Oklahoma City, Oklahoma


Painter, writer, educator

Matt Atkinson, member of the Oil Painters of America, has been artistic his entire life, earning a B.A. in Studio Art from the University of Tennessee. He then left the art world for nearly two decades to pursue a career in behavioral sciences, writing award-winning books about the effects and treatments of trauma. He earned a second Bachelor's degree and a Master's, and worked as an adjunct professor, community health program director, and counselor before returning to art full-time.

Atkinson has worked closely with many Indian tribes as a program director and consultant. For years, he directed the Cultural Recovery/Youth program for a Native American community, forming relationships with traditional leaders and elders. Tribes across the United States have hosted Atkinson as trainer for cultural and anti-violence programs. He has also taught college courses for several years, and is regularly requested as a guest lecturer and conference presenter.

I combine traditional paints with earth pigments made by hand, using natural non-­-toxic colors collected from minerals and soils throughout the world. These are the same pigments that ancient artists once used to paint cave walls, and to make Native American face paint. Each painting literally has nature within it, and is my response to something beautiful in the world.

In every painting, I also use the brushes and paints that I inherited from my grandmother, a wise and compassionate elder. The brushes in the vase beside her easel still had paint on them, waiting for her to return to them, when she passed. Using them on every canvas connects my art with that heritage.

I use art to express respectful, reverent, and positive relationships between humankind and the natural, wild world.

Matt's art has found its way into private and corporate collections and galleries across the United States and Canada.

PAINTINGS: Click each image for detailed info and larger image
"A Tradition of Precision"
"Listening To The Stream"
"Dawn on the Kiamichi"
"Dawn on the Kiamichi"