J. Steven Patton is an oil painter who creates in his Manufacturer’s Village studio in East Orange, NJ. He began painting at the age of fourteen and studied privately with local artists prior to earning a fine art degree from The College of New Jersey. His training included classic and contemporary painting and he privately studied Joseph Alber’s Color Theory from Tony Robbin, a student of Albers. His work has been shown in several group shows and was selected for the 2021/2022 New Jersey Arts Annual at the State Museum in Trenton. He considers himself primarily an abstract figurative painter but even his non-figurative works have human qualities.
I have long considered myself a figurative painter and I enjoy discovering stories and countenances that appear in my underpaintings. Lately, I have turned to play with still lifes, yet the vessels and objects within my paintings still maintain a figurative form and are very conversant. My process begins with a textured appearing underpainting. I find it fascinating to discover various shapes that form figures, organic vessels, and flora. As I paint a story or a conversation begins to take shape and evolves. I don’t know the story. The canvas is providing the narrative and I am the instrument. The shapes are delineated with bold lines of charcoal or oil sticks and the color is rubbed into the canvas. There is something very intimate about physically touching the canvas as the paint blends within the heavily outlined shapes and glows as more pigment is added. There is a direct line of communication between the canvas and my subconscious which I am excited to explore.”