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Cultivating Illuminations:

Paintings by Mark Patnode

Introduction by Sharma Piersall

Foreword by Richard Harteis

Mark Patnode works best at dawn and dusk. He wants to capture that first kiss of dawn light, that warm caress of sunset—the vibrancy and poesy of color as it changes. Because colors are moments. They unfurl and fade. They are ochre poetry infusing life into a brick building. They are song sung across the woods beyond a meadow.

In his forms he finds freedom. Over decades he has moved from studio still lifes to detailed landscapes to minimalist, post-impressionist expressions of city and nature. Now a snowy street in early dusk. Now a stripped white oak behind a rail fence in late fall. Now a gush of lilacs in a garden. Now a pale beach after a storm. Painters like this don’t fit into pigeonholes. Conventions aren’t destinations. They are starting-points.

He works in oils, and he works quickly. The light of now isn’t the light of later. The light from the sky becomes colors on earth. The colors speak to him, and with colors he speaks back. He and they work out a language as they probe for form. He embraces the nature of what he sees, then backs off to paint from a detached remove.

Mark Patnode sees what others only suspect…until they see how he’s expressed it. And then they see it. And then they know.

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