Very few artists
in the world, past or present, have portrayed the delicacy, sensitivity, and
mystery of women with the skill and insight of Pati Bannister. In this age she
is an unparalleled master of feminine portraiture and exquisite detail, as
evidenced by the prints featured for this website.
Pati Bannister was born in north London, England, into a family of accomplished
artists. After an early career as an illustrator for children's books and the
famous English equestrian publication, Riding, she worked as a special effects
artist for the J. Arthur Rank film studios where she further developed a keen
and sensitive eye for detail and color mixing, and their impact on all aspects
of design and composition in a work of art.
In 1952, Pati Bannister moved to the U.S. and later settled on the Mississippi
Gulf Coast overlooking a wildlife sanctuary. There she explores the female
psyche, posing the young ladies of her imagination with exotic flowers, gossamer
fabrics, and filigreed lace in fine Victorian parlors, beside rain-swept
windows, along lone country roads. Her juxtaposition of delicate natural beauty
with steadfast matter is a key element of Pati Bannister's unique style and
But it's the intangible quality of her women toward which people of all ages and
backgrounds are irresistibly drawn. From innocent child to sensual maiden there
exists in Bannister's females an ethereal vulnerability one wants to protect
along with an inherent strength one wants to know. Here is an artist who is
master of the feminine mystique.
Pati Bannister's continuous endeavor to capture and preserve the tranquility,
beauty, and aura of her astute vision through painting and sculpture is the
essence of her life. She is pleased to share the results with you.
Getting to know Pati Bannister...
Speaking in her
soft British accent, Pati Bannister prefers talking about her pets rather than
the talent that has made her an American legend. Despite the fact that her
paintings sell for as much as $60,000, Pati remains untouched by her success.
She is shy and a trifle bewildered by her status as one of America's leading
Listed in Who's Who in American Art and featured in numerous art magazines, Pati
Banister paints originals and offers limited edition prints to collectors around
the world through New Masters Publishing. Her art is peopled by delicate young
women and girls set against a romantically imaginative backgrounds.
She can't remember being particularly encouraged in art as a very young child,
but then, most of her childhood memories are centered on World War II. "I was
born in Highgate, overlooking London in 1929," she relates, "so I was just nine
when the War broke out. My mother sent me to the country, unfortunately the
southeast coast, so for a while, I was in the middle of The Battle of Britain.
Later, I returned to London---just in time for the Blitz. We children, as a
diversion, would see who could pick up the most pieces of shrapnel."
Pati made sketches during her young life, working as an illustrator for the
prestigious Riding magazine at the age of thirteen, and ultimately working as an
animator for J. Arthur Rank, the moviemaker. "It was a lot like Disney, I guess,
but not as sophisticated. I spent a great deal of time working on detail,
composition, and color mixing," Pati says.
By the age of 22, Pati wanted to travel and came to America as a governess to a
family in Fairfield, Connecticut. She continued to sketch, but moved to Miami to
work for Southern Airlines as a stewardess so she could travel more. There, the
man who would change her life forever, Glynn Bannister "was hooked one I saw
that pretty girl and heard that English accent," he admitted. Rather
Glynn learned of Pati's talent and instantly recognized it as special.
In 1958, the Bannisters
moved to New Orleans because it seemed a good place for Pati to begin a serious
career as an artist. Joining many other artists, Pati began painting portraits
in Jackson Square. Eventually she assumed the habit of spending rainy days in
her studio working, and sunny days selling her art. "Glynn helped me a lot, had
a wonderful business sense and adapted his business expertise to the art
business extremely well.
Their hard work paid off. Even though Pati's prices were usually higher than
other artists, her work quickly became very popular and the Bannisters opened
their first, and then a second, gallery in the French Quarter. After several
moves to the Gulf Coast, the Bannisters moved to the quiet and privacy of four
beautifully wooded acres in the pass Christian area on the Mississippi coast.
There, Pati paints in a glassed studio where wild azaleas bloom, several
varieties of birds feed, and squirrels play just outside her window.
Pati is an excellent cook and grows herbs and tomatoes in her garden. The
remainder of her garden is planted with flowers. Pati's love of flowers is
apparent in her paintings. The paintings she now produces of young women and
girls feature flowers that seem to bloom on the canvas. Her work has been
labeled "magic realism" because of the moods portrayed in her incredibly
Pati continues to be intrigued by accurately capturing the transitory quality of
light and the moods created by various types of light. She is also very
interested in textures of material---both natural and manmade. And, she says,
she continues to be drawn to the harmonies and subtleties of colors and shapes.
"The subject usually dictates the medium I use. Most of my works are in acrylic
or oil. Although I find pastels and watercolors fun and exciting to do, egg
tempera is really my favorite."
Pati Bannister captures the moment and mood through her creation of a special
world within each painting. In all cases, however, there is a consistency of
vision where flowers in full bloom, richly textured fabrics, the sheen of
oriental porcelains or the natural beauty of a sunlit landscape, suggest the
importance of and need for beauty in the real world.
Here is where Pati Bannister succeeds where few others do. She identifies,
selects, elevates and captures beauty in the world in various and magical ways.
This is her ultimate gift and the promise of her amazing art.