Thursday, October 25, 2012

Prison Project Update!

It has been a while since I updated everyone on how things are going with my prison project. So, again, I have been working on a joint show with inmates here in South Carolina. I drive out to a level 3 correctional facility and paint with inmates. I will not bother you by retelling the whole story about how I got started with this project. If you want to know more, like where the inspiration for this project came from, refer back to this post: PRISON PROJECT.

Anyway, so here is some updated work from the prisoners AND my first piece for our collection!!

My painting.

This first painting is one that I have been working on. The overall meaning of my piece is about sin and forgiveness. The purpose is to show that all people do wrong and need forgiveness. I have never been sentenced to jail but I am not blameless. I heard a pastor once say that "the only difference between us and those guys in jail is that our sins aren't against America's laws."
Tattoos are a common theme in the prison with almost all the inmates. These tattoos have given me a vehicle for narrative symbolism. Most of the symbols used in this painting are found throughout art history as a symbol for good or evil. The tattoos in the shadows of my back and arms are representative of the sin in my life and the tattoos in the light, on my shoulders, represent forgiveness. Feel free to do your own research to find out what each symbol means.

All of the pieces have a message for the viewer; a unique message that can only come from someone who has experienced the inside of a prison. Most of the pieces are about forgiveness, reform, and hope.


This diptych is about parenting and about breaking a cycle of fathers who end up in prison. 

Hope for a better future.

Cultural dyslexia 

This painting is about the exploration of one's own heart. 


This painting is about violence and cultural obsession with materialism. The chains represent his incarceration, but they are gold to mimic a hip-hop lifestyle of materialism. The clothing also shows how this inmate perceives material wealth. The 22 on his jersey stands for his sentence of 22 years. The blindfold shows how blind he was to his way of life.

This piece is about fear inside a prison.

This painting is about how a person's actions can effect so many others. Each flower stems from another representing a chain reaction of influence. By hurting just one person you will actually hurt so many.

I will keep this blog updated as we continue to create work. I will also post when we have a date and venue for our show.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Samson sculpture

This is a smaller sculpture I have been playing around with. Obviously it is incomplete. The figure is the Bible character Samson. 
Samson is given tremendous strength by God. However, Samson abuses his power and does not follow the rules that God has set in place. Being a Nazarite, Samson is not supposed to cut his hair. Samson tells his enemies that his hair is the source of his power and they cut it. Because Samson had abandoned Gods plan in many ways, God withdraws Samson's strength. Samson is captured and tortured. Eventually, Samson prays for one last opportunity to rectify his life. He regains his super power and pulls down the walls of the temple on his enemies and himself.
 I wanted to create an image of Samson in his darkest moment. I made him chained (though the chains are incomplete) I also thought it would make an interesting visual if Samson's body actually reflected  his loss of strength. So I made him emaciated and malnourished physically as well as spiritually. The chains are too big for his, now tiny, wrists. 

 Samson holds his head in his hand, feeling his hair, that is a reminder of how he has been cut off from Gods protection. 

Like Samson, everyone has dark moments. But God does not give up on us and everyone has an opportunity to make their lives right.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Some inspiration at Brookgreen

Not too long ago my Dad and I took a little trip down to the coast. While there we decided to take a day and walk through Brookgreen Gardens. In case you don't know about this place, Brookgreen is in Litchfield Beach, SC. 
If you have driven down US17, you have probably seen this...
These fighting stallions, at the entrance, were sculpted by Anna Hyatt Huntington.

Originally the land was used as rice plantations. Then it was purchased by Archer and Anna Hyatt Huntington to be used as a garden and to showcase her sculptures. There are now over 1400 pieces of sculpture, from Huntington and others. Oh yeah, and its the largest outdoor sculpture gallery....IN THE WORLD!

I could honestly spend weeks there. Here are some of the sculptures that were so inspiring to me.

 Does this one look familiar?

This piece is definitely one of my favorites! Note the awesome hands and feet. My fellow artists will join me in recognizing the difficulty in drawing/painting/sculpting hands and feet.

"Night Lights" Downtown Greenville

"Night Lights"

I just finished this painting of beautiful Downtown. The oil painting took a long time to complete because of the amount of detail and because the piece is pretty large (36"x 48"). 

Saturday, June 9, 2012


We worked up until the last moment; hanging paintings, arranging flowers, and preparing for our opening. And, thanks to a lot of help from a lot of people the opening went off with out a hitch. 

The PATE Gallery opened Thurs. May 31st with a great turn out. Over 100 people dropped by for the two-night event. 

These lovely ladies helped serve drinks and greet guests.
Catherine and Kate will be managing the Gallery.

The renovations gave the gallery a much needed face-lift; most noticeably in the bathroom.

CP- For Charlie, Charles, and Catherine Pate (who will be managing the gallery)

Friday, June 8, 2012


For a while now my dad and I have discussed the possibility of opening a second gallery. We love sharing the gallery and studio here in Greenville, but it serves best as a home base to invite clients to. We do not get a lot of foot traffic or window shoppers through our current location. As the Far West End grows I believe this will improve. In the mean time however, we wanted to open a place where we could reach a larger number of people.

My family has always vacationed down in Litchfield Beach. It is a beautiful piece of South Carolina coast. We also know a good number of people who also vacation or live there permanently. So we began looking for a spot that could become the future PATE GALLERY.

This is what we found...

A nasty old bar with dirty carpet, dirty ceiling, dirty walls, dirty everything.
My mom and my sisters are really the ones to blame(?) / thank for finding this place. Unlike the ladies, I honestly could not see how great it could be. But I got to work anyway. Along with a crew of guys (who actually knew what they doing), I began to strip wall paper, pull up carpet, cut out weak spots in the floor, paint, sand, and sweat. 

The work was hard but each step seemed to say "thank you" more than the last.

This is a picture of the heaviest carpet in the world.

Once all the heavy lifting was done we had a gallery. And it is BEAUTIFUL!! Inside and out!

The PATE GALLERY is located at 13089 Ocean Hwy, Pawleys Island SC. 29585
We are just in front of JDs Steak house (note the giant sign) and across the street from Eagles and the old Eggs up grill.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


The Veteran's Memorial that my dad and I completed in 2010, has received some attention and is being shown in the Pentagon, in Washington DC. 
Lifesize high-resolution photographs of the Hartsville Veterans Memorial’s five panels were printed on canvas, mounted to board and hung in the A Ring, at the East Entrance of the Pentagon. Albert Lee Jones works in the Pentagon and serves as curator of OSD historical exhibits. The display will be up for the entire year. If you happen to be in the DC area, check it out!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Sea Idyll

This is one of my most recent portrait commissions.

Diligent Hands Gracious Hearts Charity Benefit 2011

A few months ago we hosted the biannual charity benefit for Diligent hands Gracious Hearts. DHGH is a nonprofit organization that does yard work and home repairs for elderly and handicapped people in Greenville. The show was a tremendous success. The first night was a seated dinner for collectors. The second night was a viewing for friends and family.

The food was great...

and the music was great...

It was a night to remember. We all had a lot of fun and a lot of money was raised for a good cause.