Dean Mattson has been making art in some form or another since he was 15.
The Rolla native started with cartoon sketches. After studying colour theory, he turned those cartoons into paintings.
His latest exhibit beyond the beyonds shows the evolution and transformation his work has gone through via a collection of about 43 paintings and 23 drawings that are hanging on the walls of the Dawson Creek Art Gallery until Sept. 29.
“The whole show is a retrospective of my work,” Mattson said. “I developed a painting style similar to my cartoons and then sort of expanded (from there).”
His work attempts to draw into another reality, he said.
“There’s a lot more there than what we can see,” he said. It’s like he is painting a whole other world.
What about that title?
“(It’s) from something my grandmother used to say when she was befuddled,” Mattson said. “When she would say ‘it’s beyond the beyonds,’ it meant she didn’t understand something. As far as my work goes, it would be beyond the beyonds. That saying suits my style and the scenes that I paint.”
Mattson had to borrow back most of the work that is on display at the gallery from its current owners. It’s a sign that after 25 years as an artist, he is finally starting to see some return.
“My stuff has been selling decently lately,” Mattson said.
It’s spread out across North America. Lots of course, in southern B.C. where he studied art, but he has also sold pieces to buyers in Ontario and as far as Louisiana.
“It takes a lot of years (to get recognized),” he said. “It’s finally starting to move. I still have a bit of struggling artist syndrome, though. It still might be years before I see much return.”
Mattson works in maintenance with the Peace River Regional District and as a carpenter.
He also dabbles in poetry and music.
— follow @mike_carter05 on Twitter.