Pat Deeter is an artist.

“I’m a daughter, a wife, a mother, a grandmother, a great-grandmother and a friend,” the lively and vibrant Deeter said, as she sat in an area that will be the new showcase at Art Squared, 111 N. Main St. on the Independence Square, “but most of all, I am an artist!

“I was born with a brush in my hand – which I’m sure my mother didn’t enjoy. Art has been a very important part of my life for as long as I can recall.”

Her passion is as vibrant as the many pieces of art she has on display at Art Squared through the remainder of January.

And her list of awards and accomplishments are many, but they pale in comparison to her larger than life personality and love of art. Spend a minute or two with Pat Deeter, and you, too, will soon share her passion.

Whether it’s a spot on water color of the Vaile Mansion, a detailed self-portrait of Deeter from one of her many jaunts around the globe, or a turtle that actually seems to be posing for the artist, her work jumps off the canvas and begs to be embraced.

“I can’t drive down a street without stopping, and thinking, ‘I must paint this, I have to paint that,” said Deeter, a graduate of Paseo High School, who went on to study her passion at Metropolitan Junior College and the Kansas City Art Institute, before earning her Bachelor of Fine Arts at Rockford College, in Rockford, Illinois, where “I was one of the oldest students in the class.”

Oldest – and most passionate.

“I got married and never graduated from the Art Institute,” Deeter said, “and I went to work at Western Auto, where I did ads for newspapers. After five years of manipulating refrigerators and nuts and bolts in ads, I decided to leave.

“I then went to work for the Federal Aviation Administration, where I was the assistant editor of ‘Flight Line’ magazine.”

She then became a full-time mom, with the heart and passion of an artist.

“I eventually returned to school in Rockford, and had a teacher who was a former chemist, and his background gave him an amazing knowledge of color – how to mix colors, how they affect each other.”

His classes fueled her passion, and today, she is one of the most honored and recognized artists in the metro area, winning many Best of Show awards at statewide competitions while holding signature status in the Kansas Watercolor Society and Mid-America Pastel Society.

Her “Lighthouse, Antique Farm Equipment and Historical Sites” series, which debuted at Powell Gardens, powerfully details her love of our national icons that “are being lost to progress.”

“I’m a light/heavy metal artist,” she quips, “lighthouses and heavy farm equipment.”

Her Santa Fe, New Mexico, series of “Blue Doors” is charming and whimsical, and her portraits capture that twinkle in the eye of her subject that brings them to life.

“When I grow up,” she chuckled, “I might just work with one medium, but I’m never growing up! When I paint with oils – oh, they are so delicious, like melted butter – I love oils.

“And watercolors, oh, watercolors, the way they flow. They may flow and I’ll think, ‘I don’t want that there.’ Then, it’s there and I’m like, ‘Oh, I quite like that.’

“And with my pastels – they slash and burn!”

If she’s not painting – or traveling across the globe – she is promoting her love of art.

“Buy original art!” she said, emphatically. “Support local artists. I don’t want to hear, ‘My walls are full.’ I actually once considered opening a gallery called The Under the Bed Gallery, because you can take a piece off the wall, place it under your bed, put a new – original piece of art – on your wall and your friends will come over and ask, ‘Did you remodel?’

“That’s the power of original art.”

Deeter teaches several classes and also does commission work. She can be reached at deetersart@yahoo.com.