Featured Artist Matt Beard

Artist Matt Beard’s deep love for his native California inspires his colorful and expressive paintings of its coastline. Visit his website to learn more about this artist and his work.

 

“Ghosts of 1963” Acrylic on Canvas, 66" x 30"by artist Matt Beard. See his portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Ghosts of 1963” Acrylic on Canvas, 66″ x 30″

 

The story I aim to tell is a love story for the California coast. For well over fifteen years, I have been working toward painting the golden state’s coastline in its entirety, from the Oregon border down to Mexico.

 

“Chasing Gold” Acrylic on Canvas, 48" x 24"by artist Matt Beard. See his portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Chasing Gold” Acrylic on Canvas, 48″ x 24″

 

Growing up in Southern California, yearning for a more natural solitude than the bustling confines that Orange and LA counties could provide, I moved to the deep north of California, behind the redwood curtain at the age of eighteen in 1993. I didn’t know a single person there, but I wasn’t going for other people, I was going to find myself.

 

“Study Break” Acrylic on Canvas, 60" x 30" by artist Matt Beard. See his portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Study Break” Acrylic on Canvas, 60″ x 30″

 

After years of traveling up and down this coast, exploring new spots with each trip, I fell in love.

 

“California Spring” Acrylic on Canvas, 60" x 36" by artist Matt Beard. See his portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“California Spring” Acrylic on Canvas, 60″ x 36″

 

Without realizing it, I’d found my life’s work—to represent the diverse beauty of California and our common connection to the coast through the eyes of a surfer always looking around the next corner.

 

Artist Matt Beard in his Mobile Studio - '08 Dodge Sprinter, 10' deep, 5' wide, 6'4" tall. See his portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

Artist Matt Beard in his Mobile Studio – ’08 Dodge Sprinter, 10′ deep, 5′ wide, 6’4″ tall

 

I spend weeks at a time on road trips, living out of my van, so I can really dig into areas I want to get to know better. There’s no other way to find the angles and views that really tell the story of a place than to put yourself there and give yourself time to explore the dead end roads and climb the nearby hills.

 

“Cardiff Sunrise” Acrylic on Canvas, 60" x 30"by artist Matt Beard. See his portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Cardiff Sunrise” Acrylic on Canvas, 60″ x 30″

 

The official length of the California Coastline is roughly 840 miles, but I’m pretty sure it gets up over 1500 if you really do it right. Either way, that’s a lot of ground to cover. I don’t think I’ll ever run out of material to work with.

 

“First Light” Acrylic on Canvas, 28" x 22" by artist Matt Beard. See his portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“First Light” Acrylic on Canvas, 28″ x 22″

 

I’m inspired by the California Impressionists of the early 20th century as they really set the bar for capturing the feeling of the places they painted. Come to think of it, the feelings they captured so well is the reason I do what I do today.

 

“Lined Up” Acrylic on Canvas, 36" x 18" by artist Matt Beard. See his portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Lined Up” Acrylic on Canvas, 36″ x 18″

 

When I was just starting out as an artist, I came across a show of the California Impressionists from that era that stopped me in my tracks. I looked at those places they painted, many that I recognized immediately from my years of travel. But more than just recognizing them, I truly felt them.

 

“October Groundswell” Acrylic on Canvas, 36" x 24"by artist Matt Beard. See his portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“October Groundswell” Acrylic on Canvas, 36″ x 24″

 

And that feeling is what drives me to get out there today and immerse myself in the landscapes of coastal California.

 

“Scripps and Salsa” Acrylic on Canvas, 36" x 24" by artist Matt Beard. See his portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Scripps and Salsa” Acrylic on Canvas, 36″ x 24″

 

Whether working outdoors on location or back in my home studio on the Humboldt County coast, I hope the work that I do contributes to this conversation, this shared love story for the coast, the land and the sea, that began long before my time.

 

Artist Matt Beard invites you to follow him on Instagram, Facebook and Youtube.

 

Want to stay current on cutting edge business articles from Artsy Shark, plus artist features, and an invitation to the next Call for Artists? Click below to sign up for our twice-monthly email. You’ll get all this plus opportunities and special offers that you can’t get anywhere else!

Sign Up For Updates!

Comments

  1. Hey, Matt. This is absolutely fabulous (and distinctive) work. And now I want a van like yours to transport my work. I wish you much good fortune.

    —Ruth

Speak Your Mind

*

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.