Vincent E. Matthews


When I was a middle school student, I was taught the art of wood etching by my father.

He acquired the skill as part of the New Deal art program.  The program funded art teachers during the Great Depression to teach wood etching and several other forms of art to people who possibly had some hidden artistic talents.  The program was created not as a cultural activity, but as a relief measure to employ art teachers and craft workers.

I was always intrigued by the wood etchings he created and I wanted to learn how to do it.  Once my dad shared the basic skills of how to create wood etchings with me, I was hooked and I have been doing this art form ever since for over forty plus years.

So, how do I get started on a project?  The first thing I look for when beginning a project is the characteristics of the wood.  When I talk about the characteristics of the wood, I am addressing the physical look of the wood.  As a wood etcher, when looking for a piece of wood for my next project, my eyes are immediately attracted to wood that displays wormholes, knots and distinctive wood grains.  These attributes are simply Mother Nature’s fingerprints which allow no two pieces of wood to look the same.  My artwork is done in various types of wood such as pine, oak and walnut.

When you look at the wood etchings, take a close look at the work.  In each piece, you will find a work of art within the artwork of Mother Nature’s art.  I have taken Mother Nature’s art and fused my wood etchings.

Featured in “Namaste” 2017

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