Patty J. Topel
I paint because I can't imagine life without art. When I was a child I wanted to be an artist and though my life has taken many turns along the way, my dream has never changed.
I have studied and enjoy many mediums, from painting to silkscreen and photography. I have spent much of my working career designing books.
I consider myself a modern impressionist. I try to interpret the mood and texture of the landscape—my personal reality—and convey my love of the outdoors through my paintings. I hope to create an environment people can relate to, a feeling of peace, a memory, a sense of the landscape, a moment in time. The same feelings I experience when I encounter these places and try to capture them on my canvas.
My subject matter finds me at different times of the day. I might drive by a place, the light hits it just right, and the scene composes itself for me. I enjoy working with new materials and techniques. Currently, I am working on stretched canvas and linen covered panels. I sometimes use wax medium to bring more texture to a piece. Mostly I just use paint. I have a love affair with color, and I enjoy just applying rich color with my brushes. I am beginning to incorporate more tools, sometimes wiping paint out and other times using a palette knife for sharp edges or heavy application. I sometimes use a traditional underpainting, and sometimes I paint with a direct approach. All these things depend on the time I have available to paint, the location, the subject matter, and what my goals are. If I am on location I paint directly, getting the mood down before the light changes. If I am in my studio, I might do an underpainting or a value study and work from there. Or use one of my sketches from the field to make a larger studio piece.
In my current work I am striving to loosen up more. To tell more about the subject by using less detail. To boldly show the colors and textures of a subject. I enjoy using color to convey mood and to lead the viewer through the painting. I want the viewer to feel like he or she is a part of my work. I continue to learn, to push myself, to reach further than I can, and hopefully, to bring the viewer with me.
Patty J. Topel
1975–1977 private art lessons (John Segesman)
1977–1982 attended college; studied graphic design, photography and fine art. BA in Graphic Design
1982–1993 freelance designer/production artist; created brochures, catalogues and textbooks for various clients
1993–2003 production manager Intercultural Press; design interior and covers of books, catalogues, and website
1999–present various continuing education including
Maine College of Art studies with Sarah Knock and Diane Dahlke
workshop with Sarah Knock
workshops with Stan Moeller
Sanctuary Arts with Sean Beavers
Pierce Gallery, Portsmouth, NH
member of Freeport Art Club
member of American Women Artists
Rochester, NH Fair—6 ribbons 2003 (1 special award, 2 first premium, 2 first, 1 second)
Laudholm Fresh Paint Auction participant 2003, 2002, 2001
Skillins Winter Art Show (honorable mention 2003)
Tate House Fresh Paint Day participant 2003