Matt Tomko « Back to Studio Artists


Location: Suite 3-123
Phone: 919-599-9491

Artist Statement:

Nature has always been a passion for me so I started drawing as a way to keep some small part of it with me.  As a child, I used to catch (and release) birds and small animals for the same reason.  I had this little boy’s need to literally hold on to nature any way that I could.  Now that I am older, experience has taught me that possessing it is less important than letting nature possess you.   My art is still a way for me to hold on to nature, but instead of giving me something to literally embrace, my paintings instead provide me with all of the feelings and memories elicited by them.  My goal as an artist is to liberate similar, serene recollections of the natural world in those who view my work and ultimately inspire more respect for our environment.  Because of this intense connection to the natural environment, I strive to represent it as I experience it.  I often paint in a style that has been described as Fine Art Illustration and sometimes spend hours on fine details in feathers, branches, eyes, or leaves.  Working in oil is very forgiving and allows me the flexibility to change details until I’m satisfied with the feeling they create.  I frequently start with an under-painting to work out composition and values before applying the appropriate tints and strokes to create details, and blend or glaze colors that are often seen only in the extreme light of morning or evening because those times of day evoke a special feeling for me.  My goal as an artist is primarily to convey those feelings by connecting with that part of the viewer that feels they have been somewhere or seen something similar, can smell and feel the air and hear the sounds, and is excited about feeling that way again.  By providing the viewer with fine details, I seek to give them more than an overview if they desire it.  I strive to provide them with a pleasing composition when seen from a distance, but then a visual indulgence when they come closer to see more.  A sparkle in a bird’s eye, a shadow through a leaf, or petite feathers around a beak are available for those who want to see things up close while the color, mood, and light of a special place and time are available to all.


Matt Tomko was born and raised in Northeastern Pennsylvania.  He began drawing as a child and studied art more seriously in his mid-teens, taking private lessons and experiencing some early successes with a solo show at age 16.  However, life took him in other directions for a long period after that time.  He received his BA in Mathematics from King’s College in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania and worked in various Engineering and Manufacturing Management roles for more than twenty years creating art only occasionally during those years.

In 2005, Matt renewed a serious interest in art and once again took up his brushes.  He moved to Durham, North Carolina in mid 2009 and since then has pursued his passion even more earnestly.  As of Fall 2009, Art became his profession as well as his passion.  Since then his work has been exhibited in juried, group, and solo exhibitions, and is held in private collections throughout the country.

Being inspired by nature & wildlife, Matt has visited some of our treasured parks for inspiration including Yellowstone, Yosemite, Grand Teton, Acadia, Shenandoah, and Everglades National Parks as well as Forsythe, Cape May, Loxahatchee, and Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuges.

Chipmunks in the Rock Wall

Resting Robin