The Heroine’s Journey of Patricia Glee Smith

What is the best thing that I love about my work? Beginning a new painting. The challenge of expressing my chosen subject with paint, learning something each time to improve my technique. Trying to make each new work better in some way than the last.
What is my idea of perfect happiness. I am always happy when I am with other creative people, exchanging ideas, discoveries, sensations with them.
What is my greatest fear. Not being able to paint someday for some reason.
What is the trait that I most deplore in myself. Being impulsive.
Which living persons in my profession do I most admire. There are many excellent figurative painters in the world right now, but since I live in Italy, I will mention  two Italian friends: Gianluca Corona and Ottorino De Lucchi…
What is my greatest extravagance. I spend more money on the best quality oil paints and brushes than on anything else!
On what occasion would I lie. I don’t like to lie, if I can help it.
What is the thing I most dislike in my work. I don’t dislike anything about my work except putting a price on it.
Where and when was I happiest in my work. Besides the present moment, there have been two special times. One was the period when I was working with archaeologists in the Yemen and in Turkey,  drawing the incredible architecture there, getting to know the customs and the people. The other was In a completely different situation: being at the MacDowell Foundation in the USA, as a resident artist. It was exciting and inspiring to be with other artists, writers and composers in such a beautiful and prestigious setting.
If I could what would I change about myself. I wish I could speak more languages than I do.
What is my greatest achievement in my work. There have been many small achievements, but I haven’t reached the greatest yet. I always hope I can improve whatever I am doing.
Where would I like most to live. I think I could live almost anywhere.  But there are many reasons to love Italy, and am happy here in my little medieval village in Umbria.
What is my most treasured possession. My violin. I once studied seriously, but had to make a choice between being a musician and being a painter.
What is my most marked characteristic. That’s hard for me to say. I would have to ask other people.
What is my most inspirational location, in my city. I have been given the key to the lovely private garden of the castle in my village , and I love to paint there, or just think or read. I treasure the solitude.
What is my favorite place to eat and drink, in my city. At the houses of my many friends here who are almost all great cooks.
What books influenced my life and how. I have always been a voracious reader, and so many books have influenced my life, that it is difficult to choose.
Who are my favorite writers. Just a few that come to mind, in no particular order: Henry James, Flaubert, Dickens, Jonathan Swift,  William Thackeray, Julian Barnes,  Evelyn Waugh, Umberto Eco, Primo Levi, Italo Calvino,  Dino Buzzati, Alessandro Manzoni, Giuseppe Tomaso di Lampadusa, Borghes…and so many more.
You only die once. What music would I listen to on my last day Arvo Pärt : Speigel im Spiegel. I even titled a painting after this piece.
Which movie would I recommend to see once in a lifetime. Difficult to chose. Babette’s Feast is one, Lawerence of Arabia, La Dolce Vita, Dr. Strangelove, The Battle of Algiers, Bowling for Columbine are a few others.
What role plays art in my life and work. Art in a broad  sense (music, literature, architecture etc.) IS my life.
Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime. Many people have helped me in my work. A great mentor has been the wife of the American artist Ben Shahn: Bernarda Bryson. An accomplished artist herself, she influenced me significantly and stimulated me in many ways;  she was the first person to encourage me to think of myself as an artist. Through her inspiration, I drew for the New Yorker magazine for many years.
Whom would I like to work with in 2017. I like to participate in group exhibitions and projects. I would also love to work with writers and musicians.
What do the words passion never retires mean for me. Just that: it doesn’t. It would be tragic if it did!
Which creative heroines should Peter invite to tell their stories . Again, hard to choose: painters Mishi Bellamy, Anne Shingleton, Andrea Smith, Sara Knock, Joyce Lyon, Anna Keen, Bonnie Spiegel, Lucy Clink, just a few of many!
where can you see me or my work in 2017 I have recently had 3 solo exhibitions. I will be working on a piece for a museum of modern art here in Italy, and a new series of large still lifes / figure paintings in oil. My latest work can be seen on my website, on Instagram and on Face Book. Also in my studio in Umbria, if you happen to be in Italy. I can be reached by email.
how can you contact me:
I am on Instagram as patriciagleesmithart
On Face Book as Patricia Glee Smith
Here are two videos of my work, with the music of a friend who is a composer.
What follows is a message of Peter de Kuster,  the founder of the Heroine’s Journey

What is Your Story?

Two Day Tour with Peter de Kuster  in the greatest bookstores of your favorite city. In Paris, Rome, Florence, Barcelona, Berlin, London and Amsterdam we offer this unique What is your Story? experience.  To (re) write your story about yourself and your work. In the process transforming your capacity to successfully have the creative life and work you love. 

In this journey, Peter de Kuster,  founder of The Heroine’s Journey explores with you the way we tell stories about ourselves to ourselves — and, most important, the way we can change those stories to transform our creative business and life.

“Your story is your art, your art is your story,” says Peter. As human beings, we continually tell ourselves stories — of success or failure; of power or victimhood; stories that endure for an hour, or a day, or an entire lifetime. We have stories about our creative challenges, our art, our clients, our money, our self promotion, our time, our families and relationships, our health; about what we want and what we’re capable of achieving. Yet, while our stories profoundly affect how others see us and we see ourselves, too few of us even recognize that we’re telling stories, or what they are, or that we can change them — and, in turn, transform our very destinies.

Telling ourselves stories provides structure and direction as we navigate life’s challenges and opportunities, and helps us interpret our goals and skills. Stories make sense of chaos; they organize our many divergent experiences into a coherent thread; they shape our entire reality. And far too many of our stories, says Peter, are dysfunctional, in need of serious editing. First, he asks you to answer the question, “In which areas of my creative life and business is it clear that I cannot achieve my goals with the story I’ve got?” He then shows you how to create new, reality-based stories that inspire you to action, and take you where you want to go both in your work and personal life.

Our capacity to tell stories is one of our profoundest gifts. Peter’s approach to creating deeply engaging stories will give you the tools to wield the power of storytelling and forever change your creative business and life.

Become a great Storyteller

That’s why I set up What is your Story? service in the great cities of the world and their great bookstores. A new way to use the power of your story.  To guide you to life-changing, eye-opening but often elusive works of literature, both past and present, the books of fiction that truly have the power to enchant, enrich and inspire.

In two days with Peter de Kuster you’ll explore your relationship with books so far and your unique story identity will be sketched. You will be guided to books that can put their finger on what you want to rewrite in your story, the feelings that you may often have had but perhaps never understood so clearly before; books that open new perspectives and re-enchant the world for you.

You will be asked to complete a questionnaire in advance of your session and you’ll be given an instant story advice and books to read to take away. Your full story advice and books to read list will follow within a couple of days.


What Can I Expect?

Here’s an outline of the WHAT IS YOUR STORY? journey.

Journey Outline


  • What is your Story?
  • Are you even trying to tell a Story?
  • Old Stories  (stories about you, your art, your clients, your money, your self promotion, your happiness, your health)
  • Tell your current Story
  • Is this Really Your Story?


  • The Premise of your Story. The Purpose of your Life and Art
  • The words on your tombstone
  • You ultimate mission, out loud
  • The Seven Great Plots
  • The Twelve Archetypal Heroines
  • The One Great Story
  • Purpose is Never Forgettable
  • Questioning the Premise
  • Lining up
  • Flawed Alignment, Tragic Ending
  • The Three Rules in Storytelling
  • Write Your New Story


  • Turning your story into action
  • The Story Effect
  • Story Ritualizing
  • The Storyteller and the art of story
  • The Power of Your Story
  • Storyboarding your creative process
  • They Created and Lived Happily Ever After


The “What is your Story?” fee is Euro 2.495 excluding VAT for a private tour with a small group of 1 or 2 people.

Questions? Contact Peter de Kuster at 0031 6 33661772 or mail him at




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