February 14th, 2013

We are getting excited here at Gallery MAR for our upcoming show with painter Matt Flint, In This Moment. And just in time, an online magazine called Visual Language is publishing a feature on the Lander, Wyoming-based artist. Check out the interview below – we even got a mention at the end!

For those of you that are unfamiliar with Matt Flint’s work, the artist describes his oil paintings of nature and wildlife scenes as moments of shifting focus: “I paint the way I explore the rugged mountains by my house, always pushing to see what is over the next hill, searching for the unexpected.”

When did you realize you loved art and wanted to be an artist? When I was young I always felt like I had to make things. I spent my free time drawing, building tree houses, forts, “inventions”, and wandering around in the woods. I never really thought about art as a career until my junior year of high school when I realized that I had no aptitude for math like the rest of my family and that I really loved making art.

Who has been your mentor, or greatest influence to date? My greatest influence to date has been a professor at Wichita State (where I attended grad school), Professor Ron Chris Ron practices what he preaches and I admire his professionalism and drive. He taught me how to analyze and construct a good painting.

Who is another living artist you admire and why? I have always liked the work of Jim Dine. He is able to work in such diverse media while maintaining a consistent approach that I really relate to.

What is your favorite surface to paint on? I paint on 2” thick basswood stretched birch panels wrapped in canvas. To ensure the best quality, I have my stretchers made to museum standards. I like the rigidity of the panels, but I also like the texture of the canvas, so it is the perfect solution for me.

What is your favorite brand of paint to use? I use Windsor Newton most of the time. If I had an unlimited budget, I would use Old Holland.

Do you have a favorite color or palette? Not really. I tend to stay towards earth tones and blues.

What is your favorite color in your closet? Brown

You seem to paint a lot of water lilies. What prompted this? I don’t paint water lilies per se, but I do use an elliptical shape sometimes in my work. It is more ambiguous and could refer to a number of natural things.

How often do you paint? How many times a week? I have two full-time jobs: teaching and painting. My studio time is blocked out like a job. I spend anywhere from 20-40 hours a week painting.

What is the one thing you’d like to be remembered for? Being kind.

There are many culprits that can crush creativity, such as distractions, self-doubt and fear of failure. What tends to stand in the way of your creativity? I think self-doubt is always near, but that is why I keep making work. Doubt in my abilities, vision, etc. is a motivator for me; I certainly do not let it crush my creativity.

How do you overcome these obstacles? I accept obstacles as part of the artistic process/ I try not to let a day go by that I do not work, the continuum is important for me.

What are your inspirations for work? Present and past experiences in the outdoors. The rural setting I grew up in and the rural mountain setting I live in now.

What is your favorite way to get your creative juices flowing? I make work. Again, the making the process is where I like to be. As I work, ideas snowball, and suddenly I am working on 10 or more paintings all headed in a direction that is exciting, undefined, and optimistic.

Which work of yours is your favorite? The work I am making right now for my show at Gallery MAR in Park City in February. Ask me the same question in a few months and it will be whatever work I am creating then.

Up Close and Personal

What book are you reading this week? I listen to books on CD in the studio. Right now I am listening to “The Pearl” by John Steinbeck.

Do you have a favorite television show? Not really.

What is your favorite food? Coffee!

What are you most proud of in your life? My family.

Who would you like to interview? J. M. W. Turner.

Do you have a passion or hobby other than painting? What is it? I love to mountain bike and cross-country ski. I also really enjoy working out at Lander Cross Fit.

Who would you love to paint? Maybe Giacometti, but that would be a lot of pressure.

If you were an animal, what would you be and why? A wolf. I love to paint them. They are shrouded in myth and controversy and yet so close to our domesticated family pets.

If you were stranded on a desert island and could only take three things, what would they be? Unlimited food, water and shelter.

Share something that few people know about you. I once designed kid’s clothes for a company called Chocolate Soup.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live? Right where I live now.