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Kristian Matthews was born in 1978 in Livionia, MI.  As a young child, he showed artistic potential as he regularly entered and won coloring contests.  His artistic interests shifted toward creating humorous comic-style drawings as he progressed through his teenage years.  It wasn't until his first year at a community college that he began to explore the world of fine art, beginning with a class that focused on drawing from observation.  It soon became apparent that he had a knack for realistic, observation-based drawing, and he decided not long after to pursue a career in fine art.  In 2005, he began attending The School of the Art Institute of Chicago where he concentrated his efforts on painting the human figure.  After graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and suddenly finding himself without a model to paint, he decided to give plein air painting a shot.  Since then, he has created the vast majority of his art outdoors.

Kristian loves to capture the effects of light with paint.  He is drawn to dramatic lighting and enjoys finding the beauty in everyday scenes.


2007 Graduated from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois



Honorable Mention, Paint Dublin, Dublin, CA

1st Place, Lost Sierra Plein Air, Quincy, CA

1st Place, Lost Sierra Plein Air Quickdraw, Quincy CA

People's Choice, Lost Sierra Plein Air Quickdraw, Quincy, CA


Award of Merit, Frank Bette Plein Air, Alameda, CA

Early Bird Award, Mendocino Open Paint Out, Mendocino, CA

Honorable Mention, Mendocino Open Paint Out, Mendocino, CA

Honorable Mention, Capitola Plein Air, Capitola, CA


First Place, "Around and About Diablo," Walnut Creek, CA 


Third Place, People's Choice Award, Winters Plein Air Festival, Winters, CA 

Top Prize in Paint Livermore Plein Air Event, Livermore, CA


Second Place, California State Fair Plein Air Competition 


Third Place, Marin County Fair Plein Air Competition 


"Best Water Scene," Mendocino Open Paint Out, Mendocino, CA


Honorable Mention, Capitola Plein Air, Capitola, CA 



First Place in Quick Draw Event, "First Brush of Fall," Michigan City, IN  

First Place in Plein Air Category, "Art on the Island," Holland MI 

Third Place, "Paint Out the Town," Three Rivers, MI 


Second Place, "Art on the Island," Holland, MI 

Exhibit at Terryberry Gallery, Grand Rapids, MI