditional brushwork, palette knife and fluid art”. When it comes to mediums Patrycja likes to mix things up. Over the years she has experimented with oils, mixed media, collage techniques and materials such glass‚ wax and epoxy‚ creating three-dimensional effects. When working on abstract fluid works, working in acrylic inks, alcohol inks and resins works to her liking, but on other works she predominately uses acrylics “I love them due to their visual fluidity by creating layers of vibrant colour”.
Some of Patrycja’s favourite works include ‘Genisis’, a powerful piece born out of her experience with post-natal depression, ‘The Girl from Ipanema’, a figurative piece, featuring a Brazilian girl with a blue and gold macaw on her shoulder representing the many beautiful people and creatures she has met on her travels and ‘Dolce Vita’, meaning the sweet life – in Italian. Dolce Vita is a portrait of a tropical South African Bird called Cape Sugarbird, sitting on a kind protea. “I love it because the bird has a very distinctive long tail and it’s set on a natural background that is out of focus. The king protea on the other hand is bright and bold. The contrast between the in focus and out of focus, textured bird and blurry neutral tones of background it just lovely.”
Looking ahead Patrycja has big dreams.“My professional goals would be to hold an art exhibition overseas and have my art featured on Australian TV. I also dream about being a full-time artist and choosing my own hours of work, so I can spend more time with my children. Last thing on my bucket list is to launch my own fabric collection.” In closing, the words of Patrycja herself perfectly sum up what we can expect to see from the artist, with her open heart and talents, she is a true gift to the art scene.