Castles and Seascapes:
Hello, my name is Matt Meinhardt. I am an artist, surfer, and native of the Ocean City shore region of Maryland. I graduated from Flagler College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Art and have subsequently studied classical art practice at Watts Atelier in Encinitas, California. I have always explored many types of art, embarking on personal and professional projects that have ranged from murals to latex sculptures, "plein air" painting competitions to designing tee shirts for various surf and skate companies. Lately, as I expand my portfolio and my expertise, my focus has been on paintings of the sea, inspired by the environment of my upbringing and the artistic influences I’ve studied and learned from. My latest project, for which I’m enlisting your help, is to further my artwork in the old world Basque region of Spain to make a collection of paintings, drawings, and photographs to be exhibited in a hardcover book.
With your support, I hope to travel to Spain for one month to paint and work, returning to finish the inspired pieces in a studio. The trip is for both experience and art—but the artwork created there is for you, the supporters. It’s a means of allowing people who support my art to purchase it while also helping to further my studies.
On this trip, I will be painting in and traveling through the greater Biscay region of Basque Spain, from the sea and into local communities, guided only by local knowledge and inquisitive exploration. My mission is to document the beauty of this region’s land and sea by means of:
Large studio paintings
Seascape and landscape paintings- 12"x 16"inches
"plein air" paintings (or on location observational painting)
A Hardcover book ;containing the complete body of work
... as well as
Why and how can you help? (And get your hands on some art?) See below!
Castles and Seascapes is an undertaking in the classical style of art study, focused on the Basque region’s eponymous seascapes and architecture. The project will be comprised of an initial set of photography, observational studies (sketches), painting studies and compositional studio oil paintings, as well as large paintings using oil paints. Upon completion the resulting work will be exhibited in a project hardcover book.
Including the month of travel, this work will take up to 4 months to complete with additional studio time to make studies, more technical drawings and paintings, and the ultimate labor intensive massive illustrative paintings that will finalize the project.
The first rewards to be shipped will be limited solely to work completed on the trip; the Plein air paintings, observational drawings and postcards, which are the $5, $25, and $50 rewards. Studio paintings will be completed in the order they are listed. Packages containing a Hardcover book will be the final production stage and sent out upon completion of the whole project.
Growing up in a small coastal town on the Atlantic Ocean, I have always been thrilled, comforted, sustained, and humbled by the natural landscape around me, particularly the sea. The seaside has been a constant aesthetic and thematic inspiration for me. The paradoxical dynamic nature (both tidal and meteorological) of such an eternal, monolithic, and primordial entity as the ocean produces an effect I find both visually arresting and psychologically provoking. This reappears over and over in my work. Later, it would be married with old world techniques.
In high school I had the opportunity to travel to Spain with my Spanish class. I didn’t expect how moved I would be by the old Spanish architecture and landscapes. It hit me like a cup of European coffee: The rolling hills with ancient castles, my imagination going haywire with history.
In college I studied works by Rembrandt and other 17th century artists and was particularly inspired by their marine paintings; later, at Watts Atelier, I learned to replicate these Masters, especially Fredrick Waugh, Edward Cooke and Ivan Aivazovsky. Their paintings invoked that same experience I had when I was in Spain: The ability to be lost in imagination and inspiration within a powerful and timeless historical setting. It was the same experience I use to have when history class would start, a story beginning and as my right hand instinctively starting to doodle profusely. Now, I often set up an easel along the cliffs and rocky beaches of southern California to try to translate that same feeling through Plein air paintings, wild yet majestic.
Through these experiences, the idea of the trip hit me. Inspired by the rocky coastline of California, the unforgiving atmospheric and sea conditions of the Mid-Atlantic, and my love of the old world, I set my sights on the paintings of Europe. Basque Spain was the vision! This is a land known for its mysterious history and stormy, violent wave activity, forces which drew me in—and which will draw out truly exceptional art.
This dream can be possible with your help! All donations big and small make a difference. Please do anything you can to help me reach my goal.
Where does the money go?
The biggest expenses are getting there and getting around. Just room and board alone for a month will be about $2,400. To fulfill the overhead for reward cost will be almost $3,000. The rest is for transportation and supplies. Kickstarter and bank fees will also account for 5%.
Risks and challenges
anyone who has traveled in a foreign country knows, there are always potential barriers in upset travel plans, finding places to stay, producing materials, and navigating the land. I have planned for all, but hiccups can occur.
I aim to complete and safely transport home 20 plein air paintings in my time there, as well as the other artwork, which will pose a challenge in travel and time management.
I aim to explore enough of the region to see a vast array of sites and views in order to product varied scenes; getting to as many as possible will be a challenge but one I feel is easy to overcome given my explorative nature.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)