The Rise Of An Iconic Artist












Iconic Artist: P. Buckley Moss

An artist in the 1960s was faced with cultural shifts and upheaval, not unlike the changing landscape of todays rapidly moving world.  But one thing was sure for Patricia Buckley Moss, motherhood and artist were not always a welcome combination back then!


As a graduate of the prestigious art school, Cooper Union College in New York City, Pat Moss was filled with talent and skills that would certainly bring her the recognition she deserved.  But for women, all women in the 1960s, motherhood was a much higher calling and few dared to cross out of that expected role and venture into others that were mainly held by men. Yes, even art!


When Patricia Moss and her growing family moved to rural Virginia for her husband’s job, motherhood became a role much easier when surrounded by mountains and trees rather than urban concrete parks.  The artist in her relished in the colorful scenery and inspirational role models that surrounded her family in the Quaker community that they had found themselves.  So many wonderful lessons to be learned! So many wonderful scenes and gifts of nature to paint!  And luckily, for Pat, so many delightful and important “Art Fairs” too!













With children in tow, artist P. Buckley Moss shared her work with visitors from neighboring Washington D.C. and the surrounding communities in Virginia through the bustling street fair scene in small towns along the Virginia Coastline in 60s and 70s.


“Of course I am a mother!” Pat would proudly say as she carried her canvas pieces from the family station wagon to the main street art fair scene.  It was a routine that is embedded into the hearts and memory of her five children.  Following their mother, like little ducks in a row, they waited just long enough to be shushed away so they could explore and play together while watching beloved pieces of art being carried away by new fans. It would be the beginning of movement by women of the time.  Following Pat from show to show and embracing her vision of the world; loving her unique talent and imagery, and propelling this mother of five into an iconic rise to fame.


Art is something that makes us stop in our tracks, even if just for a brief moment. It fills our senses with color and perspective.  It isn’t just the scene or the subject we embrace.  Art is much more.  Our eyes focus on one detail then will move to another.  Our mind searches for meaning, through a memory or even a reminder of something we experienced before.  Art is a moment when the noise around us ceases and we are inside our own experience.  It is a feeling of being truly present.


For Pat Moss, art was her pathway to embracing her own talents; and motherhood was a role she owned and loved (still does!) but in the beginning, when Pat became “P,” her greatest fans were the laughter of her five children and the people who saw talent first.  It is almost hard to believe today the struggles that women had back then, but those struggles gave Pat an eye for a world much kinder and more welcoming.

And that world in rural Virginia holds many lessons we might consider embracing once again, but I’ll save the lessons of the Quakers for another post.  For now, I celebrate with you the artist, the woman, and the mother: P. Buckley Moss. A combination of talents that will make anyone stop in their tracks to enjoy!


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