Why Do I Paint?

I'm often asked this question, or what makes me paint?

Oklahoma artist, Matthew R. Paden

I’ve always loved art — seeing it, learning about it, experiencing it, and creating it.

Perhaps, it's the unbridled freedom in expressing, and questioning the often chaotic world around me.

I paint because it feeds my soul when words fail, colors, and brash brush strokes upon a canvas convey an understanding at a deeper level. Doing something that I love, something that allows me to explore, and be in the moment, to experience the world in a fundamentally different way than I do most of my time — it’s such a precious gift. I have found over the years that when I ignore my calling to paint; I starve my soul. Depression, and anxiety eventually set in, and a feeling of frustration filters over me.

I paint to take care of myself; I feel alive when I’m painting - a natural high, a passion that burst out of me with force.

There are a multitude of emotions that I as an artist go through when creating a painting...

There is the...

...joy of seeing my vision translate by hand, the despair of a wrong brush stroke, the anxiety of using a new color, or the confidence of a repeated brushstroke, the tension of a precise stroke, or the aggravation of a stray brush hair on a wet canvas. The entire emotional journey undertaken is exhausting, and right there in front of you, and a portion of that journey remains there upon the canvas when finished...

...as time goes by, painting chronicles my life journey. When I look back at my early drawings, and paintings, I see something – something that was once me. Now, the style, subject, composition, and fervor have evolved. An expression, a piece of my soul forever etched allowing others to experience, and question.

I'm also often asked why do I paint in the style I do?

"Sponge Cake Paradise" by Matthew R. Paden

The past two years; I've been creating a series of work entitled. "Famous Faces" which depicts icons from the 60s, 70s, and 80s in a contemporary abstract style.

it's no fun painting the things I see around me the way they are – within the confined dimensions of reality. Painting to me, is about exaggerating, and being bold. Not being afraid of stepping outside the pivotal box that society likes to put everyone in.

I encourage young artists to be BOLD. Have FUN.

One of the ways in which I achieve this in my body of work is by using vivid colors, and brash brush strokes - usually in an unnatural way. Which is also why I've branded myself with the name, "Savvy Palette."

Where Do My Ideas Come From?

As an artist; I sometimes have a specific ideas I want to paint, and I begin with it, but as time, and colors go by, the outcome becomes something totally different. It's important to let this process develop on it's own - it shouldn't be hindered, or forced into something it's not meant to be. This process of allowing can be difficult, but time and time again I have found that when I do let a painting speak it becomes something even more brilliant.

What About Artist Block?

Of course there are times when a blank canvas stares back at me, and nothing seems to flow. The blank canvas remains there empty. Frustration brews, but the process can't be forced. It has to come natural from within... The clock ticks... sometimes hours. Sometimes days until a painting is ready to be commenced.

Contrary to this struggle there are spontaneous moments in the studio where a flash of ideas pour, and multiple canvas are covered in paint during a single session. This is why art is not, and can not be on a fixed schedule.

It is when the artist’s vision, or imagination extends/stretches beyond the obvious constraints of "normal" that art begins to take on life, and that makes me feel at my most comfortable. it has spoken and is why I paint..

#artistlife #savvypalette #thesavvyartist


The Savvy Artist

Starting my artistic journey in 1997, the desire to create art that I attained soon became an unyielding obligation to myself to explore the inner mechanism of my creative consciousness.


From small sketches to large scale projects, my art is a highly-personal reflection of myself.

I’ve been lucky enough to have participated in many collaborative projects, as well as exhibiting in a solo capacity, which has solidified my reputation in the art world.


If you would like to find out more about my process, get in touch.

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© 2017 - 2020 by Matthew R. Paden. All Rights Reserved.