From the Desk of Laura Lou…
I am proud to introduce an amazing Artist friend of mine, Patric Rickard. Pat lives in Ozello during the winter months with her father and brother Randy, and spends the rest of the year in Ohio with her daughter Kerri. Her talents are endless and I must say she simply amazes me! She has become the Village Painter through time and as you walk around the grounds, inside and out, you will see why. From Christmas parade floats, to wooden spools for events…a piece of her is everywhere.
Her latest masterpiece for the Heritage House is an outstanding image of a rug on the floor of our back room, which will be a bedroom setting in the near future. Be sure to check out her talents at her tent on Saturday, inside the Heritage House and at SuGaBuG Kids too! She has brought sunshine to me and the Village people by just a stroke of a brush. If you like what you see and would like to know more, contact the Heritage House at 352-564-1400 to schedule an appointment!
I asked Pat to write her story and am excited to share it with you! From childhood up until today…here is the real Patric Rickard!
Who is Patric the Artist?
I was known to be the rainbow…Discovered in grad school, using every color of the rainbow in my artwork. I won many awards throughout my growing years and graduated with honors for "Outstanding in Arts" pinned to my robe.
During my growing years, I worked with my family in the food industry. Feeding the movie star and all entourage, that came with summer stock for the Kenley players in Warren, Ohio. There I watched the scenery be painted until one day Maureen O’Sullivan’s daughter, Prudence, put a paint brush in my hand and said go ahead and paint! There she dreamed of going to New York, Broadway, with the others…But having such a good father and mother not wanting their child to go "astray" at 18, my father guided me into a T-shirt business.
As I sold Italian Sausage, made homemade by my family, the first people to do sucha thing in our area…Niles, Ohio…he would point at the caricature artist and tell me I want to see you do that right by me. Well.. SURPRISE DAD…there I was with an airbrush in my hand, painting custom t-shirts with portraits, cars, album covers, names of businesses…whatever people wanted.
I could not go to college at this time. Instead Mother Nature stepped in and I became a wife and mother. My further studies were in airbrush, practicing on customers t-shirts. The demand got so large that I began silkscreening. All the silkscreening was done by hand-cutting then. Later, machinery, which now my daughter runs today in Ohio as Pat-Tshirts. That business came a long way. It brought me to concert halls printing for Rock N' Roll bands like "The Ramones" where upon I was involved with my own line of Rock N Roll T’s, sold throughout the United States and in stores in New York City. As that progressed I decided I was tired of airbrushing on T’s so had others come in my shops and airbrush while I went to car shows in search of painting on metal and other surfaces.
I was still attending the school of "life." While air-brushing at National Custom Car Shows in the Cleveland area I was approached with many opportunities. One I grasped at was printing and selling T’s at Drag Strips and a figure eight Race Track. There were five of them in North Eastern Ohio. As that prospered, I wanted more school. This time the real thing …COLLEGE! There I painted my first portrait on canvas…it had to be beautiful… it was Marilyn Monroe. The college… Youngstown State. The Art Department sat right across from the Butler Art Museum of American Art. Perfect! Two of my paintings immediately went to the museum for a Show. I painted in the painting room where I accumulated many student spectators, all wishing to learn how to airbrush. Funny… I took an airbrush class to get my art off T-shirts and onto canvas and I became an instructor without the pay.
From that point I moved my main shop onto the Campus so I could step out of my shop and go to class and raise my family. Classes went on for awhile. There photography, graphics, and advertising became a passion…until one day the head of the Art Department took me into his office and wanted to turn me into a professor. Well-that wouldn’t domy father’s words echoed in my head-an art teacher becomes a teacher because they can’t draw-well since then I’ve seen some teacher’s art is good and actually some art teacher’s work is really bad. Well-not wanting to become an instructor of sorts when all I wanted to do was be an artistand sell my wares. I got a Hobo stick and tied a bag of clothes to it – got $20 out of the cash register and freed myself of everything. From that point …I was FREE. Forget about instruction forget about what customer wanted… Freedom of everything!! That was okay for a short time, but I found out that family is most important. At that point, I gathered my children and began again without a husband. No car…just a bicycle. I moved my furniture and such from one house to another house of my parents in a wagon with my children holding on to the stuff, so it wouldn’t fall off…and IN THE SNOW! But I was FREE! From that point, I secretly painted on metal in a garage, of a friend. I airbrushed on motorcycles, boats, cars, and RV’s…practice...
Now that "school" was completed, my friend thought to surprise me with a shop on a main street - GREAT - just what I wanted – NO! By that time the divorce became final and Mother’s Day approached. I settled for a very small amount walked out of the courtroom and walked to the bank and cashed the check. From that point - I thought - what would make me Happy – FLOWERS! It was Spring in Ohio, so I invested in Hanging Baskets, annuals and special vegetables grown by a special grower. I brought them to the shop, my friend surprised me with, and sold them.
During that short time I met a special person, unexpectedly, who wanted a sign painted. I looked in his face and saw the sun with rays all around it. That all became history. For many years, learning about antiques and appreciation of structural design of life passed. This became appreciation of old arts and respect of the past. Becoming office material became a better business associate. SCHOOL!
As life goes, God took him to heaven! Heartbroken, my children, father and brother Randy became my comfort as I tried to breath. My brother got me painting bright colors in Florida with funny sayings oriented around Jimmy Buffet. To paint the beautiful colors, under the beautiful sky of Florida-Palm trees rustling-birds calling on the beach…listening to the tide touch the beach and a band singing "yellow bird"…WOW ..that was nice…
In recent years, at an Art Show in Ozello, along came a figure. A tall figure-once again-the sun in her face… with sun rays all around it. She introduced herself as Laura Lou Fitzpatrick. She had a line of shops called "Heritage Village". She found an interest in my "silly" art and asked if I could paint a sign for one of her businesses. Then as time moved on, I started painting big wooden wheels, advertising her events. The rest is History for me at Heritage Village. It’s a most beautiful and interesting place. That is where you’ll find me painting, while attending the school of Laura Lou.