21 Under 31: Young Artists to Watch in 2015 | Matthew Sterbenz


Matthew Sterbenz, Howard’s Place, oil, 12 x 12.

Matthew Sterbenz, Howard’s Place, oil, 12 x 12.

Art Education: Bachelor of Fine Arts from Arizona State University in Tempe.

Style: The majority of my work is painted en plein air, and I reference my outdoor sketches for my studio pieces. I tend to work with a bright, full spectrum of colors.

Creative Spark: Nothing gets me inspired quite like great light. I especially love the way light plays on rocks in the desert landscape, influencing color in both bold and subtle ways.

Second-Choice Career: Some kind of engineer. My family is full of them.

Other Passions: Hiking, wood-working, and writing music.

One Thing People Don’t Know About You: I owe my painting career to Bob Ross. I grew up watching his television show, and after begging and pleading with my parents, I got a set of oil paints. I must have been about 7 or 8 years old.

Pet Peeve: Phthalo Blue and Naples Yellow. I won’t go anywhere near those colors. They work their way into everything and overpower it.

Quirkiest Trait: I tell cheesy jokes. I think I’m probably the only one amused by them.

Favorite Studio Music: When 
I’m painting outdoors I prefer to listen to nature, but in the studio I play everything from classical to Jimi Hendrix.

Favorite Work by Another Artist: LOOKING DOWN YOSEMITE VALLEY, CALIFORNIA by Albert Bierstadt.

Future Goals: I want one of my landscapes to hang in the White House. It’s best to aim high, right?

Price Range: $400 to $1,500.

Featured in the September 2015 issue of Southwest Art magazine–click below to purchase:
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