21st Entry, August 27th 2008

"Serenity is a frame of mind, it is a way in which one thinks then moves it is not a destination but a discovery one derives from within ones self and though lost at times, once made it cannot be undone but attained again and again if one chooses it."

- Tobias Talbott
caption from a short story titled Of Wolves and Angels written by
Tobias Talbott 1994

Have you ever seen or heard something that for no particular reason simply stuck in your head?

For me the answer to that is "many times" call it a job hazard or my nature as a creative force but yes I have a proverbial library of such things and to each a memory attached and to those a stimulous and emotion and to such an attitude built upon and therefore an action,
I paint it.
Ergo the term "Impressionism" people, stories and even surroundings - they impress me
by definition to impress means to leave an imprint derived from the latin term onis rhet philo (appearantly the way its spelt has nothing to do with the way it sounds and thats why I hate latin but I digress) anyway Impressionism means the artist paints not the actual thing but the impression it makes on them.
One impression that astounds me and I dream about to this day is of my own father. I am telling this story because I feel as though the readers and fans of mine for whom I am so very grateful need to know a little bit more about me as a man.
So to my readers and fans and clients alike I will forgive your perceptions if you forgive me my presentation of the material.

all judgements aside

the story

It was in early August the tail gate of the very tail end of a warm summer in northern New York when my father in a cut off pair of shorts and I in an inner tube went out into the water. My mother had lathered me up in so much bug spray and sun block my skin was literally water proof but I love the water even then eyes wide open.

Pine trailed and birchwood lined the breeze swept across an always calm lake shore with three feeds leveling it's water through what I thought then were waterfalls big, medium, and small.

I was never really afraid of anything and always wanted to push myself even at that age, and at that moment right then
my goal

was to follow my father to the dock,

he had no clue I was behind him

that is until he had gotten out of the water and heard my mother yelling from the shoreline
and even then I'm not totally convinced he had heard a word what she was saying but he looked toward the shore at first with a "what now" then another toward her with a "what?" then without saying either looked down at me in the inner tube smiling up at him and laughed and smiled back then grabbed me up out of the water and onto the dock.
I think that men have a built in mechanism that enables them to ignore shit which is pre puescent, like even in the Y chromasom as in "Y me, Y now, Y do you want me to do that, Y do you keep talking etc etc -- so ladies dont blame us, blame god cause us boys are designed to simply tune out


I saw him dive off a few time and I was more than content to sit there but it was time to go in.

Ma had started to call out again.

Not knowing how to get both me and the tube back to shore cause I had no clue how to swim at that age so he had me get into the tube and I was game.
One Pitch
and not a very hard one
and I was out of the tube
and straight down to the bottom

Now at that very moment
I had no clue that what was happening was wrong, and I had no panic
I trusted completely the hands of my father and the voice of my mother
so as I sank I looked up

and saw a brown yellow light, the sun beaming into a shade of gold

and saw blue and gold speckled fish with dark finned dots running away because they somehow knew I didnt belong there

I remember seeing bubbles like diamonds coming from everywhere upwards
and all of the sudden coming towards me I saw my father under water
and the look on his face was that of an angel's

I know because that day I knew what it meant what it is to not trust and to trust
and what angels were.

I didn't cry until my mother wrapped me in a towel and lifted me off the ground, I think it was because my dad simply gotten back in the water and swam away and not because I had almost drown.
My father as a man was nothing particular and there was nothing as equally particular to his destiny really save that he give part in creating three bodies for three souls.
The first of which is me,
the second of which appears in the photograph at the beginning of this entry
the third of which we wish would come home but cannot.
I digress

I have dreamt of Angels ever since that day.

and from time to time when

at my age now


I actually can feel whats wrong and what it is to sink

I paint them.

Carouseil by Patrick Gorman Pettis

for a link to a song that co-inspired this piece please click below:



Anonymous said…
I LOVE NICKLECREEK they opened for Brittany Spears in 03 why arent you famous yet?
Anonymous said…
I loved the story about your father and think your little sister is hot, where can I send the yellow roses?
Anonymous said…
I cried I really never knew Patrick, thank you for that I will see you at work tomorrow and hug you
Abbiola said…
Illuminating story, it tells a lot. You're notably gifted Patrick.Phenomenal Art by a remarkable Artist.
Tracy Levine said…
Patrick, this is Fu. I need to see you and catch up. Your art and poetry is beautiful...you are so talented. Miss you and I'm back on the east coast. kakatua1@juno.com. Find me!

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