The Nature Artists’ Guild’s Spring 2016 Exhibition Featured Artist, Patty Koenigsaecker –
In Davenport, Iowa, where I was born, art was introduced into the curriculum in fourth grade. Our art teacher took us outdoors to sketch trees. When he came around to look at mine, I could tell he was genuinely impressed because he said “I can actually tell which tree you are drawing”. From that time on, I considered myself an artist. Forty-five years later, retiring to the Chicago area, I joined the Nature Artists’ Guild of The Morton Arboretum and finally got back to drawing trees.
Along the way, I earned a B.A. in Art Education from St. Ambrose University and an MFA in Theatrical Design from the University of Iowa. I’ve taught art at every level from pre-school through college. Most of my professional life was spent as a costume, scenery and lighting designer. I retired from the faculty at Augustana College where I taught courses in design and technology.
Going from working in three dimensions on the state to two dimensions within a picture frame has been an interesting and challenging journey. I still see the influences of theatre design in my work, especially in the dramatic use of color and contrast in my landscapes. And, of course, my work as a costume designer is apparent in my fiber work. I have loved sewing since my mother began teaching me to sew at age six. It has been thrilling to expand my creative impulses in the area of fiber art.
I feel so privileged to have been invited to be the featured artist at this exhibit. Even though I am not a botanical artist, the Guild has encouraged and welcomed my work. I am honored to have my work shown with that of so many other talented artists who have not only been my inspiration but have also become my friends.