Baltimore-based artist Liza Hathaway Matthews invites you to travel to a familiar place, a favorite beach or traveled countryside, when looking at her most recent body of work entitled “Escaping”. Liza’s use of color, texture, and eye-catching metallics in her collection of abstract paintings work together to communicate a recognizable experience for its audience.
Noteworthy sat down with Liza to learn more about her as an artist, what inspires her paintings, and the upcoming Harding Art Show next month in Nashville.
Noteworthy: Tell us a little about your background. How did you get started painting?
Liza: I graduated from the Maryland Institute College of Art with a major in interior design and minor in painting. Upon graduation, I went into fundraising for years, which I loved! Along the way, I always kept my hand in the pot with interiors, helping friends and doing my own homes. It was not until my teenage daughter asked me six years ago to do a painting for her room did I put a brush to a canvas since graduating. I had taken a few workshops but had not done a formal piece for anyone. That is all it took and I was off painting pieces for friends, family, local designers, and eventually nationally. I look back at the piece in my daughter’s room as what catapulted me into something I love daily and has blossomed into the building of my brand.
Noteworthy: What inspires your work? Influences?
Liza: I am inspired daily by my surroundings, interiors, and magazines. But feel most inspired by the outdoors. I love color and contrast. I use quite a bit of green and metallics in my work. The metallics make things sparkle and give a three-dimensional feel, changing as you move and view the artwork. I love to use the color green, it feels environmentally friendly and we really appreciate its beauty when we are outside. While in our home we are always looking outdoors at our surroundings, using green in my artwork brings the color we love so much inside. We are fortunate to live on a lake, so the water is my inspiration daily especially with weather moving across it.
Noteworthy: As an artist, how do you stay fresh, creatively speaking?
Liza: I try to keep everything fresh with the different styles that I do. I have a style that can be seen as a depiction of a landscape, cityscape, or waterscape. The pieces have a visible horizontal line that usually has movement around it but your eye can rest on that horizontal line as well. I also love to do chinoiseries. I love flowers! This work is very abstract and usually branches with flowers cascading off in an off center format. I use a technique with oil on the wet paint that gives a dew-like effect. These paintings have been replicated on fabrics and are currently being offered on my website and Cotton and Quill. The fabrics have been a lot of fun to get into as I am building a brand and it brings my interest of interiors back into the equation. I am working on a line of pillows that I hope will be out sometime this summer. Stay tuned!
Noteworthy: What can we expect to see from you this year in terms of your work?
Liza: As an artist I have so many ideas swirling around my head daily. I wish I had more time to get them all down on a canvas. I really want to continue to work on my large canvases. I find my work makes such a statement if it is on a large canvas. I rarely go smaller then 30x40 or 36x36 anymore. I love a room with one huge piece of work and nothing else on the walls. I recently did a 60x72. It was a great exercise and gave me the inspiration to do more. It becomes so much more memorable. I would love to experiment with linens, sheets, and duvet covers as well as papers. I think my chinoiseries would look beautiful on beds. I have to say everyday my world is opened up to more possibilities, especially through social media. That has been a game changer for me! I think the options are endless.
Noteworthy: Tell us about the Harding Show coming up next month in Nashville, TN.
Liza: I am really excited to be participating in the Harding Art Show in Nashville, Tennessee this spring May 5-7. I have been working on a body of work (11-15 paintings) that have been entitled “Escaping”. These pieces fall under a common theme of landscapes, waterscapes, and cityscapes. I am excited as I think you will see how the use of colors with texture and metallics create movement throughout the paintings. I look forward to the exposure and being in Nashville.
Noteworthy: One word that describes you as an artist.
Liza: Can it be two? Daring and experimental. I love trying new techniques and ways to make multi-layers in my work. The three-dimensional feel makes me happy!
Liza Hathaway Matthews is a contemporary abstract artist and textile designer. Radiating a contrast of luminous color, graceful form, and texture, her paintings are inspired from nature, design, and pattern. Harmony and movement are evident in her work. Liza uses oil, acrylic, and charcoal pencil to complete her canvas. Liza lives in Baltimore, Maryland with her husband and three children. For more, visit www.lizahathawaymatthews.com or follow Liza on Instagram @lizahathawaymatthews.
Featured image, detail of "Batik" 36x36 oil, acrylic, and charcoal (The Harding Art Show).