If you go
Suzy Patillo’s artwork will be on display at Azteca Taqueria through the month of October. Azteca is open from 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily at 116 Ninth St.
Steamboat Springs Although local artist Suzy Patillo works in a variety of mediums — drawing, painting and photography — all of her works carry themes of the natural world and Colorado scenery.
Of the 16 pieces of her work displayed on the wall at Azteca Taqueria, this month, the one that stands out is one she drew in 1976 when she was living in New York City and going to art school.
The surrealistic landscape watercolor and drawing depicts the iconic city deep in an ominous chasm in the Earth as apocalyptic flames rise from the buildings.
The work exhibits an anger and frustration not present in her newer works.
“I was dreaming of coming back to Colorado,” Patillo said about the piece. “I hated living in New York.
“There’s too many people. It’s like, ‘Take me home.’”
Patillo was brought up in Yonkers, N.Y., where she experimented with art for as long as she can remember. She had family that moved to Vail, however, and a few visits had her convinced that the mountains were calling her. She moved to Colorado in 1978 and to Steamboat in 1990.
“I’m so in love with nature,” she said. “I love God, and I love to go out and walk the dog and I just say, ‘Thank you, thank you for all of this.’”
Her most recent work is her favorite, she said, and it depicts the quintessential fall scene in Steamboat: towering, gold aspen trees shot from below.
Patillo takes her camera with her everywhere, and this colorful hike was no exception.
Sometimes, the photograph is the final work. Other times, she paints the image in watercolor, pastels or acrylic to achieve a new effect.
“I really enjoyed doing this and just stepping back from time to time to look at it,” she said.
Patillo lives in Stagecoach and has a daughter, Kira, who is a senior at South Routt High School.
Kira said she thinks it’s “really cool” that her mother has always been an artist. She still has memories of having her likeness painted as a little girl.
“Not everyone’s parents can draw,” Kira said. “She’s different and in a good way.”
And it runs in the family: Kira wants to go on to study graphic art and design after she graduates.
Patillo said she admires other local artists in town and sometimes trades work with them to display in her own home.
A world without art is hard to imagine, she said.
“It’s much better than looking at a blank wall.”
To reach Nicole Inglis, call 970-871-4204 or email ninglis@SteamboatToday.com