Matt Beyrer: Taking a Bite Out of the Art World

Matt Beyrer: Taking a Bite Out of the Art World


Being attacked by a shark can really change
your life. In my case, I became an artist. Went surfing one day, paddled out. When I was about, I don’t know, 20 feet past
the shore break, I felt something tug on my foot and, god,
I instantly turned around and saw a tail go back in the water. and, when I looked at my foot and saw a bunch
of jagged cuts, bleeding down the back end of my foot, screaming in open water, I realized I had
just gotten bit by a shark. I got rushed to the hospital after that, which
I later learned that I had been bitten by a 7 to 8 foot hammerhead shark. I was laid up in bed and, with nothing else
to do, I was flipping through the channels, watching TV, and came across “The Joy of Painting
with Bob Ross” and instantly wanted to try to do what he
was doing. The idea of painting into wood grain came
about when I was building a frame for a commissioned painting and I ran out of stain. Instead of taking the easy route, I ended
up going the harder way and screwed up the frame and, from that point forward, I just
started painting into the grains of wood. Next thing you know, I had a horizon, a mountain,
and the wood grain going through the sky and water and I realized I was onto something. When I finally find the pieces of wood I want
to paint into, I bring them back to my shop, I cut them up, and prepare the boards, depending
on what color pallettes I’m trying to accomplish, whether it’s warm or cool, I’ll have to either sand and use a torch to
burn and whitewash the panel or just paint into the natural grain. For me, the biggest challenge is finding the
right piece of wood. I owe my artistic career to two things: a hammerhead shark and Bob Ross.

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