Darryl Matthews

Meet the Artist

Darryl Matthews attended the Newark School of Fine and Industrial Art in Newark, New Jersey. He became interested in art as a child, and by age 11, he had discovered his passion for creating vibrant artwork. His professional career has spanned over four decades, including work as a storyboard artist, children’s book illustrator, family portrait artist, live event artist, and private art instructor. It was at Third Power Marketing & Development, Inc. that he sharpened his skills as a storyboard artist, producing black and white storyboards which were used in advertising development with PSE&G in Newark. Darryl was also contracted by R. W. Johnson Pharmaceutical Research Institute in La Jolla, California to create two paintings, which were displayed at that location. The lobby of KUSI-TV in San Diego was also home to one of Darryl’s paintings. In 1998, Darryl had the honor of being admitted to the La Jolla Art Society and received recognition for his “Sports Figures” illustrations. In 2022, Darryl was commissioned by the Buck Leonard Association to create seven original color paintings of baseball legends Martín Dihigo, Lou Gehrig, Hank Greenberg, Buck O’Neil, Tony Perez, Joe Staton and Ben Taylor. These paintings are now on permanent display in the Buck Leonard First Baseman's Hall of Fame located at the Imperial Centre for the Arts & Sciences in Rocky Mount, North Carolina. Darryl was among the 79 juried artists selected for the 2023 Raleigh Fine Arts Society NC Artist Exhibition, and his painting titled Thelonious Monk is now on view at the Contemporary Art Museum of Raleigh located downtown at 409 W Martin Street. 

Q: You’re a multi-faceted artist working in several different visual mediums, including oils, pastels, acrylic and watercolors. How have you managed to master such a variety of skills?

MATTHEWS: I have always been curious about various mediums. That curiosity and a desire to be versatile is what leads me to create many different types of art. 

Q: Do you have a favorite piece that you’ve created?

MATTHEWS: My favorites pieces are ones that show action and emotion. So, anything related to sports, dance, human anatomy.

Q: How do you go about choosing a subject?

MATTHEWS: I focus on something that interests me. That could be sports, martial arts, sci-fi, television, movies.

Q: What little known fact(s) would you like to share?

MATTHEWS: I am the son of a Negro Leagues baseball player. My father Francis Oliver “Fran” Matthews passed away in the late 1990s, but he had a long career in the Negro National League, playing for the Newark Eagles.

Also, I once designed t-shirts for actor Van Williams of the 1966 “Green Hornets” television show.

Q: What do you think catches the eye of someone who views your work for the first time?

MATTHEWS: Generally, it’s the colors that I’ve used. And people often feel an emotional connection to my work as well.  

Q: If you hadn’t become an artist, what career path would you have followed?

MATTHEWS: I would have become an actor, working in film and television. I would have also considered doing voice-over work for commercials and animated films, or being a DJ.

Q: Why do you love what you do?

MATTHEWS: No other single subject offers as much opportunity to be creative with the gift I am blessed to have.