An Artist Gets Her Wings: Who is P Buckley Moss?

From humble Staten Island beginnings, Patricia Buckley Moss was born to Italian immigrants who absolutely had no interest to be discussing with teachers their daughter’s inability to sit still in class. Had it been the 1990’s and not the early 1940’s, Pat would have been diagnosed with dyslexia (which she later was) and put into a different class. But Italian practicality from her mother demanded that they give her something to do worthy of her imagination. So the head of the school sent her to the art teacher and that was the day that an artist got her wings!

Artist, P. Buckley Moss; Painting an original floral; at Cooper Union Fine Arts, New York

Fortunately for Pat, the art teacher helped her find success and a scholarship to a fine arts high school and then admissions into the prestigious Cooper Union School of Fine Arts in New York City.  At a time when women were not recognized or respected for their artistic talents, Pat had to become P. Buckley Moss to get the recognition and scholarships she deserved.

Taking the City Out of the Artist

When Pat married soon after school, her husband moved their growing family to the Shenandoah Valley. It was the perfect match for this no-nonsense mother of six.  Breathtaking views of mountains and trees, streams, horses, stone barns, and the beloved simplicity of the Quaker culture that surrounded them.  Her paintings of horses and the life in the valley brought her out of the street art fairs and into the White House as a beloved American Artist.  By 1985 she was so well known that people began to criticize her growing art business and fame, but Pat didn’t care less about what people said or thought.  She loved to paint and paint she did.  Growing her audiences were easy as Pat began to expand, not only her view of the world but her own style of painting as well.

Most creative people see the world in a different way, but for Pat, living in the country gave her a whole series of breathtaking new perspectives. Her colors were bright or muted. Lines are drawn delicately or loose and impressionistic. The world around us has no particular style or pattern, so the art of P. Buckley Moss reflects the wonders of the world as it exists around us–ever changing. Over the years, Pat continued to paint the Amish and Mennonite community that surrounded her family. The love of this simple community began to spread and the public began to embrace her “plain people” who valued modesty and family values. These signature and iconic images were sold around the world as a piece of country life that was still strong and valued. For Pat, they were just a wonderful part of the scenery that was part of her American life.

“They thanked me for depicting them in a way that is wholesome,” Pat said of the Amish community. Today there is a new generation that thinks of these works as “vintage” since Google doesn’t often search for such perspectives of life. But things are beginning to change quite rapidly. Today, new, young homeowners will come into the gallery and ask to see those “Boho” people dressed in black.  “There is something pleasing about having a piece of simplicity in your home,” said one young lady. In the digital age, where attention spans are six whole seconds…it is refreshing to know that a new generation is finding new ways to embrace art and culture in their homes.

Titles: Society Friends Children Art Collection, Amish Man, Pair, & Woman in a collector home Boho Collection,  Autumn Glow Fall Collection

Diversity in Art

Over the years Pat’s work has become popular because of the broad number of subjects she embraces –landscapes, horses, architecture, even an impressionistic flower or two.  Her style is what makes her collectible not to mention you cannot get it everywhere.  Through a hand-selected limited number of art dealers, P. Buckley Moss has been able to maintain her collectors and the value of her work.

Canada Goose Gallery in Waynesville, Ohio has the largest selection of Pat’s work with rare items, original pieces of art, and valuable favorites that are no longer in print. Collectors come from several states to see her vast collection and the artist comes every October to meet people and sign her work.  People are looking for something that they can relate to in their art and decor and Pat paints the people (and some really incredible horses) with an eye for detail and color. This beauty in her work adds a richness to people’s lives and homes.

 Title: The Matriarch, Giclee  Horses Collection

Although the artist began her rise with the simplicity of the Shenandoah Valley, over the years collectors have found that all of the subjects in Pat’s work speak to something that is missing in our world today.  It is amazing the number of pieces that some collectors have hanging in their homes.  And today, a younger audience is opening its eyes to her work for an entirely new reason.  Her story as a woman American artist really resonates with millennials.  Pat is the real deal and her celebrity has not changed the way she lives or paints.  Almost every year she paints a special piece for National Public Television in their annual fundraising campaigns. This charity perspective is important for young people today.  They like to support businesses and artists who give back to the community and Pat has been doing that since she first picked up her brush.

Title: Egret Romance Birds Art Collection; Collectors in Canada Goose Gallery; P.Buckley Moss on Blue Ridge Public TV

Virginia Tech has adopted Pat as their patron hometown artist.  Opening the Moss Center for the Arts on campus, the community has embraced her and the wonderfully diverse works of art in Pat’s collection.

At an age when she should be sitting in her studio painting away the hours, Pat Moss is traveling around the country visiting collectors, talking with children, and helping to raise money where she can.  “Art saved me,” she once said when asked about her school struggles.  The Moss Foundation was created to serve children who learn differently and Pat enjoys moments with children who often reflect her more carefree philosophy of life.  “You should do the thing that suits you,” she is fond of saying.  Even if that that “thing” is painting a kitchen cabinet with a prancing horse (which is in her home] or painting a center swatch for a charity auction,  or even something more elaborate–like painting a bedroom wall over a summer holiday!

Christmas show at the P. Buckley Moss Barn; Artist, Pat Moss signing art in front of a hand painted quilt square for charity; Mural painting

P. Buckley Moss has certainly earned her artist credentials.  She still thinks that is tough being a woman artist, but she is encouraged as more and more of this new young audience discovers her artwork and finds new and creative ways to share it.

Artist P. Buckley Moss lives in Blacksburg, Virginia and still travels around the country meeting collectors and finding new inspiration to paint.  See her work exclusively at Canada Goose Gallery, 97 South Main Street, Waynesville, Ohio 45068. (937) 631-4444

Article was written by M. Bereket