Collectors of Matricism
In 1999, I was introduced to Christian Seidler who had just moved to the area as one of the top portraitists in Texas. At that time, he was involved in developing a modern art form that was different than anything I had seen before. He didn’t believe our gallery was the right venue for his new work. He had been involved in building a new collection of paintings in his unique technique that he called Matricism. For a gallery devoted to traditional art forms, I wasn’t sure if we could market such works but there was something about them that drew me. It took a while but I finally convinced Christian to let me display them to see the public’s reaction.
From the day we hung Christian’s collection, the face of the gallery changed. I had never had an art form that appealed to such a wide variety of people, paintings that could literally draw people from the other side of the street into the gallery. They wanted to see them, touch them, to learn everything they could about them. Some would just come in and sit for long periods of time, contemplating the subject, wondering how they were constructed, and just wanted to talk about them. One late afternoon a group of men on a hunting trip came into town for dinner still dressed in their camouflage. As they passed the gallery, they saw Christian’s paintings through the window and stopped. I was about to close, but they asked if they could come in and see them. As they walked around studying each piece, I asked them what was it about Christian’s work that appealed to them so much. One of the gentleman said, “It’s the math! There is simplicity in the designs yet this complexity in the dots.”
Everyone has seen Pointillism but with Christian’s work there is an energy, a motion of patterns within the dot work. The viewer can tell there is a fusion of designs within the color of the painting. With Matricism, the themes of unseen subjects dominate, such as the wind or heat, or patterns that represent love, enlightenment, or emotion. It takes the viewer time to see the patterns but once one starts to understand the technique they start to see the message Christian is trying to convey. It’s a very powerful reaction that draws the person in and creates an attachment.
In my gallery experience, the series on angels Christian created was the most powerful. What was surprising was that every angel painting I sold was purchased by a man. One evening just before closing, a gentleman came in and said he wanted to purchase an angel painting of Christian’s that was still in the window. I had just sold the entire inventory of 26 paintings that week and didn’t have another one. The gentleman asked if I would call the buyer and ask him if he would sell this angel at a modest profit. Knowing the collector had purchased for the long investment and that he would not be interested, I suggested we call Christian. This introduction brought together two leading men of their individual professions and as you know from this website that Dr. John Randall, created the technology that gave Christian the ability to continue work in his intricate style of thousands and thousands of dots.
I arranged for the sale of another collection of Christian’s work from a collector in Japan to my largest collector in Texas. I found that collectors and individuals became passionate about Christian’s Matricism works once they understood the uniqueness of his technique and work. My experience with Christian’s work as a gallery owner was not only exhilarating, but satisfying and financially rewarding. While I am no longer a gallery owner, I continue to represent Christian with his portraits and Pointillism as well as supporting Christian and his unique talent whenever and however possible.
To work with art galleries, an artist must focus on a style and subject that appeals to a specific clientele. In my career, I have always been focused on research and study into the ways artists have applied paint to a canvas. My degree is in Art Education and I used what I was leaning along the way to support myself through portraiture. The portrait painter is the lone wolf of the art world. We usually represent ourselves through client referral and pounding the pavement with our French easel. Galleries have never been an effective medium for marketing portraiture with the exception of a few dedicated portrait galleries back east. I have enjoyed it for it gave me total freedom to be a loner in my art of discovery. In 2008 I started work on my series on Caddo Lake. It was a magical place and made me feel I was going back to ten thousand BC. It gives me the perfect subject to explore a vast range of color theory. Matricism is easy to learn, you create yourself a map to follow, but the physics of color is extremely challenging and fun. You have endless combinations of color to explore, compliments, tri compliments, etc. Every color has a vibration just like a single note of sound. You start placing different color dots closely together and you can create harmony with multiple frequencies just like in music. It is very hard to find a subject that offers the opportunity to give such a quantity of challenging subject matter. Hence I have been creating my first series of paintings for the gallery industry.
Creating a line of art for the gallery industry executed in the excruciating and debilitating technique of Pointillism would have been impossible a decade ago. I challenge anyone to walk into any gallery and find paintings done in Pointillism by a living contemporary artist. This is where my robotics really shine! It gives me the ability to create at a speed that cuts my cost and time for production by seventy percent. This is the power of technology at its best! With robotics, Pointillism can now be produced at a price point that makes it a viable style for the gallery industry. My work still holds all the integrity of any of my hand done paintings. They take even more intellectual study and challenge my command of color beyond anything I have tackled in my career. It is placing the dabs of paint on the canvas that I can do thirty-two times faster with my robotic arm than I could with my flesh and bone version.
The following paintings represent two years of developing my current landscape style. The first painting below was created in 2008 with 9 values of every color used. By 2009, I had increased the value range to 18 value steps from light to dark for every color used in a painting. By the end of 2009, I had moved from using 9 dots of paint per square inch to applying 25 dots of color per square inch. This was not easy and by hand it would have taken a decade to reach this performance level where as with a robotic arm I have done it in just two years. You've got to love robotics!
I fell in love with Caddo Lake when I first came to East Texas for an education initiative in 1999. It was not until 2007 that I decided on an approach and turned to the work of Seurat as inspiration. The first challenge was to learn how to make my painting tool create the same paint texture that Seurat achieved with his brushes. I wanted to give my clients and galleries nothing less in quality than the master himself. This first painting of Caddo Lake Cypress Trees is one of the first where I kept my values to nine and used a very limited palette of colors. This work is on a 30 x 40 inch canvas that consist of 82,443 dots of paint.
In the detail provided, you can see that my dotting style sets the dots side by side with very small specs of the black canvas seen between dots. This approach was very nice in showing individual color harmonies of the colors but limited me in detail and visual reality when viewing at a distance. I wanted to give my viewer the experiences of the beauty and power of the pointillist technique and the visual experience of the lake. This required me to study a new way of applying my pigments so to increase the visual realism and to apply a more involved color theory.
In this next painting of Caddo Lake titled “The Blue Heron” you can see the combination of Impressionistic Realism and Pointillism merging into its own style of Pointillism.
In the detail of Blue Heron, you can see that the dabs of paint over lap and pile on to a heavier degree than earlier works. In the Cypress of Caddo above consist of an average of 12 dots of paint per square inch. In Blue Heron, there is an average of 16 dots per square inch with a total of 194,846 dots with this larger 36 x 48 inch canvas. With some painting designs, the saturation of dots used in this painting is near perfect but in others, I still found it inadequate.
It took two years to reach the level of performance that satisfied my demands. Now in the year of 2010, at the age of fifty eight I am introducing my art of Caddo Lake to the public and gallery industry.
This painting completed March 10th 2010 is my latest painting of Caddo Lake. This painting has achieved a Pointillist stype that meets all my expectations. “Caddo in the Fall” was created with 108 separate tones of color. This called for 108 different tubes of individually mixed pigment. As you can see in the detail image, I have packed 25 dots of paint into every square inch of this canvas giving us a total of 321,328 dots of paint. The canvas is totally saturated with pigment in a rich vibrant texture. I feel I have also achieve a new level of detail and heightened sense of visual realism not seen in pointillist works of the past
Though I use robotics and can paint at incredible speeds, the complexity of planning, programming, and executing such a painting is a very complex and time consuming process. Still, what I create in two months would have taken Seurat a year to paint. These are paintings that simple would not exist if not for the development on Matricism and our enabling robotic technology. They represent a new footnote in the history of the visual arts!
I wish to invite the interest of dealer, collector and aficionado alike. If you find you have questions I look forward to your inquiries.