Off The Wall Magazine Q&A with Matthew Barter


Maine.  I was born in Bar Harbor, and raised in Sullivan. My childhood was filled with days spent at the beach, in the Acadia woods, exploring Schoodic Point, or on the fishing boats in Frenchman’s Bay. Painting in Maine is a privilege. I’m enamored with the distinct Maine style of artists Eric Hopkins, John Marin, Marsden Hartley, and Arthur Dove.


Inspiration. Working fishermen. The Maine working waterfront is a constant inspiration. My years working on a lobster boat gave me an undying respect for the commercial fishermen and their families. 



I sculpt and enjoy exploring any medium or material, 

but oils will always be my favorite form of expression.


Artist Hero.My father, Philip Barter, played a significant role in my development as a young artist. Working with him in his studio was like working alongside Midas, as we turned plywood and boat paint into pure gold. 


Studio. I transformed a carriage house on my Brunswick property into a studio gallery. I create on the second floor in a corner that is relatively orderly, while the rest of the space is cluttered with junk.


Where in Maine. I live in Brunswick, with my wife and two sons. When we were first married we lived close to Bowdoin College, and enjoyed the sense of community that surrounded us. Living here gives us quick and easy access to the Harpswell peninsula and Maquoit Bay.


Fun Fact. I’ve made a few graphic novels. The first two are about space travel, and another is about the end of the fish canning industry in Maine. The latter is tied to my current art installation project, called Cantown.


Education. With my dad, Phil Barter, in Sullivan, Maine. I never knew what a unique childhood I had, surrounded by art and the creative process. I’d visit my friends’ homes and ask, “Where’s all your art?” and, “Where’s your dad’s studio?”





Learn more about this artist:


Available artwork


Radio Maine podcast interview


Art Matters blog article


Off The Wall magazine Q&A


Micro-documentary film