Obituary

Sally Gray,

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Sally Gray, Artist, writer, world traveler, wife, mother and lover of life passed away unexpectedly on April 10, 2019. Sally was born in Birmingham, Michigan on May 26,1944, the second child of Maxwell Edward Fead and Janet Grace Fead. She attended Brookside School and Kingswood School Cranbrook. As a young woman she lived in Florence, Italy, and studied art with Giovanni Colacicchi, a respected figurative painter. In the late 1960s she moved to Marin County, California, where she raised her two sons, Josh and Soren and continued her education, eventually earning a Bachelor’s degree in art at Dominican College and later a Masters in Gerontology from the University of San Francisco. She developed many cherished friendships in Northern California and continued to practice her passion for painting. In 1999 Sally married Joe De Patta, her devoted husband of twenty years. They combined a life of travel, intellectual pursuits, and adventures, first from California and then in 2001 from Taos, their home base, where art and relationships flourished. Sally pursued a life-long study of the arts, integrating practical technical courses with aesthetics and art history. Sally and Joe spent their time between Taos, Paris and Florence, Italy, and travelled to the Caribbean, Australia, Singapore, Bali, and South East Asia. In 2014 Sally was admitted to the renowned Uffizi Galleria in Florence as a visiting scholar where she studied the original drawings of the great Renaissance artists Andrea del Sarto, Rosso Fiorentino, and Jacopo Pontormo. From this rich period came her solo show in 2015, Before & After Pontormo. Sally believed in doing things – experiencing new directions, especially those that challenged traditional boundaries. Throughout her life Sally charmed those she met with her shy vivacity, curious mind and ability to make a common day uncommon. A conversation with Sally could range from the history of Abstract Expressionism to the Protestant Reformation to Feminist Theory to exotic birds. Her courage and determination to use personal insight gained from difficult times to comfort others remain an inspiration to the lives she touched. Sally’s life affected thousands and her absence has left a space where there has always been a beautiful, loving form. Everyone who knew Sally, who had met and conversed with her, will miss her tremendously and remember her tenderly. She is survived by her husband Joe De Patta, her son Josh Clarke (Kym) and three grandchildren, Caitlin, Maxwell, and Zachary, and her son Soren Gray (Sarah-Jane), in addition to her older sister Susan, younger sister Beverly (George) and brother Edward (Diane). At an exhibit at the San Francisco Theological Seminary in San Anselmo, California, entitled Sacred Paintings, in her artist’s statement Sally wrote: “The painting flowed without any thought from my brushes to the canvas. The title is not Divine Love; for me there is no hierarchy, no limit, no single direction to love. All of these paintings are the physical embodiment of my experience of those moments when I connect, when I experience my small part of love. I offer them to you for exploration, for conversation, for contemplation, for love.” Sally Gray – Artist. A private service will be held for friends and family at 2 p.m. on May 26, 2019, at 718 Karavas Lane, Taos, New Mexico. In lieu of flowers the family would prefer donations to the Town of Taos Public Library.

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