Terry Matassoni

19th November 2016

by Eva Miller

An experienced Melbourne artist, Terry Matassoni has behind him 30 solo exhibitions. His arts works are displayed by galleries throughout Australia.
He is a painter who uses figurative elements with areas of abstraction. He believes that inspiration for art should be found all around you - wherever you are. There should be enough inspiration for art within a mile from your home.
He believes in the importance of looking at great art and artists - “when you see great art you understand what is able to be done. It inspires you.”
Before a painting begins, he grids the canvas up with squares and angles as he finds this aids composition and placement of elements. 
He always underpaints and gets rid of the white of the canvas straight away.
He uses glazes a lot and is increasingly favours thinner and thinner glazes.
He likes to contrast transparent colours with opaque colours to create effects or to push things back and create depth.

He grids up canvases even for plain-air painting, which he is enjoying increasingly as he finds the process more spontaneous than his studio paintings.
For his larger, studio painting, he does lots of sketching thus creating many possible versions which he plays around with for composition and perspective. Terry likes to plan and believes in the process. He often uses gouache to work things out.
His paintings tell stories - paintings in which things happen or are about to happen, in which people are doing things. The viewer expects something to happen.
Uses figures a lot in various places and doing various things and in various combinations, often in imagined places.
eg. scenes inside a casino
people in a cafe drinking coffee
cafe scene where the outside looks inviting
woman on phone looking out of the window
office workers working at desks separate from each other
He often paints large and has many paintings on the go at one time ’20 or so’. He likes to plan each painting leaving large paintings unfinished and coming back to them in months time. He is a slow painter and finishes perhaps 10 a year.
However, over time he finds that he makes many changes to large paintings as he develops them. ‘Paintings take a long time” “large paintings have more invested in them’ so he has to be satisfied with them. Smaller paintings (specially plein-air paintings) have less invested in them and are worked much faster. He finds plain - air painting very satisfying. Smaller paintings are liberating - they don’t have to be masterpieces and can’t be designed.
Terry also showed some lithographs he has developed - of scenes and people. He finds it a slow process and time consuming and expensive.