Inside the Studio

Matthew Dibble

What are the major themes you pursue in your work?
A certain persistence is required to be fearless in the studio and committed to painting.  My current motif is abstraction and collage. In the last few years, I have been editing my work, taking paintings off the stretchers, cutting them up and re-configuring them, discovering new compositions in the process. I have also been taking old canvases off their frames, turning them around, and painting on the raw side.

What was the best advice given to you as an artist?
“Never exhibit any badly crafted or unresolved artwork.” This good advice was given to me by my art history teacher. First impressions mean everything, and we don’t know who is looking. A good opportunity might be missed if I decide to “mail it in.”

Prefer to work with music or in silence?
I listen to the high lonesome sound in the studio. Vintage country and Appalachian roots music set the tone for a good painting session.

If you could only have one piece of art in your life, what would it be?
I would like to own the painting Bibemus Quarry by Paul Cezanne.

Who are your favorite writers?
I have been an avid reader of a wide variety of authors and themes since I was very young. I don’t have a favorite. I recently cleared off my esoteric book shelf. Reading is a good pastime, but I find it a very passive activity.  It’s thrilling for me to read about my favorite artists, especially the Abstract Expressionists, but my time in the studio is more valuable than reading at this stage of my career.