When artist Matthew Cutter looks at a weathered, whitewashed frame structure, he sees more than an old house. In his mind’s eye, he sees the “temperature” of every shade of white ― the light, the shadow, the contrast. Then he finds the composition in a part of the scene that will draw the viewer in and evoke emotion. Further, Cutter has the ability to translate his vision onto canvas in oil or acrylic.
Cutter & Cutter Fine Art in St. Augustine hosted an artist’s reception Dec. 6 to reveal some of Cutter’s new works, including “Seasoned,” a 15×20 acrylic on crescent board that won Best of Show in the National Oil & Acrylic Painters’ Society’s 2019 Best of America National Juried Exhibition. He noticed the building on a family trip to Tennessee and knew he had to paint it. His goal was to capture a site that was once a vibrant part of the community, but now sat abandoned and in disrepair.
“I was quite happy with the end result, juxtaposing warms and cools, darks against lights, and hopefully pulling out an emotional connection for the viewer,” Cutter remarked on the NOAPS website.
Maryanne Jenner attended the reception to view Cutter’s most recent works. She has three of his paintings hanging in her St. Augustine home.
“His work is peaceful and serene,” she said. “It draws you in and makes you feel good. I need that in my life.”
While Cutter paints mostly landscapes and seascapes, his style, technique and medium changes depending on the situation. He stretches from realism to impressionism, then further to abstract.
“I’m not trying to make it look like a photo,” Cutter said. “I try to put how I feel into it.”
Michael and Nada Burleson began collecting Cutter’s work about three years ago, describing his early work as “very vivid.” One of their pieces is of an approaching storm. “I liked the way the sky and ocean contrast with each other,” Michael Burleson said.
On Saturday, Dec. 7, Cutter was in the gallery for a live painting demonstration. “It’s pretty fun to paint in front of people,” Cutter said. “In some ways, I think you concentrate more.”
View Matthew Cutter’s exhibition in St. Augustine through Dec. 31. His work can be seen at both locations throughout the year. Cutter & Cutter Fine Art galleries are located at 25 King Street in St. Augustine and Sawgrass Village Shopping Center, 333 Village Main St. in Ponte Vedra Beach. For more information, visit cutterandcutter.com.