Thursday, December 31, 2009


The new year. What will it bring? No one knows. One can only hope for the best and go forward with optimism. Open the box!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


Large commissioned painting of St. Marys harbor(Georgia) in 1815. British ships anchored near Cumberland Island. Painting is underway...shown unfinished. At 6' X 4' this one takes over the studio. It's larger than my largest board so it hangs over the edges. Once I'm close to being finished, I'll stretch it on to a stretcher frame and finish the edges.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Santa Snacks

Several years ago I was commissioned by Brach Candies to paint Santa for a box of fruit snacks. They also ran the same image on a tin of peppermints. The candy he was holding was changed according to the package. I painted just the Santa here...someone else doing the graphics and lettering. As many artists are, I was inspired somewhat by Haddon Sundbloms renditions of Santa for Coke. Wishing you all a Merry Christmas!!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

2009 Finale

The delightful Ashley V posed for our final drawing class of 2009. We listened to Bob Dylan's Christmas CD as well as Jimmy Buffet's. A great spread of Christmas goodies made it a party. Good turnout for a stormy December night. Drawing shown is 10 minutes, conte and pastel. Best wishes to Ashley in 2010 as she embarks on a new adventure, marriage!!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Western Art

"Distant Thunder" shows a lone Indian woman on horseback overlooking a pastoral valley. Strong color and composition. 16X26 Oil on canvas. Unframed. Ready to ship at $675.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Sargent Study

Medium sized study from a work by Sargent. Oil on canvas, framed, 14x18. "Repose". Ready to ship at $525.

Monday, December 7, 2009

These Boots are Made for Drawin'

Erin in red dress and boots in a reclining pose from a slight angle. I have a tendency to want to draw poses like this from a direct side vantage point but I stayed put tonight and took on the angled view...glad I did. I think it adds interest in a pose that might be a little flat otherwise. Good poses and good drawings all class long. 15 minutes $225

Friday, December 4, 2009

Revisited Ballerina

We did not have drawing class this week so I had no post but this is a recent conte and pastel drawing done in the studio from a series of photos of dance model Chelsea S. An online friend was interested in a similar, previous drawing that had already sold so I did this one for her to consider.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Mamie final

Final version of a portrait I've been working on. Corrections have been completed. I like the light and overall color of this painting. 30x40. Subject is Mamie S...Newnan girl.


Model/actress/singer Laura B became a cat for the drawing class last night. Her acting talent was welcomed as she posed in "cat-like" poses and cat costume. Shown are two drawings and a detail. 12-15 minute drawings in conte and pastel. $225 each.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Stargazer Final

Professional shot of the "Stargazer" painting. Still playing around with a title. As always, click on image to see a larger version. 24X36.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Mamas, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be Artists' Models Posing as Cowboys.

Fun night at the drawing class. We discussed western movie trivia, listened to a compilation of cool western music(mostly spaghetti westerns) and drew James as a cool cowboy. Next to ballet dancers, I think I draw cowboys best. I'm looking into a way to combine those two interests. Stay tuned. Shown here is a 12 minute drawing of the model "on a horse"...that looked an awful lot like a cheap plastic chair and two gesture drawings that really capture some movement. These are really what gesture drawings should be...action oriented. Gestures shown are 2 minutes.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Portrait progress

I'm working on a portrait of a local girl and wanted to show progress. This is a 30x40 full figure portrait...shown here is a detail. I have work to do on the eye that's in shadow and the cheek on that same side. If you look closely, you can see a lamp that I've painted over. The table, lamp and other items on the table were taking too much focus away from the subject.

Monday Night Life Drawing

15 minute reclining pose from last nights class. Katie T was the model.

Thursday, November 5, 2009


Nearly finished. It's at the stage where I like to look at it for a while. I've had a difficult time shooting this and getting accurate colors. ( I've added a slightly better photo of the paintings but it's still not great...something about the color combo in the original that defies my camera's ability to shoot it.)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Progress continues with details in the head, hands and tutu. The sky is closer to it's actual color in these photos and I've added a few stars to see how they look.

Monday, November 2, 2009


Early stages of a new painting. Dance model Madeleine A will be sitting on a pink cloud overlooking a rich blue sky of stars. This is from a pose in the drawing class where Madeleine was back lit by the light. This is a situation that many will avoid but sometimes it can provide for a dramatic image. Follow the progress on this one over the next couple of weeks. 24X36

Monday, October 26, 2009

Trick or Treat

Move over Glenda, here comes Carly. Fun night at the drawing class as we continue a Halloween week tradition of having a local witch drop by for a visit. I was glad I remembered my pastels tonight as the costume was colorful. This drawing is similar to the one I gave the model. I reproduced this one in the studio from my photos...25 minutes? Conte and pastel.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Mt Pleasant marsh

16x20 oil of a marsh on the property of Charles Pinckney National Park in Mt Pleasant, SC. This painting came from a recent trip there to research a larger painting of an historical event that I will be doing in the coming months.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Kids say the darndest things

I recently spoke to a group of 3rd graders about art. If you're ever given that chance, take it. After showing a civil war battle scene that I had painted, one girl raised her hand and asked, "Which side should we have been pulling for?" Wow...I went blank...sort of afraid to "go there". The teacher quickly changed the subject. Yesterday I got a package of "thank you" notes in the mail and thought I'd share a couple.

"Dear Mr. Pate,
Thank you for coming to Mrs. Terrels class and speaking to us. Sorry that I didn't get to see you but I know I missed a lot of great stuff. I hope I see you and your paintings soon."

Dear Mr. Pate,
Thank you for coming to Mrs. Terrell's class and speaking to us. I liked your artwork very much. I liked "The Battle of Monroe's Crossroads" very much. (I love paintings of war and weapons). Thank you again for teaching us so much about art.

Dear Mr. Pate,
Thank you for coming to Mrs. Terral's class. I really enjoyed seeing your art work it's amazing. I loved the painting of the genuine cats all thoe i'm more of a dog person. I also liked the Jim Dandy Dog food picture. I don't know how you got all the action into your painting(The Battle of Monroes Crossroads) it looks so real if you are going to do another painting. I can't wait to see it. You are nice I better get going.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Pirate Remix

Erin was so popular as a pirate last October we decided to have her back...this may have to be an October tradition. Someone asked me if I had pirate music and I said, of course I do...Jimmy Buffet! 10 minute drawing here...sitting in a chair. Conte and pastel.

Monday, October 12, 2009


Bracey came in "I Love Lucy" attire blue polka dot dress, 50's apron, high heels and even a head of red hair. We played a little Sinatra to go along with the outfit. Good poses...good crowd. I like this 15 minute conte drawing..sitting on the edge of a short stool...I rarely draw the chair or stool. On quick 15-20 minutes studies, I'd rather give all the time to the figure. I forgot to bring my pastels so it's without color.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Plain James

Painter, James S, was our model tonight...we don't get too many male models 'round here. It was a packed house. Two 15 minute conte and pastel studies shown. Check out James' work at:

Monday, September 28, 2009

Get Up Stand Up

No, that wasn't directions for tonight's model, that was Bob Marley on the DVD. Katie T here in a reclining pose. The colorful top was fun...I tried to suggest the essence without a careful copy of every flower petal. 15 minute conte and pastel. $225.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Carrie With Crow

Older painting that I just had professionally scanned...always so much better than what I can shoot on my own...should be for the price! Carrie was one my drawing class models (before heading off to college) and this was actually a pose from the drawing class one night. Her expression and posture had sort of an "attitude" to it that I liked for this painting. At the same time, I was looking for an excuse to paint a crow or crows and decided out of the blue to put one on her shoulder. This painting gets a lot of attention in shows and generates interesting conversations. I'm currently offering prints.
Oil, 24X30.

Monday, September 21, 2009

A Mad Mad Mad Madeleine Night

Dance model Madeleine saved the day for us by filling in for a model that was unable to make it(we've got a lot of flooded roads around here). Nice poses and a beautiful black and pink costume made for some nice drawings. Shown here is one of the 15 minute conte and pastels and a 2 minute gesture drawn with a 6b lead.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Thanks Bernie

In some ways, I feel like I've lost a good that I never really knew on a personal basis. I met Bernie Fuchs when he came to speak at Ringling in 1978 or 79 but I never really knew him and he certainly never knew who I was. Despite that, I paint pictures because of him. Along with my brother Charlie, it was Fuch's paintings that most influenced my decision to become an illustrator. Through all the ups and downs, the good years and bad ones, I've never regretted the path I chose.
For years, I tried my best to paint like Bernie but in time realized I would never out "Bernie" Bernie. Still though, it was a step in my of which remain in my work. I've included a couple of my very early illustrations to show his influence. The Hank Aaron piece was the first commercial illustration I did after graduation. The Atlanta Golf Classic brochure was another early work...approximately a year after graduation. It was sometime in those early years that the rep for Brown Dog(illustration studio I worked for) told me that I was bidding on a job against Fuchs..among others. Wow...that was heady stuff. I don't remember the job...I got it though...under bidding the master I'm sure. I was in art school when Norman Rockwell was a similar feeling to that when I read someone's Facebook post about Fuchs.
So, what does this have to do with "What's on the Board"? Bernie Fuchs is on my board...he's on there every time I sit down to paint.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Little Bird

New painting of young dancer Madison underway....nearly finished. Titled "Little Bird"...24x30 oil. This painting is a follow up of sorts to an earlier painting. See

Monday, September 14, 2009

Red Shoes

Life drawing from tonights class of dance model Katie C. 15 minutes at the class and touched up in the studio. Conte and pastel.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Timucua Village

After a long drought, I'm actually working again! This is a commissioned work depicting a pre-historic Timucua village off Georgia's coast. I'm showing one of the reference shots and an early thumbnail. My thumbnails start off as shown here with the purpose being to show the client the possible options on how the painting will look. This rough shows the villagers reliance on water, a part of their village life and a dugout canoe. The client has part of an actual dugout from this time period and showing one in the painting will tie the artist's vision to real archeology...always a good thing. I'll show progress on this as it develops.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Crouching Erin, Hidden Dragon

Erin, in a crouching pose, was an 8 minute study that went fast...the clock breathing down my neck was the hidden dragon. There are things I would have liked more time to improve, depth and form in the hips and legs but despite that, this has a look I like. I like that the main focus is in the head and shoulder area even though that area is only slightly more finished than the rest.

Friday, August 21, 2009


This painting has yet to release it's name to me but I've moved away from Yin Yin. Painting is still unfinished. I've painted the area outside the circle as sort of a loosely rendered, tromp l'oeil Victorian gold frame. I've been looking at it for a while and it's growing on me. Comments?? Approx 30x30 oil.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Still not sure about the title..."Dove" is a possiblity. Painting is finished...just need to sign and stretch. 24''x30" oil.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Monday Night Life Drawing

A couple of 15 minute drawings of Becca from last nights class. Conte/pastel.
Reclining pose...$225.

Friday, August 14, 2009

The Unbearable Whiteness of Being

Here's a new work...currently unfinished. It's very close to what I envisioned in the unusual phenomena. Details yet to add in the hair, hands and pointe shoes. An earlier blog showed a drawing in a similar pose. Same model, Chelsea...same photo shoot. The white tutu and leotard are what appear in my reference photos. The teal in the drawing was added. This oil on canvas is 24x30 and may be entered in an upcoming show in Florida. I'm still waiting for the painting to tell me what it's title should be. I'll show a better photo upon completion.

Red Head Final

I didn't do much more to this one. Some detail in hair highlights, some finish in the lower right. The painting is small at 16x20 but the head is larger than life size...something I rarely do. I think it works here...maybe because the actual area showing the face is fairly small. Current title..."Red Head". This painting will be in the next Espresso Lane show for those in the Newnan area.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Drama Queen

Young dance model, Madeleine posed for the class tonight. This was the last pose of the night...10 minutes or maybe 12. Her friend convinced her to throw her arm over her forehead with sort of a "silent film" drama. The short time pushed me to leave some areas unfinished...the right arm, left hand. In this situation, the unfinished quality enhances the drawing. Conte and pastel.

Sunday, August 9, 2009


This painting came about as an attempt to paint my daughter's beautiful red hair. It's always been a difficult color for me to capture. My mind always says "Orange!" but its much more complex than that. I doubt the photo here will do it justice but the original has some exciting things happening. I'll continue to fine tune this one. The slight sense of scariness was not in the initial plan but it adds an unsettling element that I like. 16X20 oil.