Nick Patten, often described as an American Vermeer, grew up in Troy, New York, near where he completed a degree in Studio Art at the college of St. Rose. In his late twenties he lived in New York City where he studied at both the Art Students League and the National Academy of Design. Upon deciding to paint full time, he and his wife moved to Cape Cod where he developed a significant following of collectors through numerous exhibitions in the region. Recently, he returned to the Hudson Valley area where he now paints in a private studio in a converted barn behind his house. His works can be found in private collections throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe, including the Cape Cod Museum of Art, the Mississippi Museum of Art, the New York Public Library, the Boston Public Library, the Print Club of Albany Permanent Collection, and many other corporate and museum collections.
Patten begins the process of creating his compositions from photographs, but states that, “the photos are just a starting point. I use what I call the ‘process of exclusion,’ which means I sort through what’s on the film and take out all extraneous objects, sometimes adding things from my imagination. With the design in place, I then work to create a balance, harnessing the bold contrasts of light and shadow to reveal the quiet drama in an everyday scene.” His paintings are infused with emotion, though he believes that the feelings a viewer has when taking in his work, belongs to the them alone. “I don’t put any narrative into my work. I don’t try to manipulate the observer’s emotions,” he says. Regardless of his intentions, Patten’s hauntingly still, calm and serene paintings often leave viewers with a sense of wistful nostalgia.