Patrice Drago is a painter known for her acrylic and mixed media work in lyrical abstract expression.  Her many different types of paintings have the common thread of vibrant color, sharp contrast and lightness of spirit, from large energetic and dynamic abstract works to serene color field paintings, urban abstractions, and her depictions of animals painted with the primary goal of expressing their personalities.

Originally from New York and living all up and down the East Coast, Patrice has lived in Annapolis since 2002.  An avid arts advocate, she has authored the monthly Capital Gazette Gallery Column since 2012, and writes for, the official blog of Visit Annapolis and Anne Arundel County.  She has worked for several years to help revitalize the Annapolis Arts District, and she currently serves as VP, Public Relations and Programming for Maryland Federation of Art (MFA).  

Artist Statement

“Joy and optimism are critical ingredients in my work because that is my core, and it is how I view the world.  I believe the intentional outcome of beauty as a message is equally as important as works that make a provocative statement of social consciousness – now more than ever.  We need to find our center amidst the craziness.  Beauty soothes the soul and opens the heart, allowing us to be more conscious in the world, helping us make connections through our common desire for expressions of love.  The experience of joy is universal.” 

My goal is to capture the essence of an experience, and to evoke those feelings when viewing the painting. I love the process and the results that come from a “prepared spontaneity”.  Most of my abstract paintings are multi-layered, starting with an under-painting of pattern or abstract line and developed through action painting.  I build the history of the painting with shaping blades, subtraction, applications of paper and spray paint.   

Inspired by my personal and forever love of city life, my urban series has a layered geometric perspective with angles and squares, showing the vibrancy of the city and its sharp contrast to nature’s fluid and unpredictable lines and shapes.

My animal works are my most detailed works, using fine brushes and micro-pens to bring out their personalities, and the humor and joy I see in them shows through in the finished work.

I constantly research and experiment with new techniques, materials and applications to continue to grow, share with other artists and create fresh new perspectives.  No matter how far out I venture, I always remain true to my inner voice, which is to create works that are stimulating and uplifting.


Juggling, Acrylic Mixed Media
Along the Brook, Acrylic Oil Pastel

Patrice Drago

Artist-in-Residence Alumni