Kimberly Mattson paints out of a studio at her Everett home, where she hung all the paintings that were intended for exhibits that were canceled because of the pandemic. (Joshua Mattson)

Kimberly Mattson paints out of a studio at her Everett home, where she hung all the paintings that were intended for exhibits that were canceled because of the pandemic. (Joshua Mattson)

This Everett artist finds strength in flower power

Kimberly Mattson is drawn to the infinite number of elements that can be seen in a flower.

EVERETT — Artist Kimberly Mattson wants to spread “flower joy” throughout the city.

Mattson, 34, who works out of her home studio in Everett, specializes in painting and drawing flowers. In addition to canvases, her floral designs adorn pillows, cards, pins, stickers and coloring pages. She’s also painted a few flowery murals around town.

”I paint flowers because they have exceptional design,” she said. “There’s an infinite number of elements you can observe in a flower. My brain picks up on those details and communicates them in a painting.”

Mattson earned a bachelor’s degree in painting and illustration from Indiana Wesleyan University in 2008.

A lover of all things floral, Mattson is inspired by Georgia O’Keefe, Claude Monet, Henri Matisse, Heather Day and Louise Chen.

While most of Mattson’s work is botanical in nature, she creates both real and abstract compositions. One style is studious and complex; the other is playful and simple.

She and her husband, Joshua, have set out to organize their spaces during the governor’s stay-home order. Joshua has been cleaning up his at-home wood shop. Kimberly has been clearing clutter from her art room. She spends some of that time rediscovering packed-away art supplies.

She finds that the quarantine has given her reason to celebrate her successes, no matter their size.

When her shows at the Women’s Wellness Center and Sno-Isle Food Co-op, in March and May respectively, were canceled because of COVID-19, Mattson hung her paintings up on all the walls at home. “It felt so good to let them breathe and see them all together,” she said. She received even more good vibes when she sold four original paintings in April. “It was really empowering to know people really do value my work. My paintings weren’t even in a show,” she said.

For those of us bored at home, Mattson recently designed some coloring pages featuring flowers and squiggles as a way to give back to the community. They can be downloaded from her website.

Mattson also recently collaborated with Little Bipsy in Edmonds. The owner of the baby clothing store asked Mattson to design some fabric patterns. Mattson’s designs for the summer line will be released in June. One hint: It’s not a floral pattern.

As the stay-home order continues in Snohomish County, Mattson is booking mural work on buildings around Everett. She’s painted murals for Jackson and Garfield elementary schools. She’s also made decals for Everett Transit buses. She said it’s the perfect time for them.

“I have photos of buildings in Everett that I want to paint murals on,” she said. “I sometimes will plug those into my iPad and draw on those with all of my ideas for the neighborhood. But how do you go up and say ‘Hey, will you hire me to paint this on your building?’ Not everyone is into that. I’ve done a couple of cold calls and nothing has happened yet.”

Mattson is looking forward to August because she is this year’s Fresh Paint poster artist. (She was the poster artist for Everett’s Sorticulture garden and arts festival in 2017.)

“Kim’s interpretation of the port was like a breath of fresh air. It is very fun and vibrant,” said Abby Powell, spokeswoman for the Schack Art Center in Everett, which hosts the festival. “We think she captured all the emotions of a fun summer festival in her painting.”

She visited the Everett Marina for inspiration, then grabbed her colored pencils and started doodling. Her submission is an abstract painting of funky and colorful doodles that represent the energy Fresh Paint brings to Everett. The poster has yet to be released for the festival.

Everett’s annual artists at work festival is scheduled for Aug. 15 and 16 at the Port of Everett South Marina and Marina Village. More at www.schack.org/events/fresh-paint.

Mattson will be one of more than 80 artists demonstrating their art at the festival. This will be her third time with a booth at Fresh Paint. She said it’s one of her two favorite Everett events. (Sorticulture is the other one.)

“When I first visited Everett, I went to the Fresh Paint festival with my friend,” she said. “I’m from Indiana, and I had never been to such a busy, energetic, popular event that featured artists and artwork. It was really energizing.”

Almost immediately, Mattson could envision herself as one of the featured artists at the Everett festival. She moved here the next year.

Go to www.pokeanddraw.com to see more of Kimberly Mattson’s art.

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