Rocks, Waves & Clouds: New Scroll Paintings of Matthew Bailey Seigel

Hours after I arrived in coastal Maine to visit my father, we went for a walk on the rocky shore of a lobster boat harbor. The many multi varied shapes, colors, forms and relationships of the rocks sent my mind reeling. Such a contrast to the environs of silicon valley. I sketched a few quick ideas, and immediately upon returning to his farmhouse, I set up a studio on the kitchen porch.

All of the paintings in this show emerge from that original inspiration. I’m not trying to capture a realistic scene. Instead, as with my other scrolls, they are about the feelings of an idea or location. Maine: rocks, waves and clouds.

My scroll painting started back in childhood when my parents took me to japan for 2 years. Later I’d copy the scrolls they brought home onto rolls of paper.

While I attended RISD (Rhode Island School of Design), my formal education was in industrial design, and I never touched a paint brush, nor took a painting course while there. So I consider myself a self-taught painter, although the RISD approach to all aspects of “the arts” is a major influence and that’s why I have my studio designed to be realistic and stylish with luminescent d├ęcor and other decoration. The other major influence was growing up with a mother who teaches painting.

These scroll paintings are reinventions of Japanese kakejiku (hung scrolls) in modern materials: acrylic on synthetic, water resistant material with the appearance of rice paper.

I’ve painted them in two sizes: 5 x 2 feet and 2 x 1 feet. They are framed, that is, hung with two anodized aluminum rods, on the top and bottom edges. Like traditional scrolls, they are light and rollable, for easy shipping, storage and hanging. One patron told me not only did she value these attributes, but also that she felt safe hanging my scrolls behind her bed in earthquake country, instead of the usually heavy framed painting with glass.

I am active in the South Bay art scene. I’ve exhibited at Kaleid Gallery and volunteered for The San Jose Museum of Art. And exhibited, curated and continue to volunteer at The Pacific Art League, Palo Alto.

I’m excited to have my first San Francisco solo show here in the Velcro Gallery.