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M organ Hill artist Patty Curtis would have felt right at home during the Renaissance. When not busy painting, the multi-talented artist sings lead for rock and blues band Fast Lane, writes songs and poetry, teaches art classes and hosts the Stormy Monday Blues Jam every Monday night at GVA Café in downtown Morgan Hill. When asked which of her creative pursuits give her the most satisfaction, she doesn’t hesitate. “Visual arts,” Curtis says, “because I feel a need to see results. It’s probably why I like to work fast.” Often completing a painting in one sitting, she prefers land- scape themes. Working mostly in acrylics her landscapes bring out the beauty of the scenery with a vibrant use of color and emotion reminiscent of the romantic era of the 19 th century. One of her influences is Maxfield Parrish, a 20 th century American painter and illustrator known for his distinctive saturated hues and idealized neo-classical imagery. She can’t be pigeon-holed though. Beyond her favored landscapes are treatments of music and fashion themes, all done in a contemporary flair not unlike her landscapes. “I love to be active and try new things. If I haven’t done it, I want to try it.” A native of San Jose, she had an interest in art and fashion design at a young age. Upon graduation from Willow Glen High School she attended San Jose City College to study commercial art. Even though she never pursued fashion as a career, she still loves to sketch ideas in pen and ink. She and her husband Pat met by chance at the former Upstairs Johnny’s nightclub in Los Gatos. Married 28 years, they have a son, Sam, who operates a recording studio and manages sound for The District in Gilroy. She also has a daughter from a previous marriage. Having grown tired of traffic and the frenzied pace of San Jose, her family decided to explore nearby towns with a slower tempo. They looked at several locales before deciding on Morgan Hill in 1998. “We looked around and chose Morgan Hill because of its quieter, hometown feel.” When not busy producing art and music, Curtis enjoys teaching as well. Twice a week she teaches art to 2 nd through 5 th grade students at P.A. Walsh School with 400 students attending her classes on any given day. GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN She also hosts her own Wine n’ Paint parties for adults that includes both the supplies and step-by-step instructions to help newcomers discover their hidden artistic talents in a fun setting. She began the events in local restaurants and has recently expanded to retirement homes and school fundraisers where she donates over 40 percent of the proceeds to school art programs. “I enjoy introducing people to art and showing them they can do it. The school children express such awe over the slightest technique or result that they accomplish.” Expanding her horizons, entered a painting into this year’s Gilroy Garlic Festival poster design competition. Placing third among all entries qualified her for a “People’s Choice” award competition to be voted on by attendees of the annual July festival. Although her many artistic endeavors are fulfilling, Patty Curtis counts family as most important in her life. Which is why cooking may be a close second. “It’s the Sicilian in me I suppose — family and food are very dear to my heart.” In view of her many accomplishments, one could surmise that a place at her table would be a very fulfilling experience as well. JULY / AUGUST 2016 Dan Craig is a local artist whose early works were in the Realism style. He now enjoys an Impressionistic style. He lives in Morgan Hill with his life partner, Kim. 77