The two met in the late 80’s while studying in Alabama under Bill Yeager. During this time they painted separately and critiqued one another’s work. They first collaborated in 1990 and soon developed a series of paintings based on jazz and blues musicians. This series was born from their mutual interest in these original American art forms and the emotional power they expressed.
What makes the paintings even more unique is that each painting is a collaborative effort between Patterson and Barnes. They feel that an individual work is enriched by the infusion of their personal creativity, interests and past experiences.
Their paintings capture the powerful and expressive feelings conveyed in the making of jazz and blues.
Their compositions incorporate the use of many mediums including acrylic, watercolor, India ink, collage and constructions. The expressiveness of many of their paintings is heightened by the evocative use of a purposeful exaggeration and abstraction. The use of musicians best lent itself to this approach.
Their popularity extended to private and corporate collectors including Jimmy Buffet, Chris Rock, Peter Weller and Whoopi Goldberg. They have created commissioned paintings for the Country Music Association headquarters, House of Blues blues clubs, B.B. King’s Blues Clubs and the Hard Rock Casino-Hotel. In addition, the McIlhenny Company, makers of Tabasco brand pepper sauce, commissioned Patterson and Barnes to create a painting for the cover of their Tabasco Cookbook.