Patti grew up surrounded by domestic crafts – knitting, dressmaking and a myriad of needle crafts. Her initial encounters with stitching were making her own barbie and ken doll clothing by hand. It was when her mum taught her how to use the sewing machine at nine years old that her love affair with fabric and threads began. Spending hours transfixed on the meditative motion of the needle going in and out only to produce a structure that can be worn was and is still fascinating.
Mark making in any form has always been a large part of Patti's life. Doodling, drawing, coloring, painting and/or reading about it. Patti didn't choose the fine arts academic approach, instead, after years of watching her Dad on his drafting board rendering home designs as part of his sales conversion strategy, she too, wanted to design homes. She studied in architectural and mechanical design and later changed her route and received her technology design certification in Southern Alberta in the mechanical design field. (She has worked in all the disciplines over the years, with the latter in I&E.)
Patti still continued with her passion for the arts taking evening art and watercolor classes at the University of Lethbridge as well as completing an online Art course while she attended college for her technology program. She has attended workshops from notable watercolor artists such as Zoltan Szabo and Jean Dobie, both of whom were huge influences in helping her to loosen up in her paintings. A workshop with Kristy Krutch in colored pencil was a huge assist for Patti when making color selections. Her studies didn't stop with the fine arts side, she has also taken workshops in jewellry design!
She has procured commissions in past years painting murals in homes (trompe l'oeil), others were for business and others still for charity. There was mask making and sewing costumes for a small local theatre in Lethbridge. Art projects for schools, storefront paintings and watercolor portrait painting...these are just a few of her artistic endeavors over the years. Her love of textiles eventually won out for the largest chunk of her time spent creating. Patti's love of fiber, threads and natural fabrics have made working with textiles as an art form a natural progression for her. Evolving from traditional quilts for domestic use, to art quilts for exhibiting, to silk/fiber. Around 2000, Patti participated in a "felting" workshop up Kingston Ontario while vacationing in the area. That's when the fascination with wet felting and working with wool fiber took hold. However, it wasn't until her departure from the Engineering design field that Patti fully delved into the wonderful world of textile art. She has created many 2D paintings using wool fibers and silks as well as countless fiber vessels incorporating silk threads, crewel wool and many other natural fibers, with non felted embellishments and embroidery stitches as additional design elements. In 2016, Patti completed a surface design felting class with Felt master Fiona Duthie and plans on studying with other notable felt masters in the future.
Patti maintains that her love of all things art will keep her in the mixed media arena, it is at this point in time though, she is completely enamored with working with textiles as a primary art form and seeing where it can take her. Patti's textile entries into juried art shows in and around the Lambton County Gallery scene have won awards, with the most recent being a 3rd place win at The Lawrence House Centre for the Arts annual juried Mayors Award in January of 2017.
Patti participates and volunteers in many local and business events either donating art, teaching art or organizing art classes with a specified program. Her most recent adventure was along with two other local artists participating in the Gallery in the Grove's VALS (Visiting Artists in Lambton Schools) program which is focused on Grade 6 level arts during the winter months. She also teaches classes in Fundamentals of Drawing Basics , Painted Collage , Felted Art Cards, Watercolour Basicsand more.
Visit Scrum Sisters Studio Facebook page or my instagram (user name is @pateogram) for updates on Exhibits, Classes and pictures
PLEASE NOTE Pictures CANNOT be used commercially or for personal gain. All photos are copywrite Patti Cook and Scrum Sisters Studio.