After practicing medicine as a family doctor in Seattle for twenty years, with much of that time spent in community health centers, Pat Clayton devoted herself largely to painting in the late 1990s, and today works as a doctor only on a volunteer basis outside the U.S. Says Clayton, "I feel fortunate to have been able to experience two careers and to “follow my passion. To me it is all about the glow of the color and nothing glows more than multiple glazes of transparent oil paint. By building up layers of thin glazes with occasional thick impasto, I'm able to achieve radiant results."
From Southwest Art Magazine:
Washington-based artist Pat Clayton likes to say she is experiencing an "encore career." For 20 years she was a family physician in the Seattle area. In 1997 she began signing up for portrait painting classes with Juliette Aristedes at the Gage Academy of Art. Two years later after attempting to juggle both patients and paintings, she took the plunge into a full-time career in fine art. But as Clayton points out, she grew up surrounded by her grandmother's oil paintings, and all through school she filled notebooks with her caricature drawings. These days many of Clayton's works are reminiscent of what she describes as a "Northwest variety of Russian Impressionism that began with Sergei Bongart."
This style is in evidence in Clayton's atmospheric landscape and urban-scape works that depict natural and man-made scenes in the West. Like many artists, she aspires to an abstract sensibility in her work and the palette knife has become an important tool in these efforts. "The knife nudges me to minimize my strokes, use cleaner and broken color, see big shapes, and to stop and think before I apply a knife-ful of paint." Clayton says, "How much can be accomplished with a single pass? Can I create the impression of something without directly rendering it?" Whether she is creating portraits of animals and people, landscapes, or cityscapes, Clayton says she is grateful to have had the opportunity to experience her encore career and see life through the eyes of an artist--something that almost passed her by.