Portraits to Comfort, Encourage and Inspire


Hi, I’m Matt Philleo. Since 1991, I have been creating detailed, realistic pencil drawings and acrylic paintings on commission and exhibition.

My goal is, through beautiful and emotive art, to bring comfort, encouragement, and inspiration, especially to the discouraged and brokenhearted, so they can experience true and lasting peace.

Please contact me if you have any questions and visit my blog posts to see my most current work. If you’d like to be added to my personal and confidential email list, sign up right here.

To learn more about my custom portraits, visit TraditionStudio.com, my official commissioned artwork page

Thanks for visiting!


14″ x 17″

Pencil on Paper


  • Falling Leaves Art Studio Tour, September 30 and October 1, 10am-6pm–a backroads tour through Augusta, Fall Creek, and Fairchild, WI. I will be exhibiting original paintings and prints.
  • Manyfires Art Fair, October 7 10am-4pm–A lively art show at the Sundby’s country studio in Fall Creek, WI. I will be doing live portrait sketches, as part of the entertainment, for free!
  • Learn How to Paint in Acrylic, Winter Session, dates TBA: This course will benefit the beginner and advanced artist alike in learning how to paint incredibly realistic portraits of people you know, from photo and from life.


Here’s the Latest From My Blog…

My New Old Art Studio

My New Old Art Studio

Moving back into your old studio is like seeing a long lost friend after a hiatus. At the end of January, I moved out of Artisan Forge Studios, convinced it was God’s will for me to leave.     It wasn’t easy. It was hard to move out of the place where I created art for two years, met some amazing people, and started teaching art classes, both in person and online. Like any move, you pack up the things you don’t need as much, and then keep the things you do, so you can keep living and working. My paints, brushes, and palette were the last things to go.   Setting Up Again Then there was the process of setting up again in my house–in my vacant upstairs room. Well, almost vacant. We had a few things stored there. Some bins of clothing and other odds and ends. Those got moved into the basement. And that made room for the plethora of items from my studio. I had seven large plastic strong boxes, and three or four cardboard boxes filled with art supplies, canvases, drawing paper, paints, books, and…stuff. Because the room is pretty small, it made going through it challenging. Everything needed to have a home.     I have to admit, when everything was in disarray, and things were taking longer than I had hoped to set up—I wanted to give up more than a few times. Why did you move out of Artisan Forge? This is crazy! But I kept telling myself, “I followed God’s will for me, and this will all work out.” I... read more
Farewell to the Forge

Farewell to the Forge

  “You’ll have to use your imagination,” she said. “I can do that,” I replied. “I’m an artist.” The coordinator, Jackie Boos, unfolded the vision of what this place called Artisan Forge Studios, would become. I thought the vision was compelling. And so after some thought and prayer, I signed on as a renter at the beginning of 2016. It’s amazing that just a little over two years ago, I moved my art business from my home into this diesel truck service center-turned high scale art gallery.     It didn’t take long for the building to transform into one of Eau Claire’s best places to go to see local fine art. With it, I met a lot of fantastic artists, built some great relationships, sold artwork, and even started teaching classes.     I had no idea that I would be able to teach until I came to Artisan Forge Studios. Other artists–sculptors and welders–were teaching, and someone asked if I would teach a class.     “I’ll give it a try,” I said. I had such a good time, I decided to do more. Artisan Forge changed a lot in two years–starting with just a handful of artists and growing to include more than 40 of the area’s best talent. My art business grew as well. I gained more clients, built relationships with local artists and collectors, and art students. I had the chance to share my art–and my faith as a Christian–with hundreds since I’ve been there, in person, and in some public speaking engagements.     And even though I’ve enjoyed being at “the Forge,”... read more

"I have inscribed you on the palm of my hands."

Inscribed6a 500px

"Inscribed," Pencil on Paper, by Matt Philleo

One day, when I was discouraged I read a verse in the Bible, in Isaiah, 49:15-16, where it says, "Can a woman forget her nursing child And have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, but I will not forget you. Behold, I have inscribed you on the palm of my hands." This verse brought such encouragement, that I created this original work of art to share the incredible love of God with others, including you!

Get a free 8 x 10 copy of this drawing that you can use to print, share, or as wallpaper!

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