Pat Shattuck is an artist living in Portuguese Cove, Nova Scotia. Working mainly in watercolour, Pat’s scenes of the East Coast are full of whimsy and charm—her rendering of Halifax’s architectural landscape shows her passion for keeping our urban historical sites alive, and her lovely rural pieces show a deep appreciation for nature and all it offers.
Pat picked up her brushes for good after a long career in the shipping industry, and her work has since been featured at several galleries across the province. The cards she makes from her paintings are a favourite at local shops, and it’s easy to see why folks from all around want to bring her vision of Nova Scotia home with them to remember it by. All of this makes us honoured to have her join the Paper Hearts Post Office Pen Pal family!
What’s your first memory of getting mail?
I was a child when my father was in the navy, and he would be away for months at a time. Since this was long before (reasonable) long-distance phone calls, much less email or Skype, I would wait eagerly for the arrival of his letters from some faraway place.
You seemed to come into your own as a creator after having a long career in a totally different field. Growing up, did you ever see yourself as a future entrepreneur?
I’ve always loved making beautiful things- drawing, painting, sewing, wreath-making, and more! So I think I’ve always been an entrepreneur at heart. It just took some serendipitous events to occur for me to believe in myself and take the plunge.
On that note, how did you find this painting niche along your path and start your business?
While I was working, I would often be frustrated at the lack of time I had to devote to painting. It took a couple of years after leaving my job to get grounded, but once I started the paintings just bubbled out of me! My husband was a letter carrier at the time and one day came upon a co-op art gallery on Hollis St. in Halifax. I was a member for six years at that wonderful little space, and sold cards there in addition to prints and paintings. A few years ago, I found an old list I’d written of ideas for starting a business and one of them was to make greeting cards. And now here I am- I’ve come full circle!
Are there any words of advice you’d offer to future entrepreneurs who are just starting out?
It’s not so much a piece of advice, but there’s a saying: “Nothing ventured, nothing gained”. Maybe not every idea will work out, but if you never try, how will you know? The worst that could happen is you move on with a new idea. Learn and grow!
A lot of entrepreneurs have favourite parts about their job and working for themselves, what are yours?
The freedom (and challenges) of making my own decisions, setting my own hours, and relying on myself. The pure fulfillment and joy that comes from having a “good” day.
Want to view Pat's work online?