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About Me


Patricia Murphy Bolten____________________COLORnation

My love of painting, my love for all the arts; drawing, mixed media, photography, music--drove me in many directions.  A child bored by street games, I read, wrote stories and dreamed childishly, what the life of an oil painter might be.  I began to read about artists I admired; Gauguin, Van Gogh, etc., and through my reverence of their courage, it appeared, being a painter was a life of great struggle. 

Never doing anything the easy way, by the time I was ready for college I was a single mom with a three-month old to support.  Up all day, up all night doing graphic art or whatever the media of the day required, I remember times when I fell asleep in the art school parking lot with a sandwich in my hand; yet through all the hardship and exhaustion, I had never been happier, nor creatively fulfilled.  Based on the body of art and multimedia, figure drawing, and painting especially, I received a full scholarship; my little boy became the college mascot over those gentle years.  

My art is imbued with all I have become over these many years, where life takes us often, to places we would rather not go.  I paint to rock and roll; the sweetness of classical music from art school still haunts me. As a musician I need to let the world into my media and become a part of my paintings.  I think I do that. I’m told I’m a fauvist.  I’m very flattered my work is seen in that way, but I could never bring myself to use that wonderful word.  For me, a saturation of color, all things experiential in life with all its love and tragedy:  one of mine being struck with what was supposed to be a non survivable cancer.  Art of any kind became illusive.  I lived, but at great cost to my personal life, as well as the art and painting I so love. 

I am back, painting with the media of conflicting results.


I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t drawing. Painting was not allowed in our home for obvious reasons. I was a quiet child, reading when not drawing. Curious and absorbed in the visual world around me, as well as the sounds of the leaves rustling in the N.E. Oaks. When I wasn’t in my childhood world, I could be found at the Worcester Art Museum. Taking in the beauty of the genius surrounding me. I took children’s classes there on Saturdays. Listening to the birds sing on the long walk home, I’d always stop at the town library. The smells of both the museum and the library itself, were a perfume to my senses. Even the oil on the wooden floors was magician to me. Of course, there were diversions along life’s way, but I always knew I wanted to grow up be an artist.


The techniques I use are various. When in college, we were not allowed to choose a studio major until Junior year; therefore, we were exposed to genres we might not otherwise have chosen. While seeing the value of this, I had small areas of difficulty, only taking sculpture because it was required. I liked sculpting, but it made my hands bleed, so one semester was enough. I wanted to be an illustrator, but instead, landed in a department more gratifying to me; oil painting and watercolor. Again, not allowed to draw first, we were trained to choose a rather large round brush, mix a color and “just do it”.  Scary for me, since at the time I was a frightened “picker”, believing realism was the only valid painting method. That watercolor class was one of the most valuable and challenging I ever took. Not a lot of room for picking or hesitation. Told to not be afraid of throwing a painting away and begin again (each class being 3 hours long) if we threw three away and had one good painting; we’d had a good day. That class helped me more than I can say. Photography (35 mm) was also invaluable. Experimenting became my love.

career highlights

There have been highs and lows in my career. I’m certain that’s true for all of us. I’ve had the fortune of showing at the Javits Center in NYC. My work is owned on both coasts as well as South America, Chile and Mexico specifically. Owners of my work also reside in Europe, California and the East Coast. Upon graduation I received commendations in figure painting, drawing, watercolor and “verve” in all areas. The most stalling transitions to my growth; came in the form of cancer and a divorce in which I had no energy nor clarity. I’m happy and making my own choices and once again, I choose to paint. I thank all who have supported and loved me.

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