Portrait of Pat Lutz by Kathleen Burke
Finding Inspiration in Every Turn
A Life's Purpose
Those of us that have been painting and working at our craft for many years know how many failed attempts and how many hours of practice and study are involved in becoming an artist. However, many people still have the false illusion that artists are somehow born with an innate talent and that with no real need for practice, magnificent works of art appear effortlessly on their canvas. I assure you this is not the case. Far more important than natural born artistic talent is the passion and desire to create, along with the perseverance to follow it through. Allow me to share with you the story of one such person possessing these qualities, who never thought she had any talent, but had the desire; someone who always felt she was a slow learner, who struggled in school. Pat ( Follansbee) Lutz, was a single mom and a loving daughter who rediscovered her childhood love for sketching while working at the hospital switchboard. Encouraged by her husband, she rented a small studio space that she shared with the likes of Scott Jackson and other local artists. Here she spent hours of her day learning from books and painting, painting and painting. Running a successful business for over thirty years, Pat has accomplished so much since she was first approached by someone to teach them how to paint. Never imagining that this would be an option that would open up for her, after a brief visit to the ER for hyperventilation, she managed to take a deep breath, dove in and never looked back. Through her own determination to learn all she can, she has instilled the joy and excitement for art into the hearts of the many students that have studied at her studio, The Artists Playground, at the Tannery in Newburyport, where she teaches classes for all levels of experience. As a testament to her long career as an art instructor, teenagers who have taken classes with Pat since they were young children still stop by during school break to visit their favorite teacher. Many have gone on to art schools and colleges, majoring in art. Pat’s excitement to see them and hear about their lives is evident in her voice and manner, one that is familiar to all who know her. For many, her studio is a familiar place, especially to one group of women artists that started classes with Pat when she first began at the Tannery in the late 80s. They fill the morning and evening studio classes as the welcoming committee to new students joining The Artists Playground, a family of artists that have stayed the course, who have followed the teachings of this most gifted, talented and giving teacher.