Who I Am

P. Sempre Quest is the Quest Contrary.

Sempre Quest is defined as always questing.

Questing, exploring, discovering, contemplating the BIG questions. What is the “Good Life”? Many great thinkers have filled the pages of novels with this question. For Sempre the “Good Life” is one lived consciously for one’s self and for the greater community. How does one accomplish such a high goal? Come along and explore with Sempre the possibilities through her stories and the stories of other contrarians.

AKA Pat Quest took on the new name of Sempre to reframe this time in my life and how I’m consciously choosing to live it. I have been downsizing, examining, scrutinizing, changing the way I walk through life. I have been aware that the older I grow, the more fearful of things I become. Things that I never used to. My mantra is “base no decision on fear”. Instead when that familiar feeling rises, I give it a good shake, turn it inside out till I see it as a motivating friend propelling me forward. Cause that is the only direction there is. FORWARD I go. Where I go, how I go is all choice. My choice.

The strengths that qualifies and motivates me is being an artist. Experiencing my world as an artist. Being an artist puts me in a larger community that experiences the minutia of life, through the senses, the mind, and yet something else…I call it gut. When I create, it is from a place deep within. Gut flows through my hands, my mind’s eye into a creation. Whether that be a photograph, an art assemblage, or writing. The creation becomes something more, something larger than myself.

In earlier years, I was a fine art photographer and a painter. I won awards, I was different and unique in  approach and materials. Pushing the possibilities of medium and message. For some time, while raising 2 children (now they are fine human adult beings) I got far away from the artist within. Happy to report the artist within is back. As my website develops I will share my art, photography and writing with you.

Writing has been a passion. A day does not go by that I’m not writing a story…in my head. It’s time to get them down. Now is when I have time to write them down. I have written poems, make my own personal greeting cards, and have kept journals since I was 18. I still have all of them. I can let go of furniture, clothes, material things in general, but it is hard to let go of the journals (or rocks & bones) that I intend to reread and condense into a story after all these years. Hopefully, I will be able to edit enough so it doesn’t sound like the broken record I imagine. No more broken records, change is imminent.

My education, and I can even go so far as to say my strength, emerged during my years as an “adult” student at Mary Washington University in Fredericksburg, VA where I achieved a Bachelor of Liberal Studies in Art and Art History graduating Cum Laude in 1990. When my children entered preschool I was committed to completing university and doing well. Guess I had to prove to myself I was smart, and worth it. I knew I wanted more, be more. I was in my early thirties then.

I say strength, because it was the first time in my life that I met strong women, much younger than I and much older, who were also artists. The younger classmates embraced (my children literally), respected me and my work. The mature women supported and by example raised me up. They and my instructors helped me know, discover my own strength and value as woman and as artist. Thank you if you are reading this. These ideals were  not instilled in me growing up in a agricultural village in rural Wisconsin. Just the opposite. Art was not considered important. Ha!

Raising 2 children, surviving divorce, regained independence and self-reliance reinforced I could do just about anything I determined my mind to or could learn it.

Art Can Change The World!

Pat’s a good girl, but she has wanderlust. This is what my Dad said to my neighbor when living in Anacortes, Washington years ago. That has rolled around in my head ever since. He was raised to think it was better not to leave home (in this case Wisconsin). Later in life, my Mother proudly introduced me once as her gypsy. Surprised the hell out of me. I think she would have liked to travel too. Explorer. Curious. Driven. These are in my nature. To deny is to die inside. To explore, is to be fulfilled. Not just travel, but questions, ideas, people, cultures…to know, to learn, to DO.

Through necessity and self-reliance not to mention scarcity of funds, I have remade  what the my neighbors in Anacortes, WA called the “police house” into a home. It was the last home in old towne under $100,000 in 2000. I gutted it, replaced rotted post and beam foundation, ran all new electric, built on an addition, re-roofed, ran gas line, excavated, walls, insulation, floors, fixtures, appliances…you get the idea. It was empowering and beautiful. I’ll post some photos when I dig them up.

On moving to the Tucson area, I took several workshops in renewable energy and natural home building, artistry in clay and permaculture. Permaculture has made the most influencial difference in viewing my responsibility to earth and community.

What I’m Not

I’m not complacent.

I’m not “the glass is half empty” kind of thinker. There is always a way.

I’m not a licensed builder, more of a seat of the pants by necessity as I go authority. There is nothing that cannot be learned. Projects transpire from need, drive, self reliance, desire. I look at completed projects like the tiny house on wheels, the beach house and Joanne’s tack shed, in near disbelief that I did that. I built that.

Not willing to not try, fail and try again.

Please join me on my journey of exploration as I embark on the Quest Contrary.

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