Artist Statement

Dream Yoga 2013 60" x 60" acrylic ink on polypropylene

“Isolated brush movements executed with mudra-like precision give physical expression to an inner state of being, offering a platform to investigate the dichotomy between thought and emotion. That curious space is ripe with a complexity. The alchemy of how experience is lived out dwells in the constancy of change despite our desire for permanence.

Composed of energy emotions flow like water, mixing with our consciousness likened to pigment. Together they create a vivid flow of energy, both deeply felt and ever changing. Balance is reached in my work as structural lines are held despite insistent disruptions, speaking to stability within chaos. A seamless method of applying ink with unlikely brushes to a slick surface records the ephemeral moment or spark of experience. Focus turns to the shaped pieces which encapsulate the flow of emotion, releasing the gesture from its' format. 

Dream Yoga informs the newest work speaking to a state of awareness, the lucid dream in which the unconscious delivers opportunities for discovery, healing, and growth. Tibetan Buddhists have long practiced dream yoga suggesting that dreams act as a mirror, presenting you with a reflection of yourself. Becoming conscious within your unconscious makes available a deep connection to one’s own inner world.” 

Patter Hellstrom

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2007 Shared Motifs was a curatorial project by Suleyman Cooke in which visual connections were drawn between the paintings of contemporary artist Patter Hellstrom and master prints by Miro, Chagall, and Picasso.

Internationally exhibited, Patter Hellstrom creates abstract panel paintings on polypropylene that invoke the calligraphic painting tradition while exploring the dark side of beauty.  Expressive brushwork in fluid color balanced along centerlines creates a dynamic equilibrium in her acrylic ink paintings on polypropylene. Encompassing themes of impermanence, compassion, stability, and interdependence these works speak to Buddhist concepts. Each piece defined by centerlines, providing balance, and acting as a point of reference within areas of color. A graphite cross-hair element evokes a sense of detachment among a host of competing forces. Centerlines hold despite disruptions of splashed color and textured brushwork, suggesting stability within chaos and a curious interdependence between two forces.

Hellstrom's paintings are informed by her installations. Impermanence was paramount in Flower Mandala, whose components were chosen for their beautiful, yet ephemeral nature. Utilizing the Buddhist sand mandala tradition, Flower Mandala created a compassionate dialogue in the JPMorgan Chase Project Space, adjacent to the World Trade Center site. This seminal work combined the desire to visually explore traditional art forms, and embody those concepts in a contemporary art context.

FLOWER MANDALA, 2003 installation of 1700 fresh flowers, © Patter Hellstrom

Since moving west to California in 2004, natural materials have dominated her installations while man-made materials have become prominent in her paintings. 

Impermanence is relevant in the installations, with rock and glass unattached to a base, allowing material to change with forces acting upon them.

What the critics have been saying about Patter Hellstrom's work?

January 2013

‎"Meditate on the confluence of art and spiritual practice here through Patter Hellstrom's manifestations of serene spontaneity." Alan Bamberger Artbusiness.com

July 2012

Deirdre Visser, CIIS arts curator, comments on the mural: “Mapping the emotional, psychological and cognitive dimensions of grief, as they’re experienced through time, Hellstrom’s piece will complicate conventional ideas about grief and loss. These conventions include suggestions that it should last only a fixed period of time, or that there is an uni-directional path of healing that will be common from one individual to the next, or even one experience of loss to the next for the same person.” The mural will be on view to the public through the end of 2012.

August 2011

ArtBusiness said of Patter Hellstroms' work: "Bright colors frozen in motion and abstraction. Wonderful and accessible. These artworks meander their way into your consciousness."

July 2011

Jason Lahman's extensive essay about Hellstrom's work. Lahman is a Guest Blogger Art21, historian, poet and essayist based in San Francisco.

Patter Hellstrom's Sublime Choreographies of the Centered Self   - "The rich acrylic inks slide, stretch and swim across the polypropylene, the visual equivalents of musical sounds.....The volatility of liquid has been channeled with extreme skill into compositions that are redolent with the rhythms of underlying cosmic processes.  One feels that the surface is  a laboratory, a theatre to witness the mysterious stages of an alchemical unfolding." 

February 2011

LA Weekly said of her work:  "Patter Hellstrom, whose calligraphic brushstrokes and daring use of color will have a natural dialogue with the chance element of the flow painters."

Fall 2010

 DHARMA TALK : Got Attitude? by Steve Armstrong with paintings by Patter Hellstrom Tricycle FALL issue 2010 ~  byline and reproduced art by Patter Hellstrom  Got Attitude?

Patter's 2008 Blue Tangerine Art interview on the spirit in art


South Winds, 2007, 20" x 26" acrylic ink on polypropylene; © Patter Hellstrom