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  • Writer's pictureShea Stanfield

Life as a Landscape

Charles Lindberg wrote, "Life is like a landscape. You live in the midst of it but can describe it only from the vantage point of distance." Artist Matthew Killick provides us with the opportunity to describe the various landscapes of our inner and outer worlds through his medium of oils. Born at Stanford University Hospital in California, Matthew grew up on the great plains of Alberta, Canada, in Calgary. He credits his creativity to the lack of creativity in his environment, an interesting juxtaposed perspective on his landscapes from childhood.

Matthew claims his most significant influence was the Group of Seven. He explains, "The Group of Seven was known as the Algonquin School of landscape painters. The group was founded in 1920 as an organization of self-proclaimed modern artists that disbanded in 1933." Matthew comments, "I am distantly related to A.Y. Jackson, a painter who was a leading member of the group that remade the visual image of Canada." Today, Matthew proudly displays a few drawings and paint sketches from his ancestor in his home studio.

The turning point in Matthew's life was enrolling in an introductory art class at the University of Montana. "I entered a state of bliss while doing a self-portrait for the class, and I knew art was my calling," True to his vision and inspiration, he completed his B.A. in Art with a certification in education. Soon after graduation, Matthew accepted a job as an elementary Art teacher at Heatherbrea Elementary School in Phoenix, Arizona. Matthew knew it was time to step off the edge into a full-time art career twelve years later. He describes it as, "I took over the family dining room table, went to work, and never looked back."

Matthew reveals, "I remember admiring artists for being brave and leading their lives with an artistic lifestyle unconcerned with materialistic, greedy, and competitive outlooks. I also remember thinking art was one of the few things you can dedicate your whole life to and never get bored because you are always growing, improving, and learning." This commitment is demonstrated in Matthew's actions; he draws or paints every day and is focused on the long haul in expressing his creative perspective. Matthew shares that creativity isn't a problem for him; in fact, controlling all the ideas and editing the ideas that come to him is the trick. He muses, "I constantly switch from art I do for the gallery in Scottsdale and the fun stuff that I create just because."

"Life is like a landscape. You live in the midst of it but can describe it only from the vantage point of distance."

Experiencing Matthew's work, one would think it's all destined for an environment in someone's home or office; the pieces are mesmerizing. His work includes a peaceful winter landscape with a solitary barn or an old gas station from a bygone era. The images are thought-provoking and soul-moving, all rendered in Matthew's casually detailed style. Matthew paintings are on exhibit at On the Edge Gallery in Scottsdale, Arizona, and on his website. The spirit of creativity continues to inspire Artist Matthew and guides him through a multitude of subjects and ideas.


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