Mark Matson

Historical Artist / Illustrator

About the Artist

Mark Matson’s representational pen and ink drawings and paintings of wildlife and people come to life through careful study and sensitive line and brush work. A central theme to his work, which varies in subject matter from Native American dances to ice age animals, is the celebration of life with all its tensions, nuances, emotions, and hopes. These qualities are echoed in the artist’s expressive, linear style and tonal variation in his work.

Mark Matson has been drawing since childhood and received private instruction in classical oil painting. However, he has worked to find a balance between his creative and analytical sides. He studied chemistry and natural sciences before completing an interdisciplinary degree in scientific illustration and museum exhibition at the University of Alaska Anchorage. His degree included illustration and life drawing with Hugh McPeck and Dee Boyles, who encouraged him to use thumb nailing and sketchbooks for developing graphic ideas. The combination of compositional and problem solving skills gained from his science studies has helped him do what he enjoys most: recreating historical scenes that are accurate in detail and well composed.

Originally from Massachusetts, the artist now lives in Aroostook County in Northern Maine where he finds inspiration for his art in the abundant wildlife and local history. Mark Matson has received awards and recognition for his work. His illustrations of Alutiiq Native dances were included in the “Looking Both Ways Exhibition” and were displayed at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in 2004.