For a regular guy from Long Island to be dubbed "the American Renoir" could be daunting. But Patrick Antonelle takes it in stride.Nor did the good natured Antonelle seem to mind when one interviewer recently mentioned his name in the same breath as that of Thomas Kinkade, although he should have.For while Kinkade is a popular schlock phenomenon, known for his cozily artificial treatment of light, Antonelle is a real painter with an unerring sense of natural light who just happens to have a popular following. Which is to say, not only is Antonelle`s work in numerous corporate collections and prestigious private collections of contemporary art, it has also been purchased over the years by people like Leonard Bernstein and Frank Sinatra, as well as by serious collectors who are normally more likely to buy a Renoir or a Monet than a work by a living painter.An unabashed adherent of Impressionism and Pointillism, Antonelle updates the techniques of both movements to create his New York City scenes, as well as his landscapes of Nantucket and European locations in England, France, and Italy. Indeed, he is one of the few contemporary painters who has mastered those techniques sufficiently to capture subtle qualities of light on different surfaces as proficiently as his Parisian predecessors. In his New York views, particularly, he shares their ability to invest scenes of everyday life with freshness and vivacity.Of course there has always been an American Impressionist tradition, going back to Childe Hassam and other members of The Ten. In recent decades, however, the tendency has been to imitate the superficial mannerism of the movement without making the thorough study of light that has always given Antonelle's paintings the edge. One of the reasons for this is that Antonelle, who has gained his following over the past three decades, has always known what he wanted to do in painting.Ever since his student days at the School of Visual Arts, the Brooklyn Museum Art School, and The Art Students League, Antonelle has known what he has wanted to do and has been sharpening his skills towards that end. Anyone who has spoken with him knows that he is quite aware of and knowledgeable about abstract painting.Still, like Fairfield Porter, Wolfe Kahn and other New York realists who were not in opposition to Abstract Expressionism, Antonelle (who had the respect for his abstract peers when he showed at the gallery 86, one of the original Tenth Street Galleries, after it relocated to 57th Street in the 1990th) has always preferred to apply abstract principles to recognizable subject matter. That he has also obviously absorbed certain principles of Asian painting is evident in works such as "Winter in the Park", a scene in which tiny figures can be seen traversing the snow banks in Central Park . The diminutive scale of the figures, here as in most of Antonelle's paintings and prints, hints at the insignificance of the human being in the total scheme of things, which has always been a prominent feature of traditional Chinese landscape painting. Here, too, the misty quality of the tall buildings looming over the park and its bare, slender trees also harks back to the misty mountains seen in Chinese scrolls, although the falling snow affords Antonelle the perfect opportunity to display his pointillist technique as well. And while most Chinese painting is basically monochromatic, being accomplished with gray tones in variously diluted shades of black carbon ink, Antonelle also brings all of the chromatic subtlety he acquired in his study of the Impressionists to bear in the soft pink tints of the sky and the variety of delicate hues he employs to the sense of waning afternoon light on the snow in this exhilarating winter scene.By contrast , Antonelle is able to indulge his love of lush of color and richly textured foliage in another New York scene called "Gramercy Park Summer" with its silver of clear blue sky peeking through the verdant trees and lawns, while a person walks a little dog a pure path dappled with the shadows of the leaves. Here, particularly, one sees the artist almost transcendent way with light in his handling of the yellow accents on the grassy areas bordering the path, as well as in the shimmering atmosphere he evokes where the trees recede into the distance on the lawn.As a young man Antonelle considered becoming an architect, and this has inspired him over the years to make the landmark buildings of old New York some of his favorite subjects. But while these paintings are tinged with nostalgia for the older style of architecture that he prefers over the glass facades of more recent buildings, his command of firm, architectural linear strokes, along with his softer handling of the more ethereal elements of light and shadows, have long made his city scenes favorites of discerning collectors.More recently, however, Antonelle's European landscapes have become just as prized, particularly his scenes of Tuscany, Italy, with its hilly topography and fertile vegetation, which he evokes with great vigor. Particularly exemplary in this regard is "Sunflowers-Tuscany", where clusters of the big, brilliant yellow flowers dominate the foreground of the composition and recede into the distance, where red-roofed rustic houses are visible, set against the verdant hills.