Transcendence of Rationality

I just finished this commission:

CaseyMatthews_TranscendenceOfRationality_32x66

Casey Matthews “Transcendence of Rationality” (32×66)

It was a fun size – 32×66.  So I ordered a few more comparable sizes to play around with.  Like 30×60 & 36×72. Hopefully I will be able to get to them in a few months.  I’m pretty much booked up thru January or February 2015 now.  Most artists do not enjoy doing commissions – but I think I have it down to a science now (business wise.)  I also enjoy working with the vision of my client.  They often have an approach or color scheme that I would have never have considered if it were not for them.  It helps me leave my comfort zone and expand and grow in my current work.

I was telling someone the other day that I get inquires on existing work, (from galleries, designers, art consultants, etc) and approached about commissions several times a week.  Probably only 15%- 20% of the people who reach out to me (for a price or quote, project, etc) over a month actually respond or follow through with a deposit or sale.  So I don’t get my hopes up for every little thing that crosses my path.  (I also don’t even entertain the thought of a commission without a deposit because I’m too busy)   However, someone asked me for a price quote today for  a painting 96″x122″ – and I really had to put on my thinking cap on that and financially prepare myself for all the hidden expenses (like this will not fit in my studio or in my house.)  I’m not actually sure where I would even paint something that large, let alone find stretcher bars or canvas that would make a canvas that size.  But it sure would be fun!  I might have to rent a warehouse or something.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

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Second Saturday Artwalk : Featured Artist Casey Matthews

1CaseyMatthews_Alexandrite_30x40

Please join the Blue Door Artists during the Second Saturday Artwalk, October 11th, 5-8PM. The featured artist is Casey Matthews, who will be exhibiting brand new work, and celebrating 12 years in her studio. Casey creates rich paintings with multi-media surfaces that are both visually intriguing and full of energy. They incorporate expressive color, movement, and strong elements of design. From a distance, her works impose a singular statement of color, composition and tone; viewed closely, they suggest a complex narrative that is multi-hued and textured. 205 ½ Centre Street, historic Downtown Fernandina Beach. Regular hours Monday – Saturday, 11AM-5PM. For more information call 904-556-1119 or 904-491-7733. http://www.bluedoorartists.com or http://www.caseymatthews.com.

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Just let go…

I have had a fabulous painting week. It has been great to get back in the studio with clear mind/vision after a long vacation.  I’m such a lucky person, and every day I am so thankful that I am to be able to do what I do, feel good about the work I produce, and also get paid to do it.

Casey Matthews - Grouping of 4-24x24x3

Casey Matthews – Four-24x24x3  – Mixed media painting (coffee, acrylic, gouache, polymers, charcoal)

I just got back from a hiking the Inca Trail in Peru.  While I was away, I was not planning on answering email however, as soon as I got on the plane (I had wifi) I started getting a bunch of art related email – up until I got home three weeks later: I secured deposits for three commissions, got inquiries for five more potential gigs, developed a business relationship with a new gallery, and was in contact with three consulting firms regarding large hotel projects.  Who knew there would be so many art emergencies last month?  It has been so amazing how many good things, situations, relationships, opportunities, people have come into my life this year.  Thanks everyone!

I had so much work to do, I had to hit the ground running as soon as I got off the plane…. Then, I had a previous deadline that was cancelled on me this week  – it was one of those things that was SUCH a relief, and a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders (mentally.) Also, a catalyst that will get the ball rolling toward ridding myself of several toxic situations/relationships that I seemed to have found myself in. Something I have been mentally struggling with for a few years, but has really come to a head these past few months. A situation that has really been holding me back… and this week I am at peace with my decision to let it go.  IT FEELS AMAZING.  I hate to admit that I am (at times) afraid of change. However I know that it is crucial to success and growth. And I have really been paying close attention to my mission and path this year. Funny how when you write down your goals and visualize them – they seem to all seems to fall into place. I’m moving forward and cutting loose of those things that are holding me back, and taking advantage of me.

And this release is sooo mentally healthy. There is no sense in having any negative energy and anger linger and cloud my creative process or  future business decisions. I try really had to be a professional person and think more like a man, rather than a sensitive female artist  (sorry ladies, but we/you tend to get your panties in a wad over trivial shit;) Not take things so personally or get hung up on insecurities. There is so much rejection and criticism in art – you just can’t get hung up on every little detail – use it am move forward. The fact of the matter is that sometimes people just need to part ways in order to grow. It is nothing personal.

I’m one of those people who has great luck when “one door closes, another door opens….”

I have had such an eventful year – past year. This time last year I was really struggling with Tennis Elbow – and that slowed down my creative output tremendously, which was pretty painful and depressing that I was so helpless. My Mother was also diagnosed (and then passed away) with lung cancer that had spread to her liver, bones, and brain – all in the course of 3-4 months. That was pretty intense. I also got a new puppy last year – and good God – that was extremely stressful!

So this week, I was able to let go, and clear my mind, just have so much fun experimenting, and paint for myself – and I’m ready for great things to happen.

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Studio Visit: Where the Magic Happens (a glimpse)

Here are some recent studio shots I took with my iPad/iPhone or had a friend photograph of me:

Casey Headshot

What I look like after a shower and serious prep time.

Casey in the Studio

What I look like most of the time

Detail Studio Shot

Detail shot

Front Room

Front Room (panoramic shot with my iPhone).  I have two rooms/areas in my studio.  The front room is supposed to be a clean, gallery/display space (which never looks clean) and the back room is a workroom/storage area. I think the whole place totals approximately 300 square feet.  Whenever I complain about how I need more space, I force myself to remember that this space would be 4 times as much $$ in NYC.

studio2

Paints, canvas rolls for custom-built canvas, color wheel, and commission information lined up on clipboards.

studio1

Paint (organized by color), polymers, gel medium, primer, gesso, collage elements (organized by color), markers, pencils, etc. My refrigerator, microwave, and Keurig are sandwiched in there to the left. Come over for coffee (or a glass of wine) any time!

Back Room

Back Room

I have a studio in historic Downtown Fernandina Beach, FL.  It is located upstairs, and the space houses nine other art studios – called The Blue Door Artists. They are separate work spaces that are individually maintained, yet we come together for group marketing, and help beach other keep all the studios open 6 days a week.  I have had my studio up there for 12 years.  And over the years, I have had to come out of my shell, been forced to interact with people wanting to watch me work, as well as deal with constant interruption.  Some days it can be fun interacting with people/customers, other days it can be annoying, and other days I just shut my door and put up a sign that says “CLOSED” if I am really working on a deadline.  But over all it has been a good experience.  Artists can be such solitary creatures – and if I worked from home, I’m pretty sure not bath every day, my paint clothes would be the same as my sleep clothes, and my conversation would be limited to two Italian Greyhounds.

Yes, for the most part I severely cleaned up my studio for this photo-shoot.  I discovered (on security camera) that a huge night gecko (Gordon) was living in the somewhere (the hallway, bathrooms?) of our studio collective – so I was on a serious mission to clean up my crap.  I never found Gordon, but I do know that he is NOT living in my room (and no way he can get in.)

I am a messy perfectionist.  While most of the time there may be crap all over the floor, every surface, and in the sink – my paints and supplies are ALWAYS organized. (for the exception of my brushes).  Enjoy!

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2014 HGTV Urban Oasis Giveway!

 

"Always Looking Out For Number One" (30x40)

Casey Matthews    “Always Looking Out For Number One”    (30×40)

 

I recently had at least two paintings selected for the 2014 HGTV Urban Oasis – Dream Home Giveaway!  The luxury apartment is 2000 sq feet and located on the 37th floor of the Residences Mandarin Oriental in Buckhead (Atlanta, GA). Granted, one of the paintings is in the loo – but hey – you gotta start somewhere – and everyone has to pee several times a day!  Why not do it in style?
Thanks to Gregg Irby Fine Art & Lindsay Pumpa of LPumpa Designs!
 
You are welcome to enter the giveaway every day starting tomorrow until October 10th! You can win the entire apartment, the contents, as well as a 2015 Acura TLX.
 
You can tour the home HERE
 

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Blog Hop

I was invited by to join in the Blog Hop Project by artist, Ahavani Mullen. The project consists of answering some questions regarding my creative experience, art, and process:

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What are you working on?
I recently went to NYC and bought some natural pigments (mostly crushed gemstones, and minerals) to mix my own paint. I have also been researching how to make your own pigments and inks from natural fruits, vegetables, plants, etc. I love the vibrancy, and settlement qualities that these natural pigments provide. And most recently I have been painting more with espresso coffee. I love the rich Sepia color and building layers with this seemingly common “paint.” My color palette has become even more limited and I’m finding beauty in more brown tones, neutrals and lots of negative space. I have been working on paper more.
I have been fairly prolific lately. When I am not in the studio, I am often at home painting outside. Even though it has been a sweltering Florida summer, my watery paint dries so fast outdoors– and I can accomplish 5 times as much than I can in the studio.

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How does your work differ from others?
I’m not sure.  In a world where everything has been done, I’m not really sure that I’m all that unique. Unconsciously, I have noticed that once I have mastered something, I tend to get bored, and I move on to something else in order to keep things interesting, and hold my attention. Once I start to feel that there is a formula, or predictability to my work – I start getting antsy and notice a transformation. Some years it is a subtle shift, other times, drastic. I paint a lot, and I love experimenting and exploring new materials; change usually occurs the more I work and push the boundaries.

When you are an abstract artist, you don’t really have traditional subject matter to draw from. For me, inspiration comes from memory, experiences, intuition, mood, energy, and how different colors react with each other. My paintings often become a conversation with self. Over the years I have developed my own gestures and marks that make up a visual language. It becomes a vague form of communication that I can only understand.

I believe that discovering new materials, exploring new concepts, and learning new techniques are essential to growth. I know some artists that have been painting the same thing – the same way for years, even decades – with little variation. And even their current bodies of work look like clones of each other. I’m not sure how they attain satisfaction – perhaps they prefer to feel safe in their complacency?
I just know that would not work for me.

Why do you do what you do?
Mentally, the whole process of making art is grounding and therapeutic for me. I start getting fussy if I have not been to the studio in a few days. I work intuitively, enjoy the solitude, and my process allows me to clear my mind, and relax.
I have always been a creator and an artist. As a young child I was always making something, or crafting. I just know how to make things using ingredients, that involve a process, and patience.
Superficially, I do what I do to make money. Being an artist is my job. I wish I could say something more articulate and inventive – but in reality I need to pay for my health insurance, rent, a new car, and I just don’t subscribe to the whole starving artist mentality. I like nice shiny things and enjoy traveling.
However, I do paint for myself first. I try and produce work that I’m proud of and not massed produced. I then put it out there, and see how it goes (how it is received.) I wish I could pretend I’m saving lives or something, but in reality I’m making art that matches your sofa. And I do it for money, so I can in turn buy myself a sofa.

How does my process work?
My creativity begins with a constant state of awareness and appreciation for everything around me. I am always noticing patterns in nature, color trends in fashion, the way inanimate objects harmonize with each other, etc.

In the studio, I start recording my experiences: I begin with an already primed gallery wrapped canvas (or thick watercolor paper) – and add another layer of clear gesso. I have found that clear gesso offers this “tooth” that regular white gesso or primer does not provide. When I start layering the watery color (concentrated fluid acrylics, inks, gouache) on the canvas I get more interesting pools and settling of pigment. I like to layer the paint: Some colors are transparent; others are thicker and more opaque. After the paint has dried, I like to go back into the painting with vine charcoal, oil pastels, watercolor crayons, or makers. I enjoy involving many different components, in order to create surfaces that are rich, lyrical, and visually interesting.

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ahavani mullen with surprise

Ahavani Mullen

And here is a little bit of info about Ahavani Mullen who invited me to participate in the Blog Hop Q & A:
My works have evolved from silence. Embracing stillness and reverence, this extends from the work’s germination as a seed, through its progression to a fully blossomed piece. The imagery I create is intended to be experiential, using color as a vehicle for a moment of contemplation.
Ahavani has exhibited her work nationally, and was recently awarded a grant from the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs. The next exhibition will be in a group show at Chicago Art Source Gallery in January 2015, and her next solo exhibition will be in the Dulgar Gallery at South Suburban College in South Holland, IL. She will also be featured in the next issue of Studio Visit magazine. Ahavani lives in Chicago, and works out of her studio in Logan Square.  Check out her Blog Hop interview HERE
 
 

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Subscribe to my mailing list to hear about FREE ART!

Casey Matthews "Circle the Correct Answer" (30x48)

Casey Matthews “Circle the Correct Answer” (30×48)

After all these years I have finally set up an official email list. This fall I will be celebrating 12 years of being in my art studio. I will be giving away FREE art every month, and offering a SALE with FREE shipping. So if you want to receive my newsletter with new work announcements, exciting news, and help me celebrate my anniversary, please sign up! (Don’t worry I won’t send more than 6-10 per year)

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