“Who, me?” Backstory by Patricia Clark-Finley, artist.

“Who, me?” original art  on gessoed moulin de gue paper by Patricia Clark-Finley



The interaction between the artist and subject of portraits includes several layered possibilities for the artist.  These include empathy, projection, transference, story-telling, as well as meeting the goals of the client – which may include flattery, memorializing, or just a good day-job.  Portraits of women from the canon of western art history place boundaries, formalize, and codify the place of women in Western Culture.

In the early 2000’s I was already doing the “Me Too” thing.  But I didn’t think of that phrase.  The phrase I was thinking was “Who Me?”  And that is the title of this piece.  Some artists like Cindy Sherman, Judy Chicago, and Karen Finley had already opened the door to this avenue.

I created parodies from iconic images from art history and mythology, such as DaVinci’s Leda and the Swan, The Birth of Venus, Titian’s nudes, and then I found Goya’s Court Portraits*.  To unravel the edge between the “self” and the limited expectations within our world, I stepped into that space of the subject and thought:  How does it feel to be here.  We are here in this space you have defined, and this is how it feels.

*Goya was a Spanish Court Painter who had this great day-job of painting at Court starting in 1789.  His career started in the Baroque period, in 1763, and he died in the era of European Romanticism, in 1828.

His portraits are quite amazing. There may have been unflattering aspects of the subject, but somehow these were eclipsed by the detail on the sleeve, or the light on the wig, or the turn of the shoe.  Patricia Clark-Finley



‘This piece is based on a portrait of Queen Maria Luisa, in 1789.  I thought her pose embodied all the anxiety of the feminine.  So I used that to do a  series of drawings, monotype and this painting.”  Patricia Clark-Finley


Patricia Clark-Finley is a multi-media artist with an interest in narrative and mythology. Clark-Finley studied art and also business at the U.W. and U.C. Berkeley, and holds a BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute. A native of Washington State, she lived in the San Francisco Bay area for many years, where she developed her art and exhibition history. Her work was infl­uenced by Bay Area Figuration, activities around the Bay Area arts community and the San Francisco Art Institute. Continuing education has included the San Francisco Center for the Book, Carl Jung Institute, and Crown Point Press.

She has been included in the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Gallery, numerous national juried and invitational exhibitions, solo and group shows. Finley has exhibited at Fairweather House and Gallery since 2010.


“Mrs. Pelican” original ink and graphic on yupo 27 x 32 framed by Patricia Clark-Finley.

Work from her portfolio can be found on Mount Baker Vineyards labels. Previously her studio was located on Orcas Island.  Currently her studio is located in Ocean Park, WA.



Patricia Clark-Finley pictured in her studio on Orcas Island, marveling at the perfect solitude. She says: “When you have to make the art or you will just explode …

For more about the gallery, please visit http://www.fairweatherhouseandgallery.com

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