Patricia Keay (Pat) graduated from Edinburgh College of Art in Drawing and Painting in 1971. Guided by her mentors, Samuel Peploe’s son, Denis, as well as Anne Redpath’s son, David Michie, amongst others, she was strongly influenced by the work of the Scottish Colourists. Their response to colour and light continued to inform her work right up until her death.
After college, she painted and taught art in Edinburgh, the Black Isle and London, before moving to Kenya to work in Nairobi for 21 years. Her daughters grew up there and the family have a beautiful home on the Kenyan coast, which they hope to one day run as a writers’ and artists’ retreat in memory of Pat.
Throughout her career, Pat exhibited extensively in Scotland, London and Nairobi. Her work is in private collections in Sweden, Thailand, U.S.A., Canada, Mauritius, Kenya and the UK. Other works in public collections are at Nairobi Hospital and Muthaiga Country Club in Nairobi. Most recently, her work now hangs in the home of the Kenyan President, H.E. Uhuru Kenyatta.
In 2015, before being diagnosed with cancer, Pat had said
"As a painter, my influences have been the Scottish Colourists for breaking colour rules, Bonnard for breaking those of perspective, and Matisse for dispensing with all the rules! My two decades in Kenya influenced my fascination with light and shade and forced me to consider ways of creating mood, atmosphere and a 'sense of place' on the picture plane. This challenge endures in the development of my work.
Since returning to London and Scotland, my visions are altered by urban ambience and contrasting rural place-scapes. Trees remain an essential visual ingredient, as do patterns in still-life, and unusual composition in all genres."
Pat passed away in October 2017 after an 18-month battle with Myeloma, cancer of the bone marrow. Even during this difficult time of pain and illness, she continued to draw, paint and even enrolled in print-making courses at West Dean College -her determination and passion for her craft never wavering. She is and will always be sorely missed by everyone that knew her.