Matthew Betancourt’s clever take on Plein Air brings a fresh and fun element to our collection at Just Looking Gallery. His unique body of work consists of original Plein Air oil paintings ingeniously housed in Altoids Tins. All pieces are available museum mounted in a float frame.
California born and raised, Matthew Betancourt cannot remember a time when art wasn’t at his core. The self-taught artist recalls coming late to the dinner table for drawing the family cat on the stairs and being removed from high school English class for his elaborate desk doodles. Art remained his hobby until he won first place in Santa Maria City’s 2017 utility box contest just after receiving a BS in Biomedical Engineering in San Luis Obispo. Now, residing in Bergen, Norway with his wife, he is focused solely on developing his artwork classically, drawing inspiration from Rembrandt and Odd Nerdrum. While portraits and figures are his most personal works, his coined “MiniTins” are cherished little tokens of the places where he finds peace.
Matthew’s approach to painting not only speaks to the unique charm of the Central Coast and San Luis Obispo; it also serves as a constant reminder not to take ourselves too seriously and appreciate the beauty in the small things in life!