Patty Chapman lives in Barrie, Ontario, Canada and has been an artist her whole life. She describes her childhood as magical and full of exploration. Both of her parents nurtured a spirit of creativity and provided any materials she needed to create or research interesting topics. This magical childhood gave way to an adolescence and adulthood that felt more closed in. Life’s responsibilities took hold and her world of color and dynamic creativity became much more flat and black and white.
In 2009 Patty’s husband Scott, the love of her life, was diagnosed with terminal cancer. As his health deteriorated she was consumed with thoughts about his death. Day after day sitting with her dying husband filled her with unimaginable grief that was leading to despair and hopelessness. In an attempt to distract her from the reality she was drowning in, she began to research encaustic painting. Encaustic painting, also known as hot wax painting involves heating wax or, in Patty’s case, everyday crayons and using a variety of tools to apply the melted wax to a prepared surface. Patty was elated and relieved to have found a coping method that didn’t remove her from Scott’s side, something that freed her from the pain of the reality she was facing, and a healthy distraction from the turmoil that she was wading through.
Patty is now a very accomplished artist who has logged more that 3000 hours of time dedicated to this unique style of art. She is very involved with the art scene in her hometown. She is widely pursued to teach her methods to people of all ages and has appeared on TV to promote her thriving business and passion for igniting the creativity that we all possess. When asked what she loves most about teaching, she says, “It has given me the tools to give people back their creative confidence, it’s a beautiful thing.” Patty has witnessed her community being awakened to accept those who are different, who don’t “fit in the box,” this inspires her to let her “freak flag fly,” she says, to peek people’s curiosity and possibly make a difference in someone’s life.