Here's what Matt says about his paintings:
I have always been intrigued and somewhat envious of people who sit in public places sketching passersby. It’s a talent I could never develop. I’m a writer and I am more than okay with that.
Then one day I was watching over the shoulder of a young man flawlessly sketching a fellow commuter and it hit me—I can do this. Only not with graphite or pastels.
I can do it with words.
What fascinates me about this idea is when we view a portrait, we all pretty much walk away with a similar representation in our heads (all things being equal). If I say “Mona Lisa” for example, we create very similar images in our mind’s eye.
With a word portrait, image creation is left to the imagination, generated solely and wholly within the mind of the reader. And every image created will be as unique and nuanced as the person themselves.
Here are a few examples, named Orion, Joy, and Patch. I hope you enjoy meeting them. Someday, I’d like to collect enough to do an actual gallery showing where the art on display is nothing but text on a page. A place where you can let your mind be the artist. If I do it, I hope to see you there.
His ill-fitting suit hung awkwardly
from his oddly shaped frame,
all over-hangs and strange angles.
His hair swept back in thin,
A smug grin dissecting the Orion’s Belt of moles
strewn across his cheek.
Another, single mole perched
at the edge of his profile.
Like a comma at the end of an unturned page.
She smelled of cheap
Hobby Lobby candle.
Her clothing all black.
and strategically placed
factory crafted rips.
Her hair was thin.
Her skin, thick.
A tragedy in tanned hide.
The party had ended long ago.
But she’d be damned
if she’d admit it.
So she orders another drink on the plane
with an all-too-husky laugh that probably drew desirous gazes, once.
More smoke and roughness
The broad swatch of dark facial hair
Just beneath his lower lip
Looked like a misplaced mustache
that had been violently sneezed south.