Jeff Mathison


I came from Philly to Penn State University and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1972.  I loved the combination of town culture and country beauty, and never left central Pennsylvania. My early career included frying donuts, kicking potatoes, shoveling manure, and a lot of carpentry. I was fortunate enough to land a graphic artist position at a company specializing in archaeological and historical investigations. I did large public displays, artist renderings of what a vanished site would have looked like, and lots and lots of mapping.

The mapping led me into the niche field of illustrated maps. I do freelance illustrations of all sorts, but my specialty has become depicting real or fictional geography in an informative and entertaining way. I now have a “bragging shelf” of books that feature my maps.

All along, I have made art. I have worked in oils, pastels, assemblage, charcoal, acrylic, even clay. I achieved some recognition, getting into numerous juried shows, including the New Artists at Madison Square Garden (1980), Art of the State (several times in the 1980s), and numerous gallery shows around the mid-Atlantic region. My most recent honors include an award from the Adirondack National Watercolor show  and Best of Show at the New River Gorge Plein Air Event, in 2016.

In recent years, I’ve chosen to concentrate on watercolor, preferring to approach the mastery of one challenging medium, rather than jumping between media. I always loved working with the human figure, and the natural landscape. I now frequently combine the two genres, seeking to inspire my viewers with the harmony of the human spirit and nature.

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