World of color
Tulsa transplant makes people happy with whimsical paintings.
Wendeline Matson typically participates in at least two major shows per year, whether as a solo artist or within a small group of featured artists. The galleries that showcase her work also host numerous group shows each year that exhibit Matson’s paintings.
A blur of color. That’s how painter Wendeline Matson saw the world as a child.
Those who know Matson know color is the heart of her work. But at 9 years old, she says the world was a blur until she went to the eye doctor. She left with glasses and remembers seeing the pattern on her bedroom wallpaper for the first time.
It was around that age Matson had an epiphany. In fourth grade, she entered a papier-mâché hot air balloon in a school art contest, and it won a prize.
“From that moment on, I just knew art was what I was good at,” Matson says. “Once I realized it was my thing, I took it and ran with it.”
Thousands of paintings later, art is Matson’s day job. She shows in three galleries: M.A. Doran Gallery in Tulsa; Giacobbe Fritz Fine Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico; and Jules Place in Boston. Her paintings are described by some as “innocent realism,” swimming in colors.
Over the past 15 years of her career, her color palette has evolved, but she always comes back to
“Many of my paintings are inspired by my time spent on the family farm in rural Arkansas when I was a kid,” Matson says. “My iconography comes from experiences and journeys I’ve had along the way since then. My colors come from things I’ve seen throughout my life. I am always adding new imagery.”
A native of Texarkana, Texas, she still calls it home. While attending college in Fayetteville, Arkansas, she met her husband, Shane, and in 2003 they moved to Tulsa near his family. Matson, who was represented by M.A. Doran before she moved to Tulsa, calls the move an easy transition.
Today the Matsons have two boys, Miller, 9, and Paulo, 7. Each day starts at 6:02 a.m., followed by the morning rush. Matson walks Miller and Paulo to school, then stops by her favorite coffee shop.
After that, it’s off to the studio. She doesn’t have far to go; her studio is nestled behind her house. Matson spends her days creating, but she has the liberty to lock the door and enjoy the weekends with her family.
The family collects art from several artists with different styles. Every so often, Matson says, she wants to hang on to one of her own paintings, but inevitably she sells it in a show like the recent one at M.A. Doran that showcased her new work.
Clients say her paintings make them happy and remind them of a wonderful time or feeling.
“It’s more than just a painting job for me at that point,” Matson says. “I like for my paintings to make people feel good and remind them of a good time or a happy place.”
Learn more about Matson at www.wendelinematsonart.com.