Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Pen and ink master Gene Matras

Gene Matras’ pen and ink drawings have been winning awards for more than twenty years.

Gene has no formal training. As a child, he loved to draw country scenes of rural Poland. He lived in the tiny town of Dobre, until his family emigrated to Manchester, New Hampshire in 1960.

Because he also liked to tinker with things, Gene attended vocational school in Manchester and planned to be a welder. A perceptive instructor encouraged him to forget welding and pursue a career in art after seeing some of Gene’s drawings.

He started working in pencil and eventually switched to pen and ink. Gene says he initially resisted pen and ink because it was so hard edged. After much hard work, he learned how to produce the soft tones in pen and ink that he could get with pencil.

As an artist and former technical illustrator, I can attest to the amount of work that goes into pen and ink renderings of this caliber. But it’s Gene’s superb draftsmanship and compositions that really make his work stand out.

It took years to build a following and a body of work that would support him, but Gene kept at it. He began publishing offset lithographic prints in limited editions, hand signing and numbering each one.

Gene is finally a self-sufficient artist. He admits that it has often been a struggle, but you get the feeling he has no regrets.

He lives with his wife and five children on their homestead in Pittsfield, New Hampshire where they enjoy keeping animals and gardening. Most of his work is based on old-time farm life and the trees, mountains and wildlife of New England.

Take a look at Gene’s wonderful artwork on his website at and then call him at 603-435-8214 to place an order.

Gene’s work is available framed or unframed. I can testify from personal experience that his service is excellent and his prints make much appreciated gifts. Click on the images to see the exquisite detail.


  1. He certainly has skill. I'm glad there are people like you who appreciate pen and ink artists. As one myself, I sometimes feel like an endangered species with the new advances in photoshop and corel. Please feel free to view my artwork at

  2. Absolutely astonishing. Bravo and thanks for bringing this man to our attention.

  3. I've gotten to know Gene over the past three or four years. He's a great guy and his work is phenomenal. I have never seen another pen and ink artist of his skill, his attention to detail is incredible.

  4. I recently bought one of his drawings at a tag sale in vermont. hope to come across more.

  5. the link to his website doesn't work, any idea where I can look at his artwork to possibly purchase?