Following an early career as a medical/health writer, Patrice Schelkun became a full-time mom of four children in the 1990s. Serendipitously, this move allowed her to reignite her creative life in the visual arts.
Fascinated by the elaborately-decorated church interiors she had visited in Europe, Schelkun sought out opportunities to learn as much as she could about the crafts employed in creating a sacred space. She studied trompe l’oeil painting along with the centuries-old techniques used to create stained glass windows.
“I was really drawn not so much to the crafting of stained glass as to the idea of painting imagery on a transparent surface, where the focus is on transmitted light and color,” says the artist. Through collaborations with craftsmen and artists in the stained glass community, she completed a number of large window commissions for churches and other institutions.
“Ultimately, though, it was an encounter with portrait artist Nelson Shank’s painting of Pope Saint John Paul II that convinced me I had to pursue mastery of oil painting in the realist tradition.” She began studies at Studio Incamminati in Philadelphia, the atelier founded by Shanks. In recent years she has refined her skills and artistic vision in workshops with Daniel Gerhartz, Rose Frantzen and Michelle Dunaway, all former students of Richard Schmid, whose writings on alla prima painting have inspired so many artists.
Schelkun’s recent work focuses on commissioned portraiture and figurative oil paintings, along with religious subjects. She and her husband now live in Naples, Florida and, in 2023, she opened a studio/gallery of her own on Marco Island. “I chose the name Immanence Fine Art Studio because I believe that we all can catch glimpses of the divine everywhere around us if we take the time to look.” —
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Immanence Fine Art Studio, 683 S. Collier Boulevard, Unit A
Marco Island, FL 34145, (215) 837-025
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