His rendering of the beach as the setting for the variations on the theme is perfect. The manner in which the horizon line of the beach separates the characters from the "stranger" and from one and other is masterful. The simple representation of palm trees, surf and sky is pleasing and sets back for the characters to take center stage. Then he adds the humorous fish skeleton, the crawling jungle roots and the simple surf-lines to create the expressive place for the action.
The characters of Xavier, Khua and Mo, a mother and the "stranger" are comical yet expressive of each characters personality. There are two things I love about these pieces. The cover image of a young man holding a knife and approaching a stranger has such an attitude. The angling of the hips and shoulders and the raising of the foot completely captures the action and intent behind the young man. The other thing I love is the use of color. I chose the knife image for the cover because of the color. It is strong and the red shirt foreshadows the blood that is to come. The day, his shirt and the lines around his figure are bright and strong, as if your senses are heightened. As they should be if you are about to witness a knife fight. Then, in the last image, the color is muted to express the loneliness found in the Xavier character at the end of the story as he walks off pondering his father's instruction.
Matt is a very active artist on the Twin Cities scene, making his own art while also working with a group of artists called Rogue Citizen. Together they perform live paintings at concerts and paint murals. To find out more about Matt and his art, check out www.lizardmanart.com
To read the first story, Bartholomew Makes a Decision, go to The Book of Bartholomew. And check out Matt's illustrations in Gerald Teaches a Life Lesson this Friday, October 12, 2012.