I recently had a chance to sit down and talk with a local artist, Matt Mason. Matt is a resident of Linton and lives here with his wife Elizabeth, daughter Quinn, and son Maddox. He is a heavy equipment operator by day and painter by night.
Niki: What do you think of The Lintonian local art scene? What do you think the future has in store?
Matt: I have honestly never stepped into the Carnegie. I actually was going to stop in today but they were closed. I’d like to see more art. Sculptures would be nice; big, center square kind of sculptures. I’d love to do it, but I don’t know where to begin. Where would you put it here? Who could you con into putting in their front lawn! I would like to see a dedicated graffiti wall. Something made of brick or cinder block; no nudity or profanity so to satisfy the masses. Just let whoever wants go at it. Once it gets to a certain point, paint over and let them go at it again.
Niki: How do you get ideas for your work?
Matt: They talk to me. They’re just there. They bother me until I put them on something.
Niki: What got you started in art and painting?
Matt: It was something for Quinn and I to do together. We each have our own easel and she uses her hands, fingers, brushes. Whatever she feels like using at the time.
Niki: Are you self-taught or were you formally educated?
Matt: The only art was in high school. I look around online to get answers to my questions. I have never taken a formal art class.
Niki: Where do you do most of your work? Do you have a shop, studio, etc.?
Matt: At home, I have a table in the corner of my house next to a large window. I have a tabletop easel.
Niki: What materials do you use: oil, watercolor, etc.?
Matt: I use all acrylic. I don’t have enough patience for oil to dry. I have hand drawn a few first, but not many.
Niki: Where do you get your supplies? There really isn’t much of a local choice.
Matt: Usually at Michael’s. I would love to see art supplies in town somewhere. If nothing else, maybe at Diana’s. Then again, she probably couldn’t compete with Michael’s.
Niki: Are there any artists or creators that you look to for inspiration?
Matt: Music; I just put my iPod on and listen to Pandora Radio. I try not to look at a lot of other stuff if possible. I don’t think that I’m creative enough to keep coming up with something on my own, so if I see something I like, I don’t want to be tempted into plagiarism.
Niki: What message do you want your artwork to send to others?
Matt: Whatever they can get out of it.
Niki: Which painting is your favorite and why?
Matt: I don’t know. I like State of Confusion a lot. I also like Gray Area. Sadly, those were some of my first ones.
Niki: What do you think about the art program for Linton-Stockton?
Matt: I wasn’t thrilled with the “termination€ of Dale French. I believe it was uncalled for. Linton’s idea of art is pathetic at best. People don’t see it, they don’t understand it. It’s all in the eye of the beholder. Everyone has their own opinion of what art is to them. I don’t think people understand it if they can’t buy a pre-framed pretty landscape or portrait at WalMart for five or ten bucks.
Niki: What advice do you have for inspiring artists?
Matt: Just do it. Do what they feel. If they feel like they need to enroll in a class to be better, then they should do it—whatever it takes to get your muse. If they want to paint on a county bridge to try it out, do it. At least until we get that graffiti wall up.
(Ed. Note: We at The Lintonian do not recommend painting on county bridges unless you are employed by said county, and are using an approved paint color. If you feel the need to paint a bridge, please purchase a bridge and place it on private property. We are not responsible for any lost or stolen bridges.)
Niki: So what is next for you?
Matt: I want to try painting on glass. I also might try a series on slate tiles. I would love to work on a piece of drywall. Cut and splice it into a new wall. I might try that, but I haven’t told the wife yet.