Website Updates & New Art

If you’re reading this that means that you have successfully made it to my official website! I have been working on adding new content to the site over the past few weeks including historical drawings, watercolors and new paintings as well. I also felt that the site was a bit scattered and non-uniform so I have hopefully fixed some of that chaos as well for you. I will be working on the site adding more functions in terms of engaging with the art and making it more accessible to you. I am in no way defined as a webmaster or a programmer etc. and I have been “one-man-showing” my way across this thing while doing everything else in my life including making new art.

In the studio I have fired up the sports-art machine again after a nice summer hiatus with the family and I am actively making new work. New England fall and winter are super conducive to sit in your studio and make new art as blizzards rage outside etc!
I am currently into historic players and sports but I am actively entertaining new commissions and offers for work. I have plans next year to hopefully attend more minor league baseball games in town locally at Nashua’s Holman Stadium. I feel that there will be some nice reference material available from that historic ball park and a nice gesture to work with the up and coming local talent.

In working on the site I can say that the size and scale of my work has increased over the past few years; you can see this most actively in the Early Works section of the site, an influx of work came in 2018. My reasoning for this is more of a singular commitment to the art and the abandoning of some past obligations. Pick and choose your battles… I have improved the quality of my materials and now provide commission work on Belgian Linen and hand made paints from Williamsburg in Brooklyn NY. I was fortunate enough to be turned on to Escoda Brushes from Barcelona this year and I do not see myself turning back! I’m hoping that they will be kind enough in 2020 to take me on as one of their ambassadors. Fingers crossed! I’m painting for the future and hope that the materials stand the test of time.

At the moment I am hoping for some new digital equipment for the studio, especially new camera and photography equipment for higher resolution pictures of finished works and also reference photos and staged shots within the studio. While I want some amazing high resolution digital format camera, I also have a desire to get some old crappy 1800’s camera too and make some haunting tin-type like images as well. I’m always a child of the past and future at the same time. I guess that’s cool or maybe I’m a closet hipster? Hopefully you get some of that in the art? Not the hipster part, but the historic part.
I hope to write and sketch more in the coming weeks and months. I’ve always sucked at that diary type thing but I really want to… again, it’s that damn pain in the ass known as Time.

I am very excited to have a weekend trip planned here shortly to stay at the Wentworth By The Sea on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean in Portsmouth and hope to find inspiration there and forward my experiences to you through my art. Here I go again with that love of the past in these grand historic resorts but using it to make new and modern art reference.
In conclusion for this post, thank you all so much for your patience with my site, my lowly and slowly blog posts etc. I’m not an author and I try to type this thing out like I talk so if the punctuation is lousy and English poor, ah well. It’s ok to have a flaw.

If you have any questions on want me to ramble on about something here art related please email me or hit me up on the social media outlets. I’m getting a bit burned out with social media and actively looking for alternative avenues for my art so stay tuned for that! I really hope I can “blog” each week for you but its a matter of commitment to it! Be well! -J


Read all about it!

Extra! Extra!

Joel was the subject of a recent article in the Concord Monitor, one of the local newspapers. The focus was how his style is developing and changing from realism to abstract.

"Sisters in the Park", Oil on canvas, by Joel VanPatten

"Sisters in the Park", Oil on canvas, by Joel VanPatten

Suncook artist evolves into abstract style

Monitor staff

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Joel Van Patten’s art continues to evolve and mature.

The Suncook-based painter had originally planned to attend the Savannah College of Art and Design for illustration after he graduated from high school.

But in 2000, the car parts business he ran was burgeoning, and he forewent going to school.

It wasn’t until 2010, as his mother was dying that he found solace in making art; this time oil painting.

“Oil painting is very forgiving,” he said, explaining that mistakes can be rectified easier with paint than when illustrating.

He also took classes at New Hampshire Institute of Art. He said he knew how to paint and illustrate, but wanted to know the techniques better.

Abstract Park, oil on canvas, by Joel VanPatten

Abstract Park, oil on canvas, by Joel VanPatten

Now, he’s shifting again. This time styles – from modern impressionistic paintings to more abstract images.

Van Patten said, in the beginning, he was painting for other people’s approval, and he’s now painting for himself.

“That’s when I think you get a level of maturity as an artist,” he said.

The new style uses blocks of color instead of lots of details.

Van Patten paints at his home studio, works part time at the Currier Museum and gives private lessons to students in Manchester. He says he primarily paints at night from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m.

“It’s challenging being an artist ... and having a commitment to jobs and providing for your family,” Van Patten said.

Fenton's Landing, oil on canvas, by Joel VanPatten

Fenton's Landing, oil on canvas, by Joel VanPatten

His former oil paintings featured landscapes – especially images taken at nighttime in Manchester and places in the Concord region he’s visited with his children.

One of his most recent paintings in the impressionist style is of his two daughters in a Concord park. It is painted entirely with a palette knife.

The new works are less literal, he said. He takes an image and breaks it down into organic blocks of colors. He also plans to work with non-traditional tools like old credit cards and Squeezees.

“It’s a unique way to look at the world,” Van Patten said.

White Park, oil on canvas, by Joel VanPatten

White Park, oil on canvas, by Joel VanPatten

Current events & upcoming shows

Greetings and salutations, friends. How is the summer treating you? Hard to believe it is August already and yet, not really. Since having children, it seems as though time is hurtling by.

Isn't he cute? 

Isn't he cute? 

We did a little updating and the tent now has sides, which seemed like just an extra expense at first but has been quite helpful cutting down wind and also making things feel safer during those shows that require the tent to stay up overnight.

This past weekend, Joel was at his second show of 2017 in Newburyport, Massachusetts. Although it is a week-long celebration for Yankee Homecoming, the art piece was just for the first weekend.  

Lovely location and town. 

Lovely location and town. 

A weekend is just fine with us, though! It is hard to sit there for hours each day and have no sales. (A piece did sell that weekend, but not at the show.)

How to turn interest and likes into sales? That is obviously the hard part, but made a lot harder in the art world because what someone likes to paint and what someone wants to buy can be vastly different. Kind of like finding your soulmate or doppelganger! Don't look up the odds, it will just depress you. Seems like you would have better luck winning the which case, care to sponsor Mr. VanPatten?


But back to the task at hand. Keep painting and carry on!

After some confusion, Joel will be participating in "Uncommon Art on the Common" this Saturday the 5th in Goffstown, New Hampshire. 9-3, short and sweet!

Then, on August 19-20th, Joel will be setting up shop in his wife's hometown of Nashua, New Hampshire. Another lovely location - Greeley Park. 

 Hope to see you soon! Bring a cold drink, it gets hot out there!

Freeze frame!

I could see it was a rough-cut Tuesday

Slow-motion weekdays stare me down

His perfect picture got me wound

"Freeze Frame" by J Geils


Joel is often asked why he does not sell framed paintings. Well, just like the artwork itself, the frame is up for interpretation. 


These petite beauties are a tidy 4x6". 

Ignore those little arrows! 

Ignore those little arrows! 

Cropping while tired is not recommended. 

Cropping while tired is not recommended. 


These pieces from the "Minumental" series were framed to be available for quick sale and shows. A nice, easy present - can be shipped to someone with no fuss or taken off a display wall and hung immediately at home. 


Other pieces are not so simple. This pet portrait of a Maine Coon belongs to owners who have a defined Venetian style home. It wouldn't make sense for Joel to put the painting in a frame when they know exactly what looks best in their home and what appeals to their aesthetic.  


This most recent piece, "Fenton's Landing" in Sunapee, New Hampshire, will be sold unframed but if the new owner wants a recommendation, Joel will bhappy to help. After all, father knows best!

A little inspiration

Joel has recently started working at the Currier Museum in Manchester, New Hampshire. It is a part time gig and he works in Client Relations but oh boy, has it inspired him!

Although it is a fairly small museum (especially when compared to the other "local" museum, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts), it has an impressive collection, including pieces from Manet, Picasso, Monet, Singer-Sargent, Boghosian, and Wyeth, to name a few. 

Being in such good company almost daily has inspired Joel and somehow made him even more enthusiastic about painting! This inspiration has already flowed from his brain, out of his fingertips and on to the canvas. 

In his recent piece "White Park", he remarked that way the paint was lightly on part of the building would have bothered him previously but after seeing how the museum pieces were, he was going to leave it (part of the process) and enjoyed the way it looked. His most recent works have been done using a palette knife which creates a looser presentation.

Although these recent works have been a fantastic and interesting style for Joel, it will be very interesting to see how working at the Museum further influences him.

Big doings! — Joel VanPatten

Lots of big things happening in the VP Studios this summer. And most of it is last minute, unexpected and very exciting!

 Joel's work was juried and approved as part of the Art on the Green, put on by the Center for the Arts in New London,  New Hampshire. Acceptance to show time was less than a week so we were too busy putting a booth together to promote it much.

It was so nice to see everyone at the show and response to Joel's work from the art community was very positive! Big thank you's to friends Holly and Chris Nagle for helping with booth design and materials. It was Joel's first outdoor show and a bit of a learning curve. 

However, that was a great jumping off point for two other shows later this summer. Next up is "Art on the Bartlet Mall", part of Yankee Homecoming in scenic Newburyport, Massachusetts.  (No really, it's scenic, picturesque, and a disgustingly perfect seaside town. Can't wait to attend!) That is a weekend show, July 29 & 30 and part of the events kicking off Newburyport's week-long celebration.

In August, it's a short trip south to Nashua,  New Hampshire for the Nashua Art Association's event in Greeley Park. (Also a location that is picturesque and easy on the eyes.) That event is August 19-20.

Other blog posts are coming soon, including Joel's adventures in the museum world.


Please date my husband

Today is a special guest post by Joel's wife Emily.

Someone date my husband, please. No, not romantically, I mean professionally!

Being a stay-at-home mom with 3 small children rarely affords me time to go with Joel while he paints en plein air. Do not be scared, it just means he goes outdoors, plops down, unpacks and paints. And while painting is a very individual persuit, it can also be lonely. Loneliness is hard for all of us, but for someone as creative as Joel it turns something relaxing into something a little painful. 

Sure, radios and phones mean he isn't without human contact but it sure would be nice to have someone there to have a conversation with, to share similar interests with, to exchange ideas and techniques professionally date, if you will.

So, to all of you local painters - would you be interested in dating my husband? You can go paint outdoors or in a creative indoor space. You can talk about the local and global art scene. I just don't have the same interest as my darling husband when it comes to that but hey, Jeremy Mann, your coffee table book is lovely

You get a great partner in crime and I don't get ambushed by a zealous art enthusiast while I am simultaneously trying to change a diaper, refill a cup and find the correct cartoon. Sorry honey, but your timing can stink.

Plus, everyone has a work spouse. They exist in every co-ed work environment, don't deny it. Working from home as a professional painter means that he is stuck with his lawfully wedded wife and how fun is that?  

Dating my husband professionally would even include cross-promotion. He loves to talk and it would be so easy to drop in conversation (online or in person) that you are trying something new...a new place to paint...a new person to get excited about art with...perhaps something new you found along the way that is inspiring your paintings...maybe even a new style! Styles evolve - it's true!

So, all I am asking is that if you live in New England, specifically New Hampshire, give him a chance. He's a great guy and full of talent. Give him a chance and go on a date. I did!

New Work: Cityscapes Fall 2015

Now that the fall is here I have far more time indoors vs. all of the normal outdoor activities that occupy one's time.  I am moving into a large scale cityscape series at this time.  I feel that the larger format lends itself to the experience of the viewer feeling small, as one would in a city environment naturally, and the use of non-traditional applicators such as knives, rollers and squeegees creates interesting textures and impasto which are to be visually explored close up while the work generally dominates around the viewer.  
Below I have attached a couple pictures of my most recent work in process; a roof top scene from Boston's north end, 48" x 36" oil on canvas.  
You can view my first painting in this series, Boston Blackstone Block here:

Roof Tops:

In process...

In process...

In process...

In process...

Getting Pinned and Social Stuff

Howdy!  Tightened up the site a bit more today; finally fixed the portfolio into a slideshow with added thumbnail bar which should make this a bit easier to use for y'all.  I started adding click-thrus to some of the paintings listed in the portfolio for a more in depth write up on each piece.  
Lastly for today, I set up a Pinterest account too so you can do that thing with my stuff and help me branch out on the inter webs.  Here's the link to my Pinterest page:

On the easel now:

"A Saturday with Evelyn" 24 x 24 inches, Oil on Canvas (in progress, day 2)

"A Saturday with Evelyn" 24 x 24 inches, Oil on Canvas (in progress, day 2)

Clean/Simple, to the point!

So, I've revamped my website...again.  I wanted to provide a clean and simple approach to this site and allow you to quickly find works of mine and roll on.  While all work shown is for sale I am omitting an commerce aspects at this time from this site as I seek new gallery representation in order to stay in line with their preferred pricing.  If you are interested in a work please contact me directly until I find a gallery or agent.

I am moving into more impressionism/modern impressionism these days and my style is certainly loosening up a lot and has been met with positive response thus far; thank you!  I am very actively painting and feel that my newest works have a lot of emotion and experience for you.  I hope you find it fun and engaging and stay close here!  I love connecting with you and hearing your thoughts and sharing my art with others. 

On the easel now: "A Saturday with Evelyn" 24 x 24 inches, Oil on Canvas (in progress)

On the easel now: "A Saturday with Evelyn" 24 x 24 inches, Oil on Canvas (in progress)

Social Status Updates and Podcasts

So, I'm thinking of (hopefully) only updating my social statuses online from now on via this blog.  Why?  Because it is easier and hits everything in one shot nice and easy!  So stay tuned and watch for updates via this blog and/or your favorite My Face Page Chat site.
I am also really thinking of doing a podcast, possibly weekly or maybe more frequently on here, reading all of the Van Gogh letters (one each episode, don't worry), commenting on them and art in general.  Stay tuned.

Lots and lots going on!  When it rains it pours!  I am currently working on some new digital illustrations for several clients, a large mural design and illustrating a book for a client.  Here are some recent works:

A comic book cover for  www.  spicytoilet  .com

A comic book cover for

This comic book cover is a digital illustration that I did with the Wacom Cintiq, Manga Studio EX5 and Photoshop CC.  I have to letter it now and it will be done.  I really like the Angelic army in the back ground!  There's lots of symbolism in this piece!  Can you find it all?


In progress...

In progress...

Here is what this piece looks like in progress.  On the left you can see the blue-line pencil that I used to sketch out my layout.  You remove this layer once the inks are laid down as shown on the right picture.


Here's the work beginning to be inked in...

Here's the work beginning to be inked in...

Here we have the layout done and inks are beginning to be applied.


The Bearded Man (in progress)...  Digital Oil Paint

The Bearded Man (in progress)...  Digital Oil Paint

This is the very first time that I have played around with digital oil paint!  It's very sexy!!!  This is obviously in progress.  This is just a piece that I am doing for myself for fun as time allows.

Earthly Roots:  Digital water color

Earthly Roots:  Digital water color

A digital water color design concept that I made for my friend's hair salon, Earthly Roots.  

So this week I'm wrapping up a portrait oil painting commission that I have been doing all year and I will be making some thumbnail sketches for my mural design and begin working on the book I'm illustrating.  Be sure to check back for current cool updates and maybe just maybe my podcast as well.


Revamped The Website

So I decided to freshen up the site and make it a bit more easy for you to navigate and eventually including some new features.  I have a couple podcasts that I am a part of too and I may be adding a weekly art themed radio show to this site for y'all as well, stay tuned!

Lot of cool new things in the work and I hope to go 'all in' here more and produce more art for you as time and funds allow.  Please kindly find my new donate link on this site as well and consider making a donation.  They start at just $0.50 and this goes a long ways towards materials, supplies and buying time to make art for you!  Much much much appreciated!!!

I'm working on some new digital pieces currently.  Here's a sneak peak at this latest.

Digital art, Cintiq 24HD with Manga Studio EX5

Digital art, Cintiq 24HD with Manga Studio EX5

Stay tuned for more, and send me your feedback!  I'd love to hear from you!!!

A quick video of my painting on WGBH's art auction

So last night was the big night in which my painting was televised on WGBH Boston's art auction.  It is a very big honor to have been professionally juried and selected from the thousands of artists Worldwide and their submissions.  I do not think I fully appreciate the scope of this as my humility ultimately rules the day.
It's about putting in the work and the continued pursuit of any and all possible avenues which allows one to fully engage in and pursue their passions.  The biggest lesson I can offer and hopefully a mantra that I can adhere to is that no one is going to come and rescue you from your studio.  You have to work.
So yeah for this chapter in this artist's story!  Now it's time to look forward to the next portion of my journey, whatever that may be...

In case you missed it, here is my video that I recorded at home last night with my wife of this event televised.  
As always thank you so much for your continued support.  I am grateful!

WGBH selects my painting for their 2014 Boston Art Walk

I was honored to receive a call today that WGBH Boston will be featuring my oil painting, Dance At The End of the World in their Boston Art Walk this evening.  I donated this painting to WGBH to raise money for their station and PBS television.  This is a huge honor as only 76 acrylic/oil paintings were selected for this year's show!
Their art auction will conclude this weekend on channel 2 in the Boston area and will be fully televised.  My painting's bidding will conclude at 11:14pm EST on July 26th, Saturday. 

Info on the auction and art walk:

The link to my painting's listing:


My Painting Was Featured For a Short Story

The Lascaux Review, selected my painting, Dance At The End of The World, to be used for one of their author's stories, Ana's Dance.  I am thrilled to have The Lascaux Review select my work amongst thousands of potential artists and look forward to working with them again in the future!  
To read the story please go here:

Here is the painting:


My Students Working With Primary Colors

Last Sunday my classes worked with a very limited color pallet.  I only gave them red, yellow, blue, black and white.  The were forced to make secondary colors and use this limited pallet to create shadowing with non-local color and other effects.  The goal was for them to capture any of the still life composition that they liked as long as it had a red, yellow and blue object in their composition.  

I continue to be very impressed with these students' skill and their creativity.  I hope they continue with the arts into college and beyond!
If you are in the area and would like to join us, classes are held in Exeter, NH through  Contact owner, Brad for more details.  Classes are Sundays from 11:30-1:30.

Student's Work from My Teaching Class

Here is one of the #paintings that one of my students created on their very first #painting class! There is certainly a lot of #talent and #creativity with this group!  These kids are aged 10-17 and from the looks of it they have a very promising future!  I especially loved that Lizzy (the painter of this piece) took the initiative to use the butt of her brush for a stippling effect without any instruction.  Awesome use of shadows and values, light to dark.  Great work!
#art #artclass #teaching #painting #acrylicpainting #school #stairwaytoheavencomics #exeter #newhampshire 


First Day of Teaching

I began my first day of professional teaching today!  I am teaching students aged 10-17 painting at a comic book store in Exeter, NH.  The kids were great!  They are very creative and fun to work with!  
If you are in the area and would like to join up with our class please use the link above and email Brad the owner.  Classes run in 3 week terms for now and are $20/class.  It's a fun time in a very cool environment. 

I created this website

I created this website as an online portfolio of my artwork today to share with you all.  I hope you enjoy it!  I plan on adding all of my notable past works, current projects and updates about future thoughts and ideas here as we go along.  Stay tuned!