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The Gallery is OPEN! (or it will be) Finally!

Celebrate Spring! Gallery Novus will be open to the public for the first time this Friday & Saturday, (April 14th & 15th) from 2PM – 7PM. Please pop in and say hello if you are on Amelia Island this weekend. We are featuring new works by Gina Cochran & Casey Matthews ….. 813 South 8th Street, Amelia Island, Florida ….. info@gallerynovus.com.

Casey Promo

This has been a labor of love, but my new gallery has become a reality.  I can nit-pick over many unfinished details and never get there or I can just go for it and open up. (the city finally came and approved me). So I realize it is Easter Weekend and nobody will be in town, but I will be working, painting, and changing lightbulbs anyway – why not stay open a little later? We are located at 813 South 8th Street, Fernandina Beach, FL; and normally open by appointment, and during the Second Saturday. 904.606.4388.

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The Birthday of the World

Here is my first painting of the year.
It is named for the first baby born in the States – “Nathan” weighed 7lbs, 11oz. and was born in Flushing Hospital – Queens, NY.

caseymatthews_queensbaby_60x36_commissionCasey Matthews  “Queens Baby” (60×36)

I know everyone was ready to move past 2016, and welcome a new year.  The election was tough; it really brought out the worst in everyone.  The world is a sad place and it is disheartening to live in a world that is so black and white; so polarizing. In times like this, it is better for me to retreat inward and take care of things closer to my heart:  My home, my family, my relationships, my art career – rather than obsess over things that I don’t understand on a global or emotional level.

Oddly enough, personal-wise, I had a great year. It was my most successful year as a professional artist.  I worked my ass off, and felt like I have learned a lot about myself as an artist and business person. I’m always present and thankful; I try to keep an open mind about learning new things, and allowing new experiences into my life.
– I also celebrated 10 years with my man last year.  We have been spending a lot of time nesting.  We are remodeling our kitchen, and spending money and time on our home; redecorating a little.
– I am moving my studio this month.  It is a very scary, and a large financial move for me – but there is nothing like the threat of poverty to light the fire under my ass and make things work!  I embrace the challenge and hard work ahead of me.
– With a heavy heart, I mentally let go of a huge toxic relationship in my life this past year.  It is still very sad and hard to explain, without seeming so cold and unforgiving – but I’m at peace with my decision. I feel like my life is going really well right now, and I don’t want anyone making me feel bad about myself. Some people just cannot be happy, and can’t help to bring others down; they are incapable of love, and find comfort in their angry, miserable existence.  You just can’t force relationships on people, and it is OK to say good-bye.

I ran across this timely poem this week and wanted to share:

The Birthday of the World
On the birthday of the world
I begin to contemplate
what I have done and left
undone, but this year
not so much rebuilding
of my perennially damaged
psyche, shoring up eroding
friendships, digging out
stumps of old resentments
that refuse to rot on their own.
No, this year I want to call
myself to task for what
I have done and not done
for peace. How much have
I dared in opposition?
How much have I put
on the line for freedom?
For mine and others?
As these freedoms are pared,
sliced and diced, where
have I spoken out? Who
have I tried to move? In
this holy season, I stand
self-convicted of sloth
in a time when lies choke
the mind and rhetoric
bends reason to slithering
choking pythons. Here
I stand before the gates
opening, the fire dazzling
my eyes, and as I approach
what judges me, I judge
myself. Give me weapons
of minute destruction. Let
my words turn into sparks.

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Happy Holidays to You & Yours

holiday card plain

Thank you so much for helping to make 2015 my most successful year as a professional artist. I’m am so grateful that I’m able to wake up every day and create art!  I look forward to your continued love and support – and wish you all the best for a fantastic New Year!

xoxo

Casey

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Everything has already been done…

Sit & Spin

Casey Matthews    “Sit & Spin”    (32″ Round)

One of the interesting things about having a public art studio is that I get to meet all sorts of people I would not normally interact with.  By nature, I am a bit shy with people I don’t know, so this can be a difficult platform. The past 13 years of maintaining an open studio has helped me come out of my shell as I search for  words to articulate my process, and create a balanced studio practice.  I often surprise myself and learn new things about myself as I describe the work to others.         Many years ago an elderly gentleman came into my studio and looked around at my work, completely flabbergasted – at both my prices and my style of work. (which is fine – you don’t have to like all art)  He asked what else I did – meaning: “You could not possibly make a living creating this crap – what other kind of job do you have?” But I ignored his implication, and laughed.  I superficially replied “…I make lots of messes, walk my dogs, and like to drive really fast.”     On the other end of the spectrum, I also meet people that completely freak out, gush over my work, and the fact that they actually get to meet me. Those people are the best!

I had someone come in my studio the other day and looked around – although a bit out of obligation (she was already up there looking in the other art studios) She was older retiree and a novice painter herself.  She prefers to paint lovely pastoral scenes in France, and local marsh scenes plein-air.   She looked curiously at a particular painting, then asked what my inspiration was.  I rattled off my stock answer… “I am very process driven, and I rely on mood, color, energy…”  I find this intuitive process more rewarding,  challenging, and full of endless possibilities –  rather than trying to recreate a particular subject matter on my terms…    I continued, “My work is non-objective and the titles are drawn from a running diary of words or phrases that I have written down over the years while reading or listening to an audio book, movie, music, current events/news, etc.  The painting is meaningless nonsense and it is paired with a title of equivalent absurdity.”   She then started rattling off more questions in an attempt to “understand” (for lack of a better word)   “Well, no – what artists are you inspired by?” I thought about it for a minute, then reverted back to my 20 year-old college self – stating “I guess I always admired the Abstract Expressionists  – they left the most imprint on me – because they were so energetic, intuitive, and process oriented – like Willem DeKooning, Cy Twombly, Joan Mitchell and Philip Guston (early work).  And while we are at it – I love Mark Rothko, Richard Diebenkorn, and Lee Krasner…The color of Henri Matisse, and humor of Norman Rockwell (I use to stare at his work for hours as a kid). And as far as contemporary artists go – I just drool over anything Cecily Brown does,  She is a real painters painter.  She is about my age, lives in NYC, and cranks out multiple paintings at once in her huge Union Square studio.  As far as I’m concerned – she a complete rock-star making it in the art world.”

“But your work does not look like any of those artists – I just don’t get it…”

I was a bit taken back by that comment.  My 40 year-old self does not aspire to paint like other people.  I realize I did not really invent what I do, and I don’t think I’m extremely special – but when I’m in the studio, it is just me and the surface. I’m drawn to the ambiguity of abstraction, and outright contradiction. I just try to create honest work that I am proud of, and keeps me out of trouble.  I am constantly learning and experimenting.   (Sometimes I am thankful that I live in my little creative vacuum and not surrounded by to many artists – so that their work does not creep into my subconscious.)  While it is nice to sell my work and is my ultimate objective – going to work is something I do out of an innate desire to stay grounded to the universe, and maintain mental balance.     I don’t really look to other artists (past or current) for my inspiration like I did when I was a young impressionable college student trying to find my style.  I mean, thanks to social media – we have enough copy-cat artists to contend with.  But they don’t fool anyone.  They just make me feel sad for them as they can’t seem to find their own voice.

I realize “everything has been done” but does that mean we should give up on ourselves and continue to copy or draw inspiration from the past (or present for that matter?) Or is this person just an idiot? I’m hoping it is the latter.  I’m a jaded bitter bitch about some most things – but I want to think there is still hope for the art world.

————-

On a different note – I just finished new batch of art.  Check out what is left on my website HERE

Here are a few of my favorites:

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Casey Matthews (2-36×24)

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Casey Matthews (2-30×24)

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Casey Matthews   “Power Surge”   (40×40)

 

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Island Insider: Artist Casey Matthews

I’m an ambassador for Amelia Island – who knew (LOL). Check out this interview I gave for the local Amelia Island Visitors Council HERE

Casey Matthews (photo by Jessie Preza)

Casey Matthews (photo by Jessie Preza)

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Casey Matthews in First Coast Magazine – The Art of Buying Abstract Art

I had a photo shoot in my studio recently and HERE is the final product – an article for First Coast Magazine. It is about shopping for art – from the perspective of the artist, designer, and gallerist.  I have been fortunate that Stellers Gallery has placed a lot of my work, especially LARGE work this year,  And Julie Schulte, of Schulte Designs,  is a local designer that has placed a lot of my work in her homes/projects over the years as well. Basically I rock!

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Casey Matthews (photo by Jessie Preza http://www.jessiepreza.com)

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Casey Matthews (photo by Jessie Preza http://www.jessiepreza.com)

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Casey Matthews (photo by Jessie Preza http://www.jessiepreza.com)

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Artwork by Casey Matthews, Design by Schulte Interiors, Photo by Jessie Preza

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Artwork by Casey Matthews, Design by Schulte Interiors, Photo by Jessie Preza

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Save the Ta-tas and Featured Artist for October

This upcoming weekend I am the featured artist at the Blue Door Art Studios (October 10th).  We are open late every Second Saturday of the Month, 5-8PM.  I will be celebrating 13 years in my studio!

Also, if you have not heard – it is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and I will be  raffling off my favorite pink painting!  My wonderful friend, Kerry Itami, was diagnosed with breast cancer a few months ago, so this cause is especially dear to my heart.  Proceeds of the raffle will go toward breast cancer awareness in Kerry’s honor and help fund mammograms for women in need. Tickets/entries are only $1 each!

Casey Matthews

Casey Matthews “Bottle Brush” (40×30)

I have been a painting fool this year and in the past few week I have shipped or delivered new work to Stellers Gallery in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL, Shain Gallery in Charlotte, NC, Addison Gallery in Delray Beach, FL, and Gallery Orange in New Orleans, LA.  Here are a few of my favorite paintings I just completed:

Casey Matthews

Casey Matthews “We Dodged the Bullet” (60×60)

Casey Matthews

Casey Matthews “The End of an Era” (60×72)

Casey Matthews

Casey Matthews “Drink the Kool Aid” (60×60)

Casey Matthews

Casey Matthews “Soft Scene” (30×48)

It seems that whenever I discover a new art product, my style tends to shift. I love that growth and self discovery. When I look at artists who don’t seem to evolve very much over the years, I wonder if they are dead inside (is that too harsh?).  First it was Fluid Acrylics that changed my life, now it is India Inks and Acrylic Gouache. I have really been able to achieve such vibrant colors as well as super subtle, yet powerful transparent washes.  It’s time to match the sofa to the art folks!  I’m really loving my work right now.  It is a total ass pain to work horizontal all the time (I need more space!) but I’m dealing with it.  I have been so busy – I’m not taking any new commissions until 2016!

Casey Matthews in the Studio

Casey Matthews in the Studio

I love striped shirts!  I think I have about 12+ of them.  I think I wear a different one several times a week.  It’s so very French, Picasso, Coco Chanel, Audrey Hepburn, Warhol-esque.  I channel my artist self, living in France on a sailing vacation overtime I wear one!

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