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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!