Bemis School of Art

Patrice Filler


No, I was not the kid that colored & painted & loved drawing.
I did carry around a tiny Kodak camera & forced my siblings to pose & model for me!

What I do remember growing up in Taos, was tagging along with my wood carving artist Dad to the Kachina Lodge (it was sparkly new & beautiful back in the day).
He would widdle away with a tiny chisel along side a few other artists on the enormous totem pole in the Kiva Coffee Shop, which still exists today.

I was usually bored so I would wander the shiny hallways & lobby. They were beautifully decorated with art & rugs & jewelry & pottery….the entire grounds of the Kachina were just magical. I would peruse the boutiques & ski shop within the lodge & I was in awe of it all.

I realize now, that although I probably noticed the amazing art gracing the walls, I was more fascinated with the overall beauty. I learned to love beautiful “things…spaces…& places.”
I was a lucky little kid to be able to wander & fantasize. Who knew that one day that fantasy would become a reality. I would be creating & selling beautiful “things” in my own beautiful “space” in a really beautiful “place”…..Fare Bella Studio Gallery (An Eclectic Mix of Wonderful) in Manitou Springs.

The love that I developed early on has turned into a passion. I didn’t start painting until my late 40’s & it soon became a part of me. I eventually opened Fare Bella against the advice of many. Doubtful, I was encouraged by my sister Debbie, who said “who cares…if it doesn’t work…at least you tried!” That was almost 11 years ago! A dear friend & art teacher, Lorraine Danzo, said that an art gallery was a “rich women’s hobby!” (Hhmmm, ok….) She encouraged me to teach. Another doubtful venture…but I took her advice & happy that I did. Now regularly teaching at Fare Bella and the fabulous historic Bemis School of Art/Colorado College Fine Arts Center. I love teaching & sharing my knowledge. I also love the entire process of watercolor. The mistakes & unpredictability & how it lends itself to the art of suggestion. The ethereal quality of the medium is unmatched.

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