Joel Patience’s watercolors on display in downtown Edmonds US Bank

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The Joel Patience exhibit at the US Bank.

The American Bank in downtown Edmonds has begun displaying original watercolors by Edmonds artist Joel Patience.

Visitors to downtown Edmonds may know Patience as a painter of Edmonds to starboard, a public mural at 401 Main Street (facing 4th Avenue), one block north of US Bank. Selected by the Edmonds Mural Society for their summer 2011 mural project, Patience is known locally for his impressionistic watercolors of Italian and American Western settings.

Patience working on her Edmonds mural in the summer of 2011.

The US Bank exhibit is free, open to the public during normal banking hours, and currently includes 10 16×24-inch paintings. Patience’s work is figurative, outside, and exhibits an ever-present appreciation of light. This may be due to his love of Italy, with its sunny cityscapes and colorful backdrops. The same attention to light appears in his scenes from the western states of the United States, even though the setting is indoors.

Injuries from traffic accidents in 2005 and 2018 forced Patience to adjust her life. His wife urged him to develop his lifelong passion for painting as a form of physical therapy, and since then he has produced colorful, multi-layered works of art. Largely self-taught as an artist, Patience claims to follow Leonardo da Vinci’s advice that every painting should have varying levels. If you pull one off the surface, there’s still a story going on.

The Spiaggia di Monterosso al Mare by Joel Patience

Patience described how this guided her work to The Spiaggia of Monterosso al Mare (Monterosso beach by the sea, shown now at US Bank) – a view of umbrellas from the northernmost town of the Cinque Terre in Italy. “On the left side behind the balustrade is a ghost of what one could barely notice out of the corner of one’s eye; only lips, a lock of hair and a few clothes accentuate someone peering down the beach. Is she looking for a safe landing, a friend or a lover? Or maybe when you look again, she’s gone. Perhaps she is a guest at Il Giardino Incantato (Le Jardin Enchanté B&B) and will sit next to you at breakfast or when you paint there later in the privacy of the garden. Even the clouds show what will happen to the day.

Dhavan Vengadasalam has been the manager of the Edmonds downtown branch of the US Bank since October 2021. He was familiar with Patience’s artwork from reproductions on greeting cards the artist had provided to bank staff and l invited to show some paintings on the site. The branch, located at 140 4th Ave. S., had recently been repainted, and when an interior wall opened, Vengadasalam saw an opportunity to support the arts and foster local connections. “It helps us as a bank feel a little more grounded in the community,” he said.

Art exhibitions were not a regular process for this US Bank branch at the time, but Vengadasalam welcomed the opportunity to support local arts.

A short video, Joel Patience: The Healing Power of Art by Emmaline McGraw, presents Patience and her works. The US Bank Patience watercolor exhibit is scheduled for about a year, with other Patience artwork possibly on rotation.

— By Mark Storey

Edmonds resident Mark Storey began his teaching career at Edmonds College and has been a professor of philosophy for the past 32 years at Bellevue College.

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