I was just reading a biography of Patricia Qualls, an artist and studio gallery owner in Carmel Valley Village whom I met this afternoon. Like many of us, she did not find her true calling until after working at other jobs such as sales in Merrill Lynch and a commodities broker at Thomson McKinnon.
In 1980, Patricia relocated to California and was admitted into Pepperdine University's Presidential Key Executive Program and found that her interest and personal development could mesh. She began counseling CEO's and their families, helping them to deal with the stress of the business world.
This was also the time in California when the personal growth movement was in full swing. After visiting Esalen, she found her consciousness awakening. For those who have not heard about Esalen in nearby Big Sur, it describes itself this way: "a world-wide network of seekers who look beyond dogma to explore deeper spiritual possibilities; forge new understandings of self and society; and pioneer new paths for change." www.esalen.org
Is it any wonder that Patricia felt, while helping others, she had lost her own creative way. This is when she started to carve out time early in the mornings to start dabbling in self-expression. To make a long story short, she settled on large abstract paintings. She is totally self-taught, and didn't even pick up a book to read on the subject until recently.
Patricia, who started out in a farm in Tennessee with few prospects, now shows her work in numerous galleries in the Western United States including Palm Desert. Her paintings sell anywhere from $4,000 to $23,000.
She also offers workshops twice a year to non-artists to give them the opportunity to come and explore the power of self expression through experimentation with color, texture and brush stroke.
"No background is required, no teaching judgement is rendered," according to Patricia, "it is a chance to open up to the creative experience without the outside world's opinion of what you have to say, and how you say it."
VISIT THE PATRICIA QUALLS GALLERY AT 15 WEST CARMEL VALLEY ROAD, CARMEL VALLEY, CALIFORNIA
For more information, see her website at www.patriciaqualls.com