Canvas of glass


STARING out a car window while stuck in traffic is an everyday annoyance that may seemingly have no redeeming artistic elements. Elizabeth Patterson was intrigued by this dreary act and, upping the ante, turned her sights to what was actually on the windshield during sporadic Southern California rain showers.

The resulting colored pencil and graphite drawings are based on photos of L.A. streets shot through her car’s windshield.

The Pennsylvania native received accolades early in her career, but her artistic pursuits were abruptly halted by a severe injury to her drawing hand. Years later, she traveled to Hawaii and discovered the magnificence of the undersea world. The visual stimulation, along with realization that her drawing hand was functional, inspired her to resurrect her art career.


“The isolation that happens in a car and how you rewire that into something that can be viewed by many was an interesting concept,” said Marie Chambers, director at Louis Stern Fine Arts, where Patterson’s artwork is on display. “They are skillful feats of drawing.”

Patterson’s images are part of the Photo Realism exhibit “In the Eye of the Beholder -- Works on Paper,” featuring works by L.A.-based women, including Denice Bartels, Jennifer Celio and Mary Mallman. The exhibit runs through Aug. 23.

-- Liesl Bradner