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Pat Hidson

An on-line drawing exhibition

April through June

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Portrait Society Gallery is pleased to present PSG on PAPER, an exhibition about drawing. Each week, the gallery presents the work of one artist. 

All of the work can be purchased on the website's Store (above in menu). We will porch deliver anywhere in the MIlwaukee area free of charge. 

Artists include: Emily Belknap, Melissa Cooke, Steve Burnham, Skully Gustafson (Week One), Pat Hidson, Nykoli Koslow (Week Two), Ashley Lusietto, David Niec, Rosemary Ollison, Amy O'Neill, Mark Ottens, Nirmal Raja, Rafael Francisco Salas, Della Wells, M Winston, Christopher Wood. 


Pat Hidson, Depth, 2020. Gouache and ink on paper, 11 x 14 in. $300

pat in studio.jpg

Pat Hidson in her studio, 2020.


Pat Hidson writes:
This series reflects the turning inward that I experience in my studio. I settle into the day’s work by first writing in my sketchbook/journal. I have filled many of them over the years because that is how I center myself and let go of the mental froth. These days there is more of that turmoil in my thoughts and especially in my feelings. Naming them does not help, because they can easily overwhelm me. Hence I only acknowledge them with writing; and then step into the art making space that is my artist self. That part of me has been my boon companion since childhood.

When I begin to draw I sometimes have a specific experience in mind, such as hearing an Eastern Screech owl in our fir tree. Most often though I just start letting the pen go on the page as it will. It is clear that life offers a rich banquet of imagery and experience that lives below the surface and flows out when I open the door to it. None of it is compelled, only gently invited.

Once the drawing is done then there is the absorbing fun of playing with the expressive possibilities inherent in color. The colors speak to me very clearly, and constitute a language.

Pat Hidson is originally from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. She received a BA from the University of Alberta with majors in art and English. After she married an American and moved to Milwaukee, she initially worked as a teacher and then furthered her studies at the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, eventually gaining gallery representation around the country. Her paintings are included in many collections. 



David Niec writes:

I find Pat's pieces to have a kind of celebratory rhythm. The forms have this way of dancing on the page, dancing to and from,  side to side, in front of and behind, up and down and around.  They often hug one another in this yin yang manner. At times a colored shape comes forward and then when I look again, its neighboring white shape advances. There are moments where I read and feel a third dimension and then the next moment shapes flatten out. The longer I look, the more movement I sense. Shapes start to sway, slither,wiggle, walk or even tip toe across the page. It is a joy to look at these for a while and partake in a kind of dance.

Rafael Francisco Salas writes:
Hidson writes that her artwork is "like a journal entry, a recording of a memorable event that reverberated with me emotionally or visually." I believe it. Her works on paper emerge with the nearly recognizable, like a dream remembered. I see notations of landscape mixed with a lyrical inner voice. Her gouaches are effervescent and beautifully composed. Hidson makes much of an orange ribbon-like line moving across a contrasting blue and purple evocation of the horizon. There are many surprises such as these to be discovered. 

Debra Brehmer, Gallery Director, writes: 

It’s the shapes. And the spaces in between. An airiness. A kind of grammar. Matisse cutouts, David Hockney colors, flattened versions of contemporary artist Jessica Stockholder's constructions. Inroads and exits, celebrations of life.

While there are nature references such as animals, trails, flowers, and trees, it feels as if these forms originate from varied sources — the pattern of windows on a building, cloth, a memory of a taste, cast shadows. Hidson is a sensory painter—one who refuses to fall to dark modalities, even under the worst of current conditions. She sits down at the paper and summons bright flavors, choosing again and again to dip into life rather than dwell in remorse.

Nykoli Koslow writes:
1st image, Depth, 2020:

How can something so blunt 
be so light. 
and how can these 
no shadows, just sharp lines
create shade 

2nd image, Drift, 2020:

Cutout moments 
and a ribbon of zest


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