Pattie Dorf shares her talents
Buffalo resident Pattie Dorf is an artist, an artist who eagerly and warmly shares her many talents.
She has boxes of ribbons from the Wright County Fair for sharing her oil painting, knitting, and crocheting talents.
And last month, Pattie was nominated as the annual Earl Dresser Quality of Service Volunteer Award by the Park Nicollet Foundation for sharing her musical talents at Park Nicollet Methodist Hospital in St. Louis Park.
According the Foundation, volunteers must “have greatly affected our mission of supporting the health, healing, and learning of those we serve; make a difference and go above and beyond the call of duty to help patients, families, or staff in our organization; and demonstrate the Park Nicollet Head, Heart, Together competencies.”
About three years ago, at the urging of a friend, Pattie volunteered to play the piano in the hospital lobby.
Before COVID-19 stopped her and others from volunteering, Pattie was at the keyboard for two hours every Friday afternoon.
Pattie said, “I love to share my original music in the lobby with all who listen while waiting for doctor appointments, for transportation to arrive, for friends to complete appointments, and for people walking through the halls.”
“People will stop, listen, and smile,” added Pattie, “and some wave while others come closer to the piano and often speak to me as I play. I have no idea who all of the listeners are.”
Pattie’s does not prepare for her performances, nor does she use sheet music.
In fact, her music teacher back when she was in school many years ago did not encourage Pattie. The teacher told her, “You will never become a pianist.”
About 25 years ago, a friend taught Pattie some basic chords and since then, she said, “my music improves more and more every year.”
“That friend,” said Pattie, “gave me a gift that I promised to share with all who listen.”
Pattie describes her music as “extremely meditative.”
“The music I share has many names such as intuitive, channeled, coming from my heart. It is quiet, relaxing, and healing,” Pattie said.
“None of the music is written, as my hands know which notes to play, and the music tends to flow through them.”
“I believe that music is a very important part of our lives, as it is everywhere. We all have a favorite kind of music, and music is a universal language.”
Although Pattie did not win the volunteer award, she was proud to be nominated.
In the letter she received, the supervisor of volunteer services wrote, “being nominated is high praise of a job well done. Thank you for all you do to support and serve our patients, families, and guest. You are remarkable!”
Oil Painting Talents
Now, spending more time at home, Pattie is focused on her oil painting.
A life-long resident of Wright County, she was born in Cokato and moved to Buffalo in 1960 after marrying Earl Dorf. Earl died about 25 years ago.
“When my son was young,” said Pattie, “my mother paid for my first oil painting lesson with Lois Sisson, who gave art lessons in Buffalo. That was about 1972.”
Her paintings have been shown at the First Unitarian Society in Minneapolis and at art shows in Hopkins and Plymouth.
She has also entered her paintings, many of which have nature themes, at the Wright County Fair for years.
When Pattie is not painting, her attention shifts to needlework, knitting and crocheting.
“My knitting and crocheting are also shared with Park Nicollet Methodist Hospital for the volunteer program. And each fall, I knit many caps to give through ‘Knitting for Others,’” said Pattie.
For the last 50 years, she has entered many of her needlework projects at the Wright County and has won many ribbons over the years.
Her knitting and crocheting projects for the county fair competition are usually doll clothes.
Pattie said she already has 30 items ready for this year’s county fair, but is waiting to hear if the fair will happen this summer.
Meanwhile, Pattie continues to play the piano, paint, knit, and crochet, all at home.
She has even now taken up poetry. One of her poems was recently published here in the Journal-Press.
Patti also shared that one of her paintings and one of her poems will appear in Conquer Magazine, a magazine available at hospitals focusing on dealing with cancer.
Pattie is most anxious to get back to playing the piano at the hospital where she will again be able to share her talents.
“Music brings us together in so many ways,” said Pattie. “We need that right now.”