Patrick Zeller

Patrick Zeller 2023

Patrick Zeller worked as an illustrator and news-artist for the San Antonio Express-News from 1994-2008. I kind of burned out and did very little illustration and design work during the last 15 years of retirement.  Since leaving the paper I’ve made only a few illustrations, logos and maps mostly for friends for free or very little money.  But I am an artist-journalist at my core and recorded my travels around the world shooting many thousands of photographs.  Much of my travels during this time was on a motorcycle; Iran, Turkey, India, Himalayas, Mexico, Guatemala, US and Canada.  Most of these photos have never been shown to the public although I did self-produce an exhibit of photos from Iran in the main gallery at Blue Star Contemporary Arts in 2007 with the help of Chuck Ramirez, Bill FitzGibbons and Andy Benavides, and I gave a slide-show and lecture of my photos from India-Himalayas at The Station Cafe in King William in 2013.  I would describe my photographs as documentary, journalistic and educational. (i.e. I made no profit and the money to produce these two public events came out of my pocket.) In 2023, due to mainly to economic reasons, I have recently come out of retirement and put more time toward designing logos on an individual basis for friends who own their own business.  Although as always I am recording and documenting through photography.  During this time I have not used social media of any kind and have no online presence anywhere. That said it is

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Artist Statement of Work

Tell us about your work (style, approach, philosophy, subject and/or theme):

I have been drawing and creating art since I was a small child.  In art school I studied everything: drawing, painting, printmaking, illustration, graphic design, photography, ceramics, sculpture, welding, art history and philosophy etc.  This was before the age of computers so all this work was produced by hand including preparing graphic design for print and countless time in the darkroom.  It wasn't until after I graduated from college that I bought a computer and taught myself how to use it.  Suddenly I found myself in the newsroom among experts shouting out questions to them and having access to the latest hardware and software.  In the beginning of my newspaper career I continued to make illustrations by hand, oil paintings, scratch board woodcuts, pen and ink, watercolor, colored pencil and graphite on paper. In my free time I continued to do intaglio printing and painting subjects on my own using tiny brushes, mahl stick and isle.  Eventually Photoshop took the place of oil paintings. Pencil drawings were soon scanned, redrawn and refined in Illustrator.  Photography came later after I left the newspaper and began traveling the world. I took with me my years of intensive interaction with reporters, editors, art directors and designers constantly communicating the news to the public on a deadline.  Both my parents came out of Journalism.  Newspapers were always on the breakfast table.  My mother taught at Fairfax County Public Schools.  I was always surrounded by news growing up in Washington where my father worked as a lobbyist in the halls of Congress and Capitol Hill for 20 years.  I closely followed the news from around the world, international affairs and US foreign policy.  This is the experience that informs my work.

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