Other Titles

It is I, Patricia; an artist’s childhood

About the Book

This is the story of an unusually gifted young girl, who started drawing and painting almost as soon as she could hold pencil or brush. Formal art training began when she was 12 years old and continued later at prestigious institutes in Belgium, France and America. Now in her eighties and living in Victoria, BC, Pat Martin Bates is an internationally acclaimed, innovative printmaker, with her work represented in galleries and art museums around the world.

This artist’s childhood memories create an almost photographic reproduction of the settings of her early life in Saint John and Moncton, New Brunswick and of her summers on a farm in Shannon, Queen’s County, NB.

Two devastating personal experiences add a sombre note to what is otherwise a joyful recollection of her environment, her family, her school life and friends, and the meeting with her future husband.

Taking place before, during and after World War II, when Moncton was a vital hub for the training and transport of allied troops, the story also gives a fresh perspective on this important period in Canadian social history.

Illustrated with family photographs, and childhood drawings and paintings never before shown in public, the book offers insights to the techniques and imagery of a much-honoured artist, a national treasure.

ISBN 978-0-9736882-9-0
128 pages


“In this parable of a life transformed from chaos to celebration, nothing is lost in translation. Llike the great Victorian painter Emily Carr, Pat Martin Bates moves easily through her descriptive palettes, singing in her chains like the sea, and Coldwell is a muy simpatico amanuensis.”
Linda Rogers Pacific Rim Review of Books, 2011

“Equally engaging is the description of urban New Brunswick in the first half of the 20th century and how artists were fostered during the time. For adults, it's a book offering a glimpse into the past. For creative younger readers it offers a sympathetic shoulder.”
Mike Landry, Telegraph-Journal, 2010

“A longtime friend of Bates, Coldwell took notes over the past five years in preparation for this book. In a process like carding wool, Coldwell combed out the knots, laid the strands of Bates’s tales in order, then wove these yarns into a wonderful tapestry. The book brings us formative moments in the artist’s early life, beginning before her birth in Saint John, N.B., on June 5, 1927, and continuing to her marriage on June 12, 1948. Miraculously Coldwell delivers this work with Bates’s voice intact.
This is also a scrapbook of prescient drawings, touching notes and family photos lovingly preserved. The paper choice, typography and charming design are a fitting tribute to the child who grew up to be called Lady Print, and designer Frances Hunter deserves credit.”
Robert Amos, Times Colonist 5 June, 2010

About the Authors

Born in 1927, acclaimed artist Pat Martin Bates was raised in New Brunswick; she received her early art training there and later at art institutes in Belgium, France and the U.S.A.

Her innovative methods of textured and perforated printmaking have been honoured with numerous awards; her work is represented in public and private collections around the world.

As professor at the University of Victoria, she was recipient of the Master Teacher Award and of an Honorary Doctorate in Fine Arts. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.

Joan Coldwell was formerly a professor of English and director of Women’s Studies at McMaster University. She has also worked as book page editor and columnist for the Victoria Times and as a food writer and radio producer. She is the founder and publisher of Hedgerow Press.

Hedgerow Press: 10876 Madrona Dr, North Saanich BC, V8L 5N9 · Phone: 250-656-9320 · E-Mail: hedgep@telus.net