Purcellville artist Patricia Taylor is the woman behind the wings. Taylor’s whimsical wing murals and glowing faux finishing work are creating a buzz at businesses around her hometown and beyond. Taylor is also a fine arts painter with an upcoming solo show in Frederick, MD. But with decades of theater, film and television production work under her belt, she considers herself a designer at heart. “I’m more interested in transforming the experience, the environment. … I’m interested in making you feel something when you walk into a room,” Taylor said. Taylor’s luminous decorative painting and “Drunken Flight” wings mural, made from gilded cork and maple, have helped give the new Purcellville hotspot Bia Kitchen its inviting vibe. And her impressive soon-to-be unveiled Viking wings at the new Elysium Axe Bar will likely be turning up on Instagram accounts all over Loudoun in coming months. After a decade working in theater and television production design in New York, Taylor has adapted her artistic talents as her family moved for her husband’s career over the past 20 years. Their latest move brought them to Purcellville in 2017, and Taylor has immersed herself in the local arts scene. Taylor was born in Panama, the daughter of a Panamanian father of Scottish descent and a Colombian mother, and grew up in Panama and Bogota. Taylor earned her bachelor’s degree in studio art at Florida State University and went on to earn a master’s degree in set and costume design from the University of Michigan. Taylor knew she wanted to work in production design even as a teenager. “Film has always been my first love,” she said. “I love the idea of telling stories through pictures.”
Artist Patricia Taylor stands in front her artwork at the upcoming Elysium Axe Bar in Purcellville.Taylor grew up with a passion for history and architecture and inherited a love of fashion, design and decor from her mother and grandmother. When a high school friend brought her an article about the legendary designer Patrizia von Brandenstein, the first woman to win an Academy Award, for her production design for the 1984 classic “Amadeus,” it was a lightbulb moment and the beginning of an exciting career path. Her design work on the Sundance-nominated student film “The Four Corners of Nowhere” during her MFA program brought Taylor to New York in the mid-’90s and launched a successful career in theater and television. Taylor worked with Broadway legend Julie Taymor on multiple shows and worked on props and sets for Jim Henson Productions. Taylor met her husband Rick Holz on a trip to Colorado and moved to Denver in the early 2000s. The couple moved multiple times around the country, before moving to Purcellville in 2017. Taylor has shifted gears from her NYC days and adapted her work with each new location. “I’ve learned to reinvent myself and channel my skills to the economy of wherever I’ve moved,” she said. “What can I contribute? What can I show through my filter?” With her artist’s eye and design sensibilities, Loudoun’s hunt country has embraced Taylor’s work. She has made her mark in countless homes as a color consultant for Purcellville’s The Paint and Paper Place. Taylor has collaborated with fellow Loudoun artist Penny Hauffe on several projects, including dramatic large-scale equestrian murals at a private residence and at the Masters of Foxhounds Museum in Middleburg. Collaboration with fellow artists is something Taylor has always valued. “I think that comes from working in production design and theater. I’m used to working in teams,” she said. “I’m interested in the final product being the best it could be rather than me trying to do it all by myself. I think it enriches things when you have different energies.” Taylor’s charming dragonfly wing bench created for Purcellville’s “Take a Seat” arts fundraiser in 2020 was a local hit. Her work at Bia Kitchen drew accolades for creating a warm European bistro ambiance. Taylor also worked with the owners of Purcellville’s new Elysium Axe Bar, slated to open in coming weeks, to create a selfie mural that reflected the Viking vibe the group wanted to create. Taylor drew up plans for a giant pair of shimmering wings made up of medieval weapons, doing extensive research including a visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s armory wing. The mural is complemented by textured silver faux finishing that creates the look of burnished steel blades. Taylor brings a Caribbean-inspired sense of color and elements of magic realism to her fine arts work. Her “Mindscapes” show at District Arts in Frederick, which runs June 1 through July 2, is a series of bas-relief nature studies of landscapes real and imagined, from pastoral Loudoun scenes to the Madrona trees of Western Washington to Martian landscapes captured by the Perseverance rover. “They’re the landscapes in my mind—memories of places I’ve seen and places that I’ll never see,” Taylor said. Taylor’s pieces are full of texture and metallic elements, including iron, oxidized copper and gold leaf. “It’s really beautiful when you mix the rustic with the elegance of the metal. These pieces are about contrast, about including natural raw materials,” Taylor said. “I want the painting to have topography, to have a sensory quality to it beyond the visual. I don’t like perfect smooth surfaces. I try to corrupt the surface, give it scars, give it texture—because life is not perfect.” Check out Patricia Taylor’s work at pthvisualarts.com. For more information about Taylor’s “Mindscapes” show opening June 1, go to districtarts.com.
WITH PLENTY OF BUZZ.
April 7, 2011 by Jan Mercker for Get Out Loudoun.
Mural Blends Virginia and Family HistoryWEISS HOUSE DREAMSCAPE 'LIKE WALKING INTO NARNIA' Article by Melinda GIpson Photography by Patricia Taylor Holz, Melinda Gipson Originally published in Leesburg Lifestyle