Five years ago local artist Matthew Osgood was working at the Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe. Before that he worked in the restaurant industry in Southern California. Reinventing himself after a divorce he went to art school, taking woodworking, drawing, painting and foundry classes.
“I came here to heal and grow,” says the artist seated on a couch in his studio. Large prints of aspen trees and sweeping landscapes of the wild, churning blue waters of Lake Tahoe hang around the room.
A beautiful painting of a nest with blue eggs looms over my head. It was during a staff meeting at the Ritz-Carlton when the need for some artwork for one of the walls was brought up. Osgood volunteered to create a piece. He created a large-scale painting of “The Nest” on canvas, which still hangs there today, and another for his home.
This multi-medium artist who paints, builds wood furniture, art pieces and light fixtures left his job in the restaurant industry to turn toward his passion for art painting murals. His friend Sara Fay of the DesignBar in Truckee asked him if he could build a few things for her clients. Things grew from there.
His large-scale landscape paintings are realistic and alive with movement. Inspiration for Osgood comes from his walks in nature.
“The most important part of this is I hike every day for direction. It’s a reset button and guides me as to what I am going to do each day,” says Osgood, whose artistic dream is to have his work hanging in a museum one day. Georgia O’Keefe is one of his inspirations. He’s currently building the bar in the new Pub at Donner Lake.
“I learned to do as many mediums as possible and create my ideas. I create beauty and keep it simple. The simplest things are the best,” says Osgood.
When asked to paint Tahoe scenes he looks to catch the feel and motion of the lake or the aspens and how the color hits them or he explores painting from a different angle.
“What is it about the aspens against the blue sky?” he asks as he jumps up and points to the painting on the wall. “It’s about stop, look and listen and it’s the little things around us that are most important. The color, the way it moves, light striations. If you look at the painting from a distance, you see the whole; but if you step in close, you can see the brush strokes and the dot-dash-dot.”
Osgood also is one of the working artists teaching at The Painted Vine events.
“It’s good to get out of the studio. When I teach, I tell people to stop thinking about it so much. Your intuitive self will come out if you let it. Let that process of intuition come through.
“Rules are: brush in water, have fun and if you need help, ask,” he says.
Osgood’s passion for our natural landscape is evident. He shows a piece he just created of a road that hangs at Summit Swirl Yogurt in Truckee. His art is available for purchase in Bluestone Jewelry & Wine in downtown Truckee
“As a painter you are putting your soul out there. The biggest reward isn’t the money, it’s when people look at [the painting] and it evokes an emotion,” he says.
Osgood is looking to branch out. Next fall he’s hiking the Camino De Santiago where he will look for inspiration: “I keep painting and never know what’s going to come. I’ll keep creating and the universe will provide.” | matthewosgoodart.com