Patti Rishforth, Portrait Artist
Patti Rishforth has been painting commissioned portraits since high school. She learned to draw early based on techniques and instruction passed down in the family through four generations of artists.
After getting her degree in Advertising Design, she pursued her passion as an illustrator at a local publishing house filling countless educational books with her beautiful childrens’ illustrations. She continued studying portraiture formally by traveling to participate in workshops in Philadelphia, observe demonstrations Washington DC, attend lectures and critiques by the nation’s leading portrait artists of our time in the capital and in Texas. Her travels extended to museums all over the globe including the Portrait Museum in Scotland, the Louvre in France, and the Hermitage in Russia, allowing her to benefit from close observation from the encounters. Her portrait and illustration experience gave her an advantage for accurately rendering the head and figure featured in oil, pastel, watercolor and now in handcut paper.
Patti began cutting silhouettes over 10 years ago when prompted to learn the art from a childrens’ boutique where she visited to draw children’s sketches. She was trained to cut silhouettes in the traditional method involving no lights, tracing or drawing. There are only a few silhouette artists practicing in the US today. Of those, fewer still have any experience in the art of portraiture itself. When Patti Rishforth cuts a silhouette, a parent walks away with not just a papercutting of a cute child, but a detailed portrait of their specific son or daughter rendered in handcut paper.
Today, Patti maintains a studio at her home in Houston, Texas. She also visits her portrait studio still located in the heart of downtown Greenville, SC when she returns to see family and friends and customers. She travels all over the States and abroad to hand cut silhouettes or paint live events at weddings and other occasions for those seeking unique ways of entertaining their guests.