Matthew David Grant
Since I was young, I have always enjoyed art. In my early years I enjoyed drawing superheroes and athletes. At the age of five, I learned how to draw the “S” symbol on Superman’s chest and drew countless pictures of him and other Justice League Characters. As a senior at JJ Pearce High School in Dallas, I won the District Art Competition and then went on the win the Area Grand Prize. When my drawing went on to state, I finished 3rd overall in Texas for the school year of 1992-93. In 1993 I received a half-tuition art scholarship to Southern Utah University.
In 2004, I began making efforts to try and become a portrait artist. I bought how-to videos by Daniel Greene and John Howard Sanden. I started with pastels and did several pastel portraits for family and friends. I bought a Canon Digital Rebel and worked on developing my photography skills. In
2005, I picked up oil painting and began making efforts to learn color. In 2006, I went to a workshop hosted by Michael Shane Neal. I also began going out to Santa Fe, NM on business and to visit with Anthony J. Ryder, a well-known Portrait Artist. He taught me many techniques that helped me drastically in overcoming some of my weaknesses. I reached out to Robert Barratt, an Illustration Professor at BYU he told me about a good school he knew of out in San Francisco, the Academy of Art University.
I was accepted to the MFA Program in Fine Art Painting and began taking classes in 2009. Over the next several years, I ebbed and flowed with what I wanted to focus on. I came to school with the intention of becoming a Portrait Painter and teaching at a University. In fact, when I came to my midpoint review, my original final project was to do a set of 10 portraits for a portfolio for application to the portrait agencies in the Southeast. By 2012, I was becoming increasingly disenchanted with the idea of doing portraits.
It was at this point that I walked into Southwest Gallery in Dallas, TX. I had not considered gallery art at this point, but I did like the idea of painting a genre that I enjoyed and then finding a group of collectors that would appreciate my work. Warren Chang was really my inspiration for this. Living in the Southwest, I have the advantage of being around cattle, longhorns, and working cowboys. Today, I am represented by Southwest Gallery and have a career as an artist focusing on the American West.