LIGHT ARISES IN THE DARKNESS:

A Journal of Comfort, Encouragement, and Inspiration


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
New Painting in Progress: “Come as Children”

New Painting in Progress: “Come as Children”

Here is a new painting in progress–a 16 x 20 acrylic on canvas. This will be a book cover for a compilation of Charles Spurgeon’s devotionals for children, called “Come Ye Children.” Based off this photo I took of my two children when we were hiking in northern Wisconsin. Reference Photo In Progress Painting I start off very faint, just blocking in the colors with glazes. I mix about 90% clear acrylic medium to about 10% paint and just block in the composition, suggesting where the future colors will go. Here is my palette… Normally, I use burnt sienna, but to challenge myself and also to enhance the color harmony within the painting, I omitted it.     Video Demonstration   The first layers consisted of raw sienna, yellow ochre, phthalo blue and indian yellow for the background, and then for the posts: raw umber dark, ultramarine blue and napthol crimson. I blocked in the blue jeans with phthalo blue, and my daughter’s pants with napthol crimson. I’ll be posting more on this and show you the process of how the painting develops. Have a blessed day,   Share Your Thoughts! If you have any comments or questions about what I wrote, please leave me your feedback below! I will personally get back to you. Can you help me spread the word? Please share this post with your family and friends by using the social media links on the side or below. Thank you!... read more
[Light Arises in the Darkness] Chapter 2, Part 1: Acknowledging Your Suffering

[Light Arises in the Darkness] Chapter 2, Part 1: Acknowledging Your Suffering

Acknowledging your suffering is the first step to being healed of the pain. It’s amazing, though, how often we want to skip this step. That’s what I’m going to talk about in today’s post… In my last post, I shared with you the last part of the first chapter for my book I’m currently writing, Light Arises in the Darkness: How to Go Through Suffering and Experience Incredible Joy. Again, I plan on making this a full-length printed book with illustrations, and I want to share it here with you first.   “Faith to Rise” 16 x 20, acrylic on canvas by Matt Philleo   In the previous post, we discussed “What is the Purpose of Suffering?”Today, I’m going to talk about why it is so important to acknowledge your suffering, and how that can pave the way for you to “stop the bleeding” and experience a true sense of peace and joy. I’m not talking about a cliche phrase on a greeting card. I’m talking about something real and something deep. Something lasting. Even if this kind of peace and joy dissipates, you’ll have a well that you can always run to and refill.   I invite you to become a part of my Reader’s Review Group and I’ll let you know whenever I have a new section on the book written. Also, you will receive a discount on the actual book when it’s published. Click here and Join today! Light Arises in the Darkness How to Go Through Suffering and Experience Incredible Joy Copyright 2017 by Matt Philleo. All rights reserved. (To help you navigate through the book. I’ll be including links below to various... read more
Original Painting of a Now-Non-Existent Building

Original Painting of a Now-Non-Existent Building

  Here is a painting I did of a building in my town that is now no longer there. I title this “The Original Upland,” (24″ x 30″, acrylic on hardboard) because it used to be the home of Upland Distributing, Inc. a vacuum and filtration sales and service company where I used to work years ago, as a traveling service technician.         While I worked there I built up a relationship with my boss, the owner. Since I knew the building was slated to be demolished soon, and the owner would have to move his business into another building after being there for nearly 20 years, I thought a painting would be an encouragement to him. It would help keep the memories alive. It was something I felt God wanted me to do to bless him, and I waited for a while, but when I knew that demolition was imminent, I got out my camera and took some pictures.             Maybe I’m a newbie at camera lenses, or I just tried to do the best I could with my small digital camera, but backed up by the buildings on the other side of the street, I couldn’t get the angle I wanted for image. So I took a few images and “frankensteined” them together on Photoshop, using the warp and perspective tool to change the angle of the building to match the photos seamed together. Never mind the cut-up-half floating car! That won’t be in the actual painting!     With this layout, I now had an image to paint! Here’s the... read more
Portrait artist Matt Philleo painting a custom portrait from a client's photo.

About Me

Hi, I’m Matt Philleo. I create artwork to comfort, encourage, and inspire. For those who are discouraged, brokenhearted and experiencing loss, my artwork has special meaning, often by guiding them to the One who can bring true peace and lasting joy.

I’ve been doing art on commission and exhibition on a part-time basis since 1991, and exclusively full-time since 2013.  Currently, I live in Eau Claire, WI with my wife and three children.

"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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