Expressions free of limitations

By SHEA STANFIELD

ARTS COLUMNIST

Imagine expressing yourself free of limitations, this is the beginning of a life journey of discovery, creativity and brilliant success.

 

Local contemporary western painter Matt Josef has taken imagination without limitation to soaring heights and he’s not finished yet!

Born and raised in Oklahoma he considers himself blessed on a number of levels.

When he was still a toddler his parents dedicated a room in their home to making art.

 

Matt describes it as, “I had permission to make a mess. I drew and painted on the walls, floor, and even the furniture that occupied the room. Once I even painted my sister green and didn’t get in trouble for it because it was in the studio!”

 

You can bet his sister thought twice about entering Matt’s studio again.

 

Matt’s grandfather, Bill Knowles, was a dental lab technician for 65 years. He mentored his grandson in sculpting and etching techniques by introducing him to wax casting, woodcarving, jewelry and etching.

 

The opportunity to split time between the city of Bethany, OK with his parents, and summers with his grandparents on their farm in Purcell, OK, which was one of the best aspects of growing up.

 

All in all, the experiences of his youth have made Matt an intuitively creative and resourceful talent.

 

During the last 15 years Matt has been a full-time artist and painter. He did hold odd jobs over the years, typically in areas he could learn a new skill or have an experience that would further his creative mission.

 

One particular job was with an Oklahoma bike shop. The owner Mark, became a valued mentor instructing him in sales, working with customers and keeping track of the “business aspects” of being an entrepreneur.

 

Matt appreciates the time and effort Mark put into training him stating, “I’m not sure I would be where I am today in business without that experience.”

 

Matt moved to Arizona for the purpose of, “being closer to everything out west, the mountains, wide open spaces and the vast desert landscapes.”

 

Everything about it fit his lifestyle and he soon found the main market for his paintings in Scottsdale.

 

He maintains two studios, both in Jerome, where all his production takes place, finding constant inspiration from the terrain of central Arizona.

 

Matt freely admits he has so many ideas for work he doesn’t think it’s possible to run out of images to create. His ultimate goal, and the “heart behind his drive,” is to leave a legacy behind that inspires others.

 

From now through March 24, you can meet Matt at the Arizona Fine Art Expo, (arizonafineartexpo.com) and witness the “spark” of his contemporary western paintings for yourself. He is also showing at the Phippen Art Museum in Prescott May 25-27, 2019, (phippenartmuseum.org).

 

Matt’s boundless energy is transferred into everything he takes on, be it business, marketing, writing books, facilitating and philanthropy. He considers himself a visionary and designer in his life, after all, he is the author of his own life story and he is on his way to a best seller with all his interests and talents.

 

Matt invites you to visit his website to view his work, keep up with his exhibit schedule or contact him at, MattJosef.com.

 

Contact arts columnist Shea Stanfield on her email at: flowingquill@yahoo.com.