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Chic it Up! The Whimsical Artwork of Patricia van Essche

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There’s nothing more enchanting to me  than refined and well-placed pen strokes on Strathmore paper…finished off with a luxurious watercolor wash in yummy colors.

When Patricia van Essche’s work was brought to my attention by a mutual friend, Jessica Gordon Ryan (whose blog The Entertaining House is a must see) it was clear it deserved to be shared with all of you. Jessica will have the honors on this posting and can well do Patricia justice.

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Party invitations, Christmas cards, rehearsal dinner menus, maps to the wedding, mementos of special times, your home. Have fun imagining all the purposes for which you could call upon PVE (as she’s now known). I know I will! Jessica, take it away…….

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Long before I met the lovely and talented Patricia van Essche I was an admirer of hers – her artwork that is.  Her style is unmistakable and instantly recognizable – it is her hand that illustrates the delightful J. McLaughlin drawings (among so many others).

12077312_1080684845284807_1955869088_nHer colorful, whimsical and energetic sketches have caught the attention of many, including the discerning eyes of the folks at Town & Country. Patricia’s illustrations have become synonymous with style, luxury and whimsy.  They always bring a smile to one’s face and a twinkle to one’s eyes. Though fun and playful, her beautiful illustrations have an understated sophistication and timelessness to them.

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Patricia’s artwork so perfectly depicts a celebrated lifestyle of colorful and chic homes, pets, events and more which flawlessly capture those favorite moments and images. To her clients and fans, Patricia van Essche is known as PVE.

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Patricia was born in Louisville, Kentucky and drew her inspirations from her talented and entrepreneurial family.  In 2006, Patricia debuted PVE Design, a showplace for her own art, inspiration, and creativity. This would pave the road to many wonderful collaborations, partnerships and commissions including J. McLaughlin, Sheridan Road magazine and Lava Barre.

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Patricia’s home in a small Hudson River town is as lovely as you’d expect. Her studio, which sits on the ground level, is bright and airy at the top of a hill.  Last spring I had the wonderful opportunity to visit her studio where she showed me many of her projects both past and present.

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A large table commands the center of the room. This table, to me, was truly inspirational. I wanted to sit right down and create something remarkable. On one side were jars of brushes, her beloved black pens and tins of watercolors. Works in progress blanketed the table and beneath, her dog rested at my feet ever so peacefully.  Patricia had just come back from a trip to London where she had joined up with other bloggers to participate in a watercolor workshop. As we poured over the wonderful British images, I listened to her enchanting tales about the trip. Her excitement, infectious, was rubbing off on me!

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This past summer Patricia shared with me that she had a client in Newport and showed me some of her wonderful illustrations. I knew, at that very moment, that we needed to share those wonderful drawings here, on Private Newport. I hope you all enjoy them as much as I have, and that you enjoy getting to know a little bit about the artist as well.


An Interview with Patricia van Essche


How did you get your first “lucky break?”
My first big break was landing a job at Ralph Lauren in the Design Department. That was in the 80’s and everyone wanted to work for Ralph or Calvin.  Calvin was my next stop… But actually, my first break was selling my art at the age of about 4 to neighbors for 3 cents.  Mind you they were colored in coloring book pages. I had the entrepreneurial spirit then and now!

PvE- EE-Trinity church737What inspires you, your art?
I am inspired by life. A life well lived.  Life is fast paced these days so I try to capture things in order to stop time and to not necessarily mock life but to find a bit of whimsical charm in the nostalgia of life.  Perhaps it’s my own sentimental journey. I’m also inspired by clarity, simplicity, texture, color, travel… I love old things like typewriters, sewing machines, phones with cords and new things like thin Oreos and thin TVs and thinking thin, streamlined. Origami paper and Micron pens. I’m inspired by luxury – Hermes and Gucci, but also by Target.
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 How do you stay creative?
I stay creative by always finding or looking for inspiration all around me and stay focused by editing.  Edit. Edit. Edit. If I toss back an idea or save it, it usually floats to the surface.
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What is your definition of luxury?
Luxury can range from a beautifully made handbag or to a soak in a bath. It is the handmade or exquisite that creates something luxurious.

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Who was your first style icon?
My first style icon was my Great Aunt Louise. She loved to sew and was a true lady.  She wore suits with lace chemise, and her hair in a chignon.  I suppose my other style icon would have to be Eloise and then Babar because they make me smile.

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If you could have 6-10 people at a dinner party, alive or not, who would you invite?
My dinner party would always include my family and any extended friends and stragglers but if I were to invite anyone, I think I might want to invite The Pope and Donald Trump. Just kidding.  No, I think I would want to have Monet, Picasso, Cecil Beaton and after dinner we could share paint.

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What would you serve?
Champagne to toast, a lovely Beet Napoleon to start and for the entrée I would serve a beautifully made Boeuf Bourguignon  and some yummy cheeses, a salad and Red Bordeaux.  Dessert would be something chocolate and Brandy as an after dinner drink.

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What’s your favorite room in your home?
My favorite room. A toss up between my studio, my kitchen or my terrace.

My kitchen is….
My kitchen is the hub of my home.

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You live a healthy, clean and honest life… Can you share with us some of your daily habits and routines?
Daily habits. Morning coffee, walk, eat as whole as possible and create every day.  Volunteer, get involved in your community.  Say yes.  Try new things. Be kind.

PvE- Newport Trolley711What’s the one thing you cannot live without?
One thing I cannot live without is my family. We are very close.  I guess, next would be my micron pens and watercolors and I could not go a day without creating a sketch.

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Do you have any New Year’s Resolutions?
New Year’s, Well, actually, this New Year will be one of tremendous change for me as one of my sons will be leaving for Active Duty in the US Army.  He is waiting to hear where he will be sent.  This is of course a very exciting time for him.  Now my 22 year old twins are home and both employed.  My job is to keep the pantry full and realize that these are the last few months that they will be living in the home they have grown up in.  My resolution is to “Let go.”

10806385_910113912341902_7364143490131900140_nFor those of you wishing to know more about Patricia and her artwork and commissions, please do hop on over to her website, PVE.

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10 thoughts on “Chic it Up! The Whimsical Artwork of Patricia van Essche

  1. OMG!!!! I am so happy that you are featuring one of my favorite artists in the whole world. Positively LOVE everything PVE touches. I am been following PVE’s blog forever and I finally had the opportunity to meet her in person. She is the epitome of style and grace. Thank you for doing such a wonderful interview and choosing such a wonderfully talented lady to feature.

    1. I love hearing these personal takes from so many happy followers on Private Newport’ thanks for offering your thoughts! Bettie

  2. Patricia’s work is wonderful. She designed a beautiful monogram incorporating the flowers used at my daughter’s wedding for thank you notes. She is the sweetest person to work with on design.

  3. Good Morning Bettie,

    Patricia and I have been blog friends from the very start as I knew she had created the artwork for another blogger here in Kansas City! We talk over the phone at least once a week! Her art inspires me tremendously, as it is fun, fresh whimsical, lovely all around!

    xoxo
    Karena
    The Arts by Karena
    Palm Beach Chic

    1. You certainly summed it up beautifully, Karena. Keep watching for more inspiring pieces from Private Newport.

  4. What a wonderful treat to read this today! Jessica, you have been able to capture the talent and the depth of this amazing woman. Patricia, you know how I feel about you~ Your kindness and support over the past few years speaks volumes and your love for what you do shows in each piece of art.

    A visit before the snow falls PVE??

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