Precision Portraits by Patti
by Cate Murway
“I find a good rendering is a drawing of what a person sees, I find a work of art is a drawing of what others don’t see.” German born artist Armin Mersmann
An extremely talented and most detailed pencil artist, Patricia Ann [Contrevo] Bradeis has certainly gotten her ‘draw on’…. and in fact, only just 5 years ago! Patti had doodled mostly and hadn’t actually realized that she possessed any particular gift.
Drawing has now become her world! She has the creative ability to make her subjects immortal by using their photographs as her frame of reference, and she brilliantly captures the very essence of people. Patti’s subjects have character and her drawings evoke raw emotion. Once a drawing is complete, it is no longer related merely to the artist, but becomes a starting point for the viewer’s feelings and imagination.
One never really knows where one’s passion can lead.
Bucks County Community College provided her with an Early Childhood education. It proved to come in very handy for “my three sons, Mark, Eric, and Alex”, shared Patti who also worked in patient care for almost 20 years, including several years at Chandler Hall Health Services in Newtown .
But it was her seven-year-old granddaughter, Lily with her typical total exuberance for life and her wide eyed innocence, “like praising God” that was the impetus for this accidental artist’s precision pencil portraitures.
“What drew me to pencil and paper was the need to capture the uninhibited, joy filled spirit of my first born grandchild. She is, as with all children, emotionally expressive. Children are blessed with the freedom of being authentic and I enjoy drawing their spontaneity.”
New sharp pencils and a prayer continue to capture Lily and Patti’s other two granddaughters, Olivia  and Fiona .
Her black and white sketches take life on an easel in the sanctuary of a corner of her living room from “ideas in my head or when I get a picture from a scripture. I draw what I see.” Feel good, “heart hugging music” provides a soothing atmosphere and Patti’s detailed and shaded works emerge, resonating from her inner child’s heart.
Her parents, Navy veteran James John, although “very clever mechanically”, and her late mother, Helen Patricia [Sarzen] Contrevo were not artists. But her dad provided her with an invaluable tool, his American made Starrett precision caliper, used to measure exact distances, when she complained to him, “It’s driving me nuts, I can’t get the perfect proportions.”
Patti’s precision hand drawn artwork has been displayed and sold in booths at special events like the Cranberry Festival and many followed her from show to show. Commission work had kept her busy.
Now, welcome to the newest CFA gallery artist!
Recently, Patti has proudly hung her portraitures in the Centre of the Arts on Mill Street upon the suggestion of Artist of Bristol, Rose Marie Strippoli. [Patti graduated from Bishop Conwell with Rose Marie’s daughter, Theresa Marie [Radice] Cooper.] Rose Marie always expresses her passion for art with verve and she has a powerful ability to communicate which is found truly inspiring by all.
Bill Pezza, president of Raising the Bar, the local nonprofit organization that led the establishment of the Centre for the Arts, recently announced that the gallery has selected Rose Marie Field Strippoli as its nominee for the 2016 Centre for the Arts Cultural Hall of Fame.
Rose Marie complimented Patti’s art, “Her work is very good. She is very meticulous about her work. She actually measures the relationship from an ear to eye with a tool. I was very impressed with that.”
Sensitive details in each of Patti’s portraits produce a personal capsule of time that evokes lasting memories. Each portrait is a hand-drawn original with intense attention to detail, bringing out the best in each subject with its own unique energy.
She dreams without boundaries and that breathes through her pencils as she captures life and people in black and white, with a marriage of realism and subtle exaggeration.
A humble pencil becomes a powerful and versatile tool in the hands of such a skilled and inspired artist. Patti’s wielded pencil is certainly mightier than the camera lens.
Life connections ART incredible!
Years ago, Patti purchased her “beautiful of course, with lacy sleeves and a fitted bodice” wedding gown from Rosemarie’s shop RM Design on New Falls Road.
Now both of these artists’ unique and appealing works enliven the walls at 308 Mill Street, where
Patti used to get her saddle shoes for school. This very location was the former Ballow’s Shoes.
“There are very kind people at the Centre for the Arts. The atmosphere here is warm and inviting and kind and welcoming,” Patti confirmed. “It’s beautiful and the way it flows, it’s as if you’re in the room all by yourself looking at the art.”
Patti and her expressive, richly detailed works have found a new home.
She is available for commissioned work that can make a wonderful and unexpected gift.
Stop in and discover appealing works you will love!
Centre for the Arts
308 Mill Street
Bristol, PA 19007