Patricia McCoy Burns, 78, of Gladwyne, an artist and videographer, died Monday, June 6, at Bryn Mawr Hospital. She had been hospitalized since the week before for shortness of breath, and autopsy results were pending.

Mrs. Burns always found time for her art, painting portraits of her six children when they were young, son Robert said.

Working in acrylics, she concentrated on abstract forms in the last few years. "Abstraction gives me room to dream. I paint purely from the passion of the paint, the moment, and my guts," Mrs. Burns wrote on her website.

She was influenced, she said, by painters including De Kooning and Matisse and by the cultures of people she met on travels as a filmmaker and artist to Africa, Europe, India, and Central America.

Since 1995, Mrs. Burns had devoted her time to her art and was a freelance videographer for Arden Media Resources in Wilmington, completing projects in Ghana and Thailand. She also was an independent filmmaker for nonprofit organizations in Africa. She was active in the International Television Association.

Mrs. Burns studied at the Moore College of Art and Design and other area art schools. Her work has been exhibited at the Long View Gallery in Washington, the Muse and David David Galleries in Philadelphia, and the Other Colors Gallery in Exton.

A native of Green Bay, Wis., Mrs. Burns earned a bachelor's degree in chemistry from Trinity College in Washington. She was then a cancer researcher at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md., for three years.

In 1959, she married Robert R. Burns. They lived in Wisconsin, Nebraska, and Minnesota before moving to the Philadelphia area in 1970. They divorced in 1978.

From 1973 to 1985, Mrs. Burns taught microbiology at the Roxborough Hospital School of Nursing. She learned to be a videographer by making videos for her students, her son said. For 10 years, she was a videographer, editor, and producer for Veterinary Learning Systems in Yardley.

In addition to her son Robert, Mrs. Burns is survived by sons Matt, Kevin, and Todd; daughters Shannon Bassett and Julie; and 10 grandchildren.

An exhibit of Mrs. Burns' work and a celebration of her life will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, June 10, at the Main Line Art Center, 746 Panmure Rd., Haverford, Pa. 19041.

Memorial donations may be made to the art center.

Contact staff writer Sally A. Downey at 215-854-2913 or sdowney@phillynews.com.