Born in Haiti, Patricia Brintle spent her childhood years in Saint- Michele-de-l’Atalaye before moving to Port-au-Prince and ultimately immigrating to the United States. She reflects fondly on long walks through the lush greenery of the mountains and the view from their peaks. “On the tropical island, in the evening when the sky darkens, a colorful glow seems to permeate the environment,” Brintle says. “There is always color.” The richness and natural beauty of the landscape is fundamental to her work, but her paintings are far more than pleasant remembrances.
The transatlantic slave trade is an inescapable part of Haiti’s past. The greed and avarice of these slavers led to revolution and Haiti’s emergence as the first black national state. Out of negative actions sprung a diverse culture. Brintle herself inherited a rich culture rooted in Africa, but mixed with cultural elements from Spain, France, England, Portugal, and the Netherlands. Her work reflects this diversity, which, however bright, emerged from real horror. “The brilliant sunshine of Haiti causes me to gravitate toward vivid colors,” Brintle says. “Even when depicting a heartbreaking subject, my choices of color tend to be bright.”
Dedicated to the island and its people, Brintle frequently travels to Haiti, where she holds workshops in various localities, offering critiques and giving advice. She also advises local artists on marketing their work through the internet, and brings gifts of canvases, brushes, paint, palette knives, and more, so the artists may continue to paint and earn a living from their craft. In life and art, Brintle pays tribute to people living rich lives reflective of their surroundings. In creating this work, she hopes her viewers will open themselves to the unknown. “I would like the viewer to learn a part of history they do not know,” Brintle says, “and to find hope and peace in the symbolism they discover.”