As a child in New Ipswich, New Hampshire, Matt Patterson spent his free time fishing, searching for turtles and snakes, or painting. As an adult, he has continued, "merely" journeying farther afield for the same goal. Patterson says "There's almost no distance I won't go, almost nothing I won't do, to learn all I can about my subjects to make my paintings of wild animals as accurate and lifelike as possible." This includes, for example, travelling by plane and truck a total of 34 hours and over 8,000 miles all the way to Madagascar's Tortoise Conservation Center. All worth it, to Patterson, for the chance to see an endangered tortoise in person.
An Artists for Conservation member, Patterson has received the Roger Tory Peterson Wild American Art Award twice, been featured in Yankee Magazine, Fine Art Connoisseur Magazine and other publications, and has illustrated two books: The Snake and the Salamander: Reptiles and Amphibians from Maine to Virginia, and Freshwater Fish of the Northeast which won a National Outdoor Book Award for Design and Artistic Merit. Patterson wants not just to document the species he paints, but to contribute to saving them from extinction whenever he can.