The human figure is central to Patsy McArthur's work, reflecting her high regard for figuration in Scottish painting as well as her artistic interest in capturing the human body and expressing human concerns. Her images are powerfully energetic and convey a sense of strength and liberation, the figures often in motion or transition and alluding to shifting psychological states.
Drawing and draughtsmanship play a crucial role in Patsy's practice as evident in her technically challenging works depicting movement through space. Many of her works show figures submerged in water, often moving away from the viewer with feet or hands appearing to touch the canvas. Patsy works in a range of media, including charcoal works on paper, smaller ink drawings as well as oils on canvas.
Patsy studied painting in Aberdeen at Gray's School of Art, where she was awarded the prestigious Royal Scottish Academy John Kinross Scholarship to live and work in Florence. In
2001, she gained a Masters in European Fine Art from the Winchester School of Art Barcelona programme in Spain.