J O  M A T T I S O N
Bachelor of Fine Arts, La. Tech University, 1977

Since her grade-school days of winning art contests, Jo Mattison’s first love has been painting. Growing up in rural Louisiana and having little exposure to art, she painted and drew with whatever materials she could get her hands on. Her natural talent was recognized and encouraged by family and teachers, although she never saw books on artists let alone a museum until college.

For several years after earning her BFA, Jo exelled in the fields of interior design and decorative arts but ultimately came back to painting canvases.  From her experience doing frescoes on walls, Mattison discovered she prefers working with the blade of a trowel instead of with brushes.  She mixes tints into plasters to get texture on her large pieces and then layers in the composition.  Mattison turns out vibrant, luminous works inspired by Mark Rothko, Hans Hofmann, Clyfford Still and other abstract expressionists.

Mattison’s paintings have sold nationally and internationally since 1999 and can be seen in many private collections in the Dallas area.  Her largest commercial installation is Pegasus Bank in Dallas. A list of private collectors is available upon request.


Artist statement

Using only large palette knives and trowels, I paint large, abstract color-field paintings. Although I work in bold, vivid colors, I feel they soothe and stimulate at the same time. I begin a piece by doing a small study on paper with pastels. This gets the excitement going and propels me to the canvas.  Then, with lots of energy, I begin layering on a heavy textured base of tinted plaster with a trowel.  I layer color upon color and scrape back until I get the desired effect. I am always looking for that surprise that can be found underneath the layers of paint and plaster.   Another important aspect of my work is blending one color into another and changing the saturation throughout the piece. I am fascinated with the language of color and it is different for each individual. Even changing the shade of a color can evoke a different feeling.

Creating art is a liberating process that gives me energy and peace. It is fascinating to work and watch a piece come together even if it takes many weeks!  Sometimes, as I am going along, a piece will just create itself.  I love the unpredictability that comes with the process and this is a real driving force behind why I want to be in my studio all the time!  With my paintings I want to express otherwise inexpressible ideas and give the viewer a strong feeling of connection.  My plan is to create irresistible art that completely absorbs the viewer while providing an uplifting feeling.