We had the good fortune of connecting with Pat W. Kochan and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Pat W., what do you attribute your success to?
My brand is of course is Pat W. Kochan Fine Art. A positive mind set is absolutely necessary in achieving goals. I have studied my craft by reading books by other artists, taking classes and workshops (in general, learning how to achieve the best techniques I can over the last 50 years.) I have entered many competitions and won may awards over the years. But I have also not been accepted in many exhibitions. Even though it is usually one person’s opinion, I use this failure to get stronger and better. I started teaching classes in several media; and I find that doing that makes me drive to improve to keep discovery of the mediums alive in my experimenting and progress to improve and stay energetic.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
While my children were under high school ages, I practiced my art as a hobby. I took a job as art director for a personalizing shop in Prestonwood Mall for several years. It was a good way to make money and be able to be somewhat creative. I entered shows and was a member of Texas Fine Arts Association (a mixed media art club). So I had a studio at home and painted all the time. Early on in the 1980s when my children were in high school and college and I had done all I could to guide them in the right direction to be successful adults, I decided to take my art to a business level. I got a tax number, was ask to join a group of successful artists who taught art and shared a studio. They left one location to begin a lease in a space in a professional building in the Preston Royal area of North Dallas. There were 3 of us who had our studios (rooms) there and the 3 others had studios at home but taught classes there. Our studio name was “Artisan’s Studio-Gallery.” We shared one large room for teaching as many as 20 students. We invited other professional and well know artists to do workshops there to make the studio even more interesting for students to have choices to learn. At the encouragement of Leo Smith (one of the partners), I started to teach a beginner class in watercolor. I loved it. It made me want to keep improving my knowledge so I could pass it on to students. As rent got higher, we moved the studio west to Alpha Road and Midway Rd. We had enough room in this studio to rent out space to artists who wanted to try out having a studio away from home. Most only lasted 6 months as they could not make enough selling their art to pay rent. I on the other hand, found it to be a very productive time. I was associated with 2 Art dealers who sold to hotels and more. I was also in other galleries who sold my art well. I had a series of Downtown Dallas paintings that I continually added to and had a lot of commission work then for Dallas firms and offices.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
First of all, I would show them the businesses where my paintings of Downtown Dallas were homed: Adolphus Hotel Gift shop carried my book, “Once Upon A Time in Dallas, Through the Artist’s Eyes” ( My book containing all of my paintings of downtown Dallas). then we would walk to Magnolia Hotel to view commissions of my paintings, a large one by the elevators and several on the next floor such as Pegasus. Then I would take them to Bryan Street where I had landscape paintings in both lobbies. Then for lunch, we would have gone to the Trammel Crow building muezzine floor to the Italian restaurant where several of my paintings were hung. At that time, we were ask to keep new paintings in large windows on that same floor rotating every month. After lunch, I would take them to Sculpture Museum and Dallas Museum of Art. I would finish up at the Belo Mansion which houses the lawyers club. They purchased at least 8 of my paintings of downtown dallas and commissioned me to paint their new addition on paper which also hangs there. Many other paintings of mine hang in offices all over Dallas and Texas thanks to Carson Art and Art Dallas. There were so many opportunities opening for me at that time; I can’t list them all. But I know one thing, if you put your self and your art out there and if you believe in what you love to do, you will succeed.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
First of all, my husband John has been my true supporter and positive influence in my life. He helped me in my studio, my framing, hauling paintings to exhibits and more. My children Curt and Christy and their spouses, Laura and Mark and Grandchildren, Camaryn, Sarah and Olivia. I can’t begin to list the many positive moments of encouragement they all gave me over the years: Attending my exhibits, hanging my paintings, teaching me the computer, starting my first website to creating my new one, and to just loving me and supporting me in all that I do. Southwestern Watercolor Society in Dallas, Tx has been a great group to me. I have served on their boards and committees in the past and learned much from Demonstrations by renowned artists; gained many good friends/artists and found much support there.
Professional group: Art Focus XC Group of artists I have been member of since 1990. I am one of the founders. Our website: www.artfocusxc.com