When you view a Paddie Flaherty painting, you will receive the gift of bright and vibrant colors, for these are what speak happiness to this artist. Turquoises, Greens, Violets, Peaches and Rusts are high on her list of favorites. The subjects that speak to her with the most enthusiasm are florals, animals and scenes that speak of Native American Cultures. She can make a dynamite painting of a piece of pottery or a pair of moccasins. And often there will be a small hummingbird or an animal of the area included. Ideas come to her from things she views daily, be it at home, while walking in the desert, viewing exhibits at art museum or looking through a magazine. A simple image will inspire her and eventually will emerge as a painting. She is drawn to realism.
Paddie was born in Wales and eventually attended a secretarial college in England. It was not until 1975 that she & her husband, Bill, arrived in Tucson. She speaks of pleasant art-related childhood memories of coming home from shopping trips with her mom, clutching coloring books that would inspire her to try to draw the images. So drawing appealed to her at a young age. At 17, she enjoyed her first drawing class. But it wasn’t until her three children were in school that she received the push she needed. In 1978 for their 20th wedding anniversary her husband presented her with the gift of an 8-lesson course in oil painting with local Tucson artist Alan Smith. That was her launching pad. She found she enjoyed painting with others (as long as they didn’t feel the need to watch her paint). Over the time of her artistic journey, she has made important self-discoveries. Seeing the beauty in her surroundings triggers idea after idea. Each painting leaves her working hard to improve the next one.
The time arrived for Paddie when she was drawn away from oils and strongly into acrylics. This medium dries much more quickly and the brilliance of the pigments is perfect for the paintings she has completed and those she will yet create. Her home studio is a brightly lit corner of her laundry room, where the humming of the machines when in use, provide a mellow background. When asked what her art does for her, she shares that it lifts her into a higher realm— a place where she can forget sadness, unpleasantness, and fatigue, making art something she cannot do without. She feels she would absolutely be happy to die with a paintbrush in her hand. Her favorite memory of response to her work is winning the People’s Choice Award at the Pima County Fair. And she fondly declares that three favorite and most inspirational places for her are exploring at the very top of Mt. Lemmon and hiking in the Grand Tetons and the Grand Canyon. Mountains are in her blood!
Art awards and ribbons are plentiful in the Flaherty home and Paddie’s paintings reside happily in homes and corporate settings across the U.S., in Canada, and in Great Britain.
We invite you to enjoy these beautiful pieces when you visit:
Desert Artisans’ Gallery
6536 E Tanque Verde Rd.
Phone: (520- 722-4412