The Heroine’s Journey of Pat Gainor

What is the best thing I love about my work?

I love when I am working “in the zone” and my concentration is so deep that all sound, movement and extraneous things disappear. There is only me and the painting and every stroke of the brush I make is right. Also, I love the moment I step back to look at what I have done and it takes my breath away, then I know the painting finished.

What is my idea of perfect happiness?

On a personal level, being recognized and respected as a world class painter and having the work flow naturally, while keeping up with family and friends, would be great. Plus I would like to have a group of amazingly talented and fun friends with whom to share my happiness along with theirs.

What is my greatest fear?

My greatest fear is living an ordinary life. It has not happened but I am always on the lookout to keep my life extraordinary in every way possible.

What is the trait that I most deplore in myself.

I was brought up to love myself and so the word ‘deplore’ is not in my lexicon in referring to humanity. I could improve my ability to handle many things at once and not become stressed.

Which living persons in my profession do I most admire?

To name a few Peter Doig, Fatemeh Burnes, Justin Bower, Ellen Levine Dodd, Brice Marden, Jose Parla, RETNA and Michael Heizer.

What is my greatest extravagance?

I love to travel and fly to Europe every year to participate in and check out the art scene. Last year I was in the Art Fair in Basil Switzerland. We stayed there for the show then moved on to Florence and finally Positano where I delivered a commissioned painting. Two years ago I had a solo show in Positano, Italy and stayed a month, for the run of the show. It was heaven plus I sold a lot of paintings!

On what occasion would I lie?

I try to be truthful at all times but I might try to soften the truth on something very minor if it was going to hurt someone’s feelings.

What is the thing I dislike the most about my work?

I dislike all the computer work involved in submitting for shows and publicity. It takes me away from painting and that intuitive, creative place in my brain.

When and where was I the happiest, in my work?

When I was painting this huge canvas up in the big studio for MFA students at Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles a few years back, I was using all these big sweeping movements with the brush then I would step back to peer and assess what I had done and the next step. I became so involved that I didn’t realize that some of the students were watching and imitating my movements. I guess it was funny but I was so intent on what I was doing I hardly noticed. I loved that painting and it sold for more than any painting I had done thus far.

If I could what would I change about myself?

I wish I could get up at 6:00 AM and start painting at 6:30 AM every day but alas I am a night person so it is more likely that I get a later start and continue into the evening.

What is my greatest achievement in work?

I love my new paintings from the FREEDOM series and GENESIS series. Also having solo shows in Europe and New York as well as having my work in museums are meaningful steps in my career.

Where would I most like to live?

I am in the perfect place for me. Los Angeles is a world class city with a vibrant art community, the weather is great and I live a few blocks from the Ocean.

What is my most treasured possession?

Other than my creativity, passion, intellectual curiosity and love of mankind, for an actual physical object, I would say the harmonica my Dad used to play. I know what it meant to him and the pleasure we experienced when he would play for us. He kept it in its lovely case where it remains next to our piano to his day.

What is my most marked characteristic?

I am eternally curious, optimistic, determined and persistant but my most marked characteristic is my fierce independence. I started modeling at the age of 17 and went on to win numerous beauty pageants all while graduating cum laude and attending college on a 4 year academic scholarship. I then moved alone from Michigan to New York City to become a successful model while starting to paint on my own in Central Park. One of those paintings was accepted in a museum show. My independence shined when I hosted various television shows, including my own, and again when acting in films and television in Los Angeles. Now I am painting full time and again remaining curious and optimistic about what lies ahead.

What is my most inspirational location, in my city?

Definitely it is down at the beach watching the waves roll up. I am lucky enough to live close enough to the ocean that I can take a break from painting and trek down there whenever I like.

What is my favorite place to eat and drink, in my city?

I always enjoy going to any of the many amazing museums we have here in L.A. and having a nice lunch or dinner. The Getty Museum has a great restaurant with a wonderful view.

What books influenced my life and how?

Arthur Miller’s play “Death of a Salesman” was a huge influence on me. In my eyes, the main character, Willie Loman, lead a dull and meaningless life without purpose. I vowed that my life would be out of the ordinary in every way possible. I choose “the road less taken” to quote Robert Frost.

Who are my favorite writers?

Shakespeare was amazing and still relevant. For comedy, the playwright, Nora Ephron always hit the right notes for me. August Wilson is another favorite.

You only die once. What music would I listen to on my last day?

I would want to hear my son on the piano and daughter on guitar and the kids on drums and guitar. They could play whatever they like.

Who is my hero or heroine in fiction?

My anti-hero, as I mentioned was Willie Loman from “Death of a Salesman”. Sometimes one can be even more inspired by the negative than the positive because you can see what you do not want to become and you must figure out how to make your life different.

Who are my heroes and heroines in real life?

My husband is the one I constantly look to for advice. He is a man of integrity, wisdom, humor and charisma who is always there when you need him. Another was my Dad for all the same reasons. My Mom was a very independent woman who was ahead of her time. She was a huge influence on me and my career. She always encouraged me to excel while enjoying life.

Which movie would I recommend to see once in a lifetime?

I would recommend “Schindler’s List”, “Forrest Gump” or the first two of “The Godfather”.

What role art plays in my life and work?

Art is my life. Next to my family and friends it is most important.

Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime?

Absolutely it is my husband, Ed Tar. He goes beyond in every way, like schlepping my canvases all over Europe to be delivered to a show or client. He once removed 22 canvases from the stretcher bars for shipping to a solo show in Italy. Once there he remounted the paintings for the show. Following the show he unmounted the unsold paintings again to get back to the U.S. were he had remounted them once again. In addition to working full time in a creative field himself he is always there to support me.

Whom would I like to work with in in 2017?

I would love to work with Elizabeth East at LA Louver or any of the curators at the museums across the world especially MOCA or LACMA as well as major galleries especially in New York, L.A., London, Dubai or Milan.

Which people in my profession would I like to meet in 2017?

The curators with the Gagosian Gallery and Eli Broad.

What project, in 2017, am I looking forward to work on?

I am looking forward to working on more solo shows in 2017.

Where can you see my work in 2017?

I am delighted to have been chosen by two very distinguished curators, Peter Frank and Fatemah Burnes to be in “FRESH” (July 8 – Aug. 5) at SBC SoLa Gallery in Los Angeles, CA.. I have just been in two shows at the Torrance Art Museum and you can always see some of my work at my website as well the directory at Los Angeles Art Association in the next few months.

What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to you?

It means I will be painting my entire life.

Which creative heroines should Peter invite to tell their story/

Shana Nys Dambrot, Fatemeh Burnes, Megan Frances Abrahams, Diane Holland, Lita Albuquerque, and Heather Scholl.

How can you contact me?

I can be reached through my web site or at


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