Painter Matt Anderson has a studio in Stockholm and describes himself as a "plein air" painter.

What type of art do you do?

I am primarily a "plein air" painter. Plein air is a French term translating roughly to "open air" meaning that I typically set up outdoors and paint from direct observation.

What draws you to this medium/media?

My primary medium is oil paints. Oil paints are preferable for being forgiving, staying workable for an extended period of time, and are admired by artists and viewers for their luminescent qualities. I find the practice of plein air painting challenging because one must compete with the elements occurring while you work including weather, spectators and insects. Painting outdoors also allows some time to really immerse myself in the scene, and spend time carefully contemplating the world around me.

A nature scene by Matt Anderson. Photo provided by Anderson.
A nature scene by Matt Anderson. Photo provided by Anderson.

How long have you been creating art?

I have been pursuing art seriously for a decade or so, though art-making has always been part of my life. Though painting is my primary focus, I love dabbling in various media, alongside the paintings in my gallery, you will find artistic repurposed lamps, some occasional furniture, and candles, all things that I make.

Are you working on a piece or project now?

I try to be making art regularly. When time permits, I'm in the field painting, and I'm often working on a project while my shop is open.

What inspires you to make your art?

Nature and my surroundings inspire and inform most of my art. I am constantly mentally logging scenes that I could see becoming a painting, it may be the way a group of buildings is clustered, the way a sunset plays on water, or the effect of fog or light on some scene. I am fortunate to live in the Mississippi River valley, that provides so much.

Who are your biggest influences?

I am drawn to many of the impressionists and post-impressionists, Money, VanGogh, Cezanne, some American painters like John Singer Sargent, the Canadian "group of seven" and many contemporary painters, including so many wonderful painters in the Twin Cities and Minnesota including Neil Sherman, Richard Abraham, Neil Sherman, Scott Lloyd Anderson, Derek Davis, and Carl Bretske.

Has the coronavirus pandemic impacted your art/work at all? How? Have you been able to work around it or adjust your creation process?

I've actually had more time to create, as my offseason gig is barkeeping. That said, the stresses of an uncertain summer devoid of many lucrative events, decreased foot traffic to my gallery has been stressful, and has made it more difficult to make paintings. It has led to some sort of a stress and depression induced paralysis, that has been a struggle to push through.

Anything else that you want to share about yourself or your work?

Folks can keep up with my work at my Instagram @mattandersonfineart, but more importantly, consider supporting local artists, many of whom live on limited means, and have been impacted pretty severely by the pandemic.