Karla Matzke



As the daughter of a Color Field painter and an architect who moved in the circles of Frank Lloyd Wright, Edward Durrell Stone and I. M. Pei, I have always been intrigued with the power of form, color and line.
During my formative years, I spent time at the estate of the sculptor, David Smith. This experience, and my subsequent formal education led me to a career in art. I am fortunate to own a gallery and sculpture park where I continue to cultivate artists.
Much of my work focuses on the portrayal of American icons. Each barn and grain elevator presents a unique character and personality. Through simplicity of form and function these monolithic structures stand as reminders of a rapidly disappearing rural landscape.
Although I do work with other painting media and create sculptures in stainless steel, I find that pastel allows me to blend color, creating the moody ambiance surrounding these rural structures.
Art Reviewer, Ron Glowen, described my work by suggesting,… “sunlight accentuates the edges of shadows and the geometry of the buildings’. These paintings are reminiscent of the 1920s’ era American style known as Precisionism.”
Other icons I have focused on and explored are; Food, Toys, the Pottery of the Arts and Crafts Movement, Nudes and Vampy Pinups’. I would classify all these series’ as the meeting of light
and form with nostalgia.


“Evening”, pastel, 24” h x 36” w, 2012, collection of the Anacortes Hospital, Anacortes, WA 

“Sails”, stainless steel/painted steel, 16’h x 28’ w x 4’d, 2004, collection of the City of Everett, WA. The concept for “Sails” was to abstract ship sails out of stainless steel. The sculpture reflects Everett’s maritime history.

“Portal”, stainless steel, 15’h x 11’w x 3.5’d, 2000, collection of the City of Camano Island, WA The concept for “Portal” was to relate to the entrance to Camano Island at Gateway Park.

“1913 Main Street Stanwood”, 25’h x 30’w, 1999, The Pavilion, Stanwood, WA ( The additional concept and designing of the space for The Pavilion, 20,000 square feet, in collaboration with Jack Gunter)

“Ships Docked”, pastel, 60”h x 46” w, 1998, the Everett Library, Everett, Wa 

“Changing Tack”, {sailing} 36” x 36” 1996, collection of the City of Lynnwood, Wa 

“Port Susan Bay”, pastel 32”h x 48”w, 1994, collection of Everett Mutual Bank, Everett, WA 

“Close Hauled”, pastel 65”h x 48”w, 1983, collection of the State Univ. of N.Y., Albany, N.Y.


“Unique Studio Spaces”. included bio and photos of Matzke Fine Art gallery and studio spaces; author Ashley Rooney, Schiffer. 2014 

“100 Northwest Artists”. Co-author with Ashley Rooney, included bio and photos of my art work, Schiffer. 2013 

Camano Island Visitor Center. “Portal” stainless steel sculpture by Karla Matzke, author Jack Archibald, My Publisher. 2000. Pontoon. An Anthology of Washington State Poets, (cover art by Karla Matzke), No. four: Floating Bridge Press. Books. 2000.