Mark Patnode [NRA 2014]

First name: Mark ;
Middle name:
Last name:
Patnode ;

Member: Non-resident artist member


Mark Patnode did a painting called Lonesome Pines. Now an artist and teacher, he’s pleased, but also a bit amused, that his dad always loved that painting. “I’m not really a ‘lonesome pines’ kind of guy,” he says. He does spend many hours alone, focusing on his canvases. But often he talks about how his work connects him with other people—teachers, students, other artists, a Bulgarian poet, or a Connecticut governor. “It’s almost a contradiction,” he says. “I love being with people,” but painting requires solitary concentration. “It’s like chess. It forces you to think, to know where you’re going next.”

For ten years he has shared a New London studio with several other artists. “We share knowledge, tools, ideas, and food,” he says. His own section of the studio is packed with paintings—some finished, some in progress—along with stacks of canvases, ready for use. The richly hued paintings depict gardens, fields, trees, a building lit by late afternoon sun. Patnode notices how light from the sky influences everything.

He grew up in Nyack, New York—“Edward Hopper’s hometown,” he says, adding that his   Lonesome Pines painting was definitely the work of a young painter under the influence of Hopper (1882-1967), whose work often dwelt on solitude.  He soaked up other influences as well. His dad was an English teacher, school administrator, and poet; his mom painted and cooked. He remembers coming home from school to find her working on a painting—pearls, pewter vase, a rose, folds of fabric-while also tending to her latest culinary creation. “She was always watching Julia Child,” he recalls; and the house was filled with fine aromas from both cooking and painting. He loved the smells of his mom’s linseed oil and turpentine. “She used boiled linseed oil; it was like good olive oil. Back then, gum turpentine had a great, sweet smell, not a noxious chemical smell.” In his house,  he says all the senses  became engaged, through everything from poetry to painting to cooking.




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Record birth date:
December 23, 2019

Last updated: January 22, 2023 at 22:31 pm

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