George Mattingly was born on August 7, 1956, in Hartford CT. His interest in art began early, and he enjoyed sketching and trying the different mediums…. oils, pastels, watercolors, charcoal, and pen/ink for those early works. His new ‘green’ faded to shades of blues with childhood life’s ups and downs but one bright flash of yellow was always remembered…. his fourth grade teacher bought an oil painting, and told his parents that he had a ‘gift from God”. Fifth grade further encouraged his talent, and he did a pastel drawing of a neighbor’s cottage at Cape Cod in exchange for a two week stay there. He became the ‘neighborhood artists”, and was commissioned to do an oil painting for a family whose home was in the Aran Islands. Proud. Passionate about painting. Very violet. When his parents divorced, he moved back to Hartford. Very blue.
At Bulkley High, the art room was the preferred classroom, and George’s works were recognized with many awards and high school displays, and a local restaurant had a “Mural by Mattingly” along one wall. Art teacher Mr Mancuso gave compliments and encouragement, but his advice for George to “apply for scholarships. Go to art school” went unheeded. Fiery yellows, reds and oranges and an “I’ll do it my way” attitude was chosen instead by the young painter.
George’s plan was to travel the country and hitchhiking became the way of life. Fiery turned smoky gray. Water color drawings were sold at bars for money to feed the growing addictions. Drinking. Drugs. Smokey gray turned to dark blue. Then homeless amount the homeless. Black. Nothing else. No color. Until one day looking skyward, another memorable flash of yellow, and George realized that age 23, he truly needed help.
After his last detox, it was return to the Cape, where he met Levis Davis, who would be the true friend and confidante that made a difference in his life. Lewis pushed him toward the white… the calm. Hopeful. Confident. Blessed. Thankful. At peace. and over the months, life’s lesson of white…. without black…. was learned. Time to move on.
George started his own design/build contraction company; successful for 37 years. He got married. Adopted a son and daughter. And lived greens and blues and fiery colors and even some grays, but it wasn’t until wearing retirement age, divorced, and with kids grown that George, at 62, picked up the paintbrush again. He has not joined local art association and had gone back to ‘school’, studying at the studios of Sauna Shane, Bill Simpson and Jean Manzelli. He looks forward to more online and gallery exhibits, and most importantly, more paintings.
Green. Beginning again. Now blended with white.