Matt Lewis’ piece titled S.L. #134 is an oil painting on canvas. Unfortunately the image doesn’t do the piece justice because the thickness of the paint body and impasto areas aren’t visible. Lewis’ work is indicative of landscapes, but when he is creating that isn’t his goal. In fact he doesn’t have an image or design in mind at all before he starts his process. Instead of planning he lets the work evolve with him and allows it to become what it wants. The entire process is entirely subconscious, that is until he is nearing completion when he changes the color relationships within the work.
They are a type of spiritual exploration for Lewis, a type of meditative process when his surroundings disappear and he is one with the work in front of him. Some might think of this as a mindless way of painting, but it’s quite the opposite. Rather than allowing his conscious mind to make decisions of what to do and how to do it, he uses his subconscious to create color and formal relationships that feel almost unnatural at times. They feel unnatural because he isn’t taking complete influence from his surroundings, which allows him to create these quasi dreamscapes. In fact they can be seen as landscapes or as purely abstract paintings. This balance between abstract and representational forms is not an easy task to have work harmoniously, but Lewis does it in spades. So when observing his paintings let the part of your mind that does’t make decisions take over, let the artwork transcend what you know, let yourself become a piece of it and it a piece of you.