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LIVE: Matt Beard @ the High Line Festival of Surfing

Posted by on 3:45 pm in AidCurrent, Bloggalogga, Live Arts, Shows & Events | 0 comments

curren flyer


Surfing’s 3x world champion and legendary icon of the sport, Tom Curren, often describes his music in terms of surfing, equating the experiences and finding commonalities between them.

I’ve been making art with a focus on my surfing life for years, but only recently I’ve begun painting on site at live music events.  My approach is unrehearsed, just a visual reaction to the rhythms, tempo, and energy in the music, finding the adrenaline pressurized experience of painting in such a dynamic environment is the closest thing I’ve found in art to surfing itself.  There’s no adrenaline in my studio.  It’s boring there.  When there’s a room full of eyes watching you paint though, it’s different.  Scary.  You just don’t want to blow it.  You have to find your zone, and just flow and trust that all your experience up to the point will bring you through and result in a piece of art someone will be stoked on.

The High Line Festival of Surfing in Mill Valley, CA promises to provide just such a setting, featuring a live music performance from Tom Curren while I’ll be simultaneously creating an original work of art on Saturday night, September 6th, 2014.  The resulting painting will be auctioned silently at the event with the highest bidder taking it home.  50% will be donated to the festival’s main beneficiary, Sustainable Surf.

If you can’t make it to the show, but are interested in bidding for the art in advance (sometimes advance bidders win the piece, sometimes they don’t, there’s no way to know), you can do so here:

Bid for Live Art

In addition to painting on Saturday night, I’ll also be painting at the Opening Night Party on Sept. 4th to be held at the Equator Coffees & Proof Lab Surf Shop in Mill Valley from 6-9pm.  And if that’s not enough the Film What the Sea Gives Me in which I’m featured will be playing at the festival on Saturday at 3pm.  Check out for more event details, tickets and all that.

Anyway here’s a few more thoughts about painting with Curren:

“I’m kinda freaking out. I don’t think I’ve ever been more excited, or anxious about a painting event.  

“As a kid, we’d hear whispers of Curren surfing nearby at our local beachbreaks occasionally and I always dreamed of being there surfing with him, just to see what the BEST surfer in the world could do with the terrible waves we called home.  Since then, he’s gravitated toward making music, equating the act of playing music with surfing itself.  In the meantime I’ve been exploring the process of painting to live music, feeding off the energy and tempo to create spontaneous unplanned art, finding it to be the closest art making experience that I’ve found to surfing as well. So yeah, I’m pretty stoked about this one.  Surfing with Curren… sort of anyway.

“Anyway, if you’re feeling it too, don’t hesitate to get in on the bidding and and you might own the art that results from this session.  I’ll try not to botch it.  I promise.”

Source: AidCurrent

Passing Through II

Posted by on 1:26 pm in AidCurrent, Finished, Live Arts, Paint | 0 comments


Sold for: $350

Funds raised: $161.67
Beneficiary: Surfrider Foundation – Humboldt Chapter


Source: AidCurrent

Sine II – Transfer of Energy

Posted by on 3:54 pm in Bloggalogga, Paint, Visuals | 0 comments


Title: “Sine Series #2 – Transfer of Energy”
Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Size: 24″ x 24″
Year: 2012
Price of Original Painting: N.A.
Prints: Available here.

Source: Matt Beard Art

In conjunction with the upcoming World Premiere of WHAT THE SEA GIVES ME, I’m stoked to make the film’s cover artwork available in a variety of print formats over on AidCurrent.  The piece, titled “Sine Series #2 – Transfer of Energy” is part of a series I’ve been working on that explore wave phenomena from a variety of perspectives with the mathematical function of a sine wave at it’s core.
View Print Options Here


“To the Sea”

Posted by on 3:41 pm in Bloggalogga, Finished, Live Arts, Paint, Visuals | 0 comments


Medium: Acrylic on Canvas…  or 15 separate canvases to be exact
Size: 78″ x 44″
Year: 2013
Price of Original Painting: $2500

Painted live on stage during a Likwefi performance at the Northern Nights Electronic Dance Music Festival 2013

Source: Matt Beard Art

Passing Through

Posted by on 10:26 am in AidCurrent, Bloggalogga, | 0 comments


Title: “Passing Through”

Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Size: 36″ x 36″
Year: 2014
Price of Original Painting: $1500

Painted live at on stage during a Berel Alexander performance at the Benbow Summer Arts & Music Festival 2014




Source: AidCurrent

“On the Rocks”

Posted by on 2:50 pm in, Paint | 0 comments

P--On-the-RocksTitle: “On the Rocks”
Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Size: 12″ x 12″
Year: 2014
Price of Original Painting: $295

Painted on location on the Humboldt County coast

Source: Matt Beard Art


Posted by on 2:49 pm in, Paint | 0 comments


Title: “Shorebreak”

Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Size: 12″ x 12″
Year: 2014
Price of Original Painting: $295

Painted on location on the Humboldt County coast

Source: Matt Beard Art

Break Wall

Posted by on 1:37 pm in AidCurrent, Finished, Live Arts, Paint, Shows & Events, Visuals | 0 comments

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Sold for: $450

Funds raised: $225
Beneficiary: Save the Waves Coalition

Painted live at Life is a Wave 2014 fundraiser for Save the Waves Coalition at the 111 Minna Gallery in San Francisco.

Source: AidCurrent

Home Break

Posted by on 1:35 pm in AidCurrent, Finished, Live Arts, Paint, Shows & Events, Visuals | 0 comments

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Sold for: $210

Funds raised: $97
Beneficiary: Cameron and Grace Beard-Quiroz college fund in honor of Heather Noel Beard-Quiroz

Painted live at the Village Cafe in Long Beach, CA on May 15, 2014.

Source: AidCurrent

Surface Processes

Posted by on 1:32 pm in AidCurrent, Live Arts, Paint, Shows & Events, The Boardroom, Visuals | 0 comments

"Surface Processes"  Painted live at the Boardroom Surfboard Expo in Del Mar, CA. I've been on a roll lately, creating live paintings at various events all over California this month. Check out the latest and get info on upcoming events, as well as online bidding opportunities here:

Sold for: $310

Funds raised: $150.39
Beneficiary: UCSD Scripps Student Fellowship Fund

Painted live at the Boardroom Surfboard Show in Del Mar, CA on May 18, 2014.

Source: AidCurrent

Hand Jive

Posted by on 1:31 pm in AidCurrent, Bird's Surf Shed, Finished, Live Arts, Paint, San Diego Surf Film Festival, Shows & Events, Visuals | 0 comments

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Sold for: $500

Funds raised: $230.95
Beneficiary: Insulindependence

Painted live at the San Diego Surf Film Festival, 2014.  Throughout the 4 day event, contributing filmmakers were asked to trace a print of their hands on this 36″ x 36″ canvas.  On the final day, I incorporated their hands into this finished piece.

Source: AidCurrent

Heat Wave

Posted by on 1:30 pm in AidCurrent, Finished, Live Arts, Paint, Shows & Events, The Boardroom | 0 comments

Thumbnail for 8443

Sold for: $400

Funds raised: $184.76
Beneficiary: TBA

Painted live at the Boardroom Surfboard Show in Del Mar, CA on May 17, 2014.

Source: AidCurrent

Painted on stage with Berel Alexander today.

Posted by on 7:05 pm in instagram, Live Arts, Photos, Shows & Events | 0 comments


Painted on stage with Berel Alexander today at the Benbow Summer Arts and Music Festival today.  Gonna  finish this one tonight with the Getdown crew.  Just flowing like water in southern humboldt today.

San Diego Surf Film Festival 2014

Posted by on 9:32 am in AidCurrent, Bloggalogga, Shows & Events | 0 comments

Results of a lirtle live art session at birds surf shed on closing night of the san diego surf film festival.

Few events I’ve been a part of are as full of just plain old-fashioned surf stoke of the purest variety like the San Diego Surf Film Festival.   Considering it’s taking place a solid 850 miles from my home, I still wonder at times how I got wrapped up in this one, but I’m glad it happened anyway, so I’m loading up the boards and the art and heading south in just a few days.


This year it’s kicking off with a Wednesday night VIP party at the Karl Strauss Brewery in San Diego where I’ll be showing a few new small paintings and a slew of other things along with this years event artist Skye Walker, the event’s original artist Joe Hodnicki, and the event’s perennial photographic maestro Gage Hingeley.  Info, maps and all that can be found here.

Live at SDSFF 2102Over the course of the following days, I’ll be creating one large original painting on site, and auctioning it off to the highest bidder at the event.  It’s become a tradition of sorts and means a lot to me as the first painting I did live here 2 years ago was a break through piece for me that really kicked off my recent enthusiasm for creating live art.  It was a freaky sort of painting, but it happened with no forethought and after that I was hooked.  The following year I focused on the venue in the painting, the cathedral of surf known as Bird’s Surf Shed, which was promptly grabbed by the Bird himself.  This year my aim is to focus on the filmmakers, as this event exists to celebrate and enjoy their efforts.  The piece is available for online bidding as well so if you’re interested in taking home a piece of history from this event, feel free to get your bid on here.

If you’re in the area, get there.  I don’t think there’s much more to say than that.  See you there!

“Fire Fusion”

Posted by on 11:55 am in AidCurrent, Bloggalogga, Finished, Live Arts,, Shows & Events | 0 comments


Title: “Fire Fusion”

Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Size: 36″ x 36″
Year: 2014
Price of Original Painting: SOLD
Painted Live with Likwefi at the Fire Fusion event at the Mateel Community Center in Redway, CA.

Prints Available Here.

Source: AidCurrent


I think I’m going to just start enjoying water more as I do these live art paintings.  This one I just relaxed and felt like painting a mix of explosive fire and water.  It’s not exactly what I had in mind, but when completing a large painting in just two and a half hours, it rarely is.  What it was though, was super fun.  I think just zoning and painting water is where it’s at for me right now, and I’m looking forward to more.

I don’t know the final bid yet for this one, but I doubt it’s much over $350.  If you’re interested in snagging one of these live art paintings and don’t mind taking a bit of a risk on the outcome, they are always open for online bidding leading up to each event.  I give online bidders the opportunity to bid first, then close the bidding just prior to the event, and take the highest online bid and start the event bidding with that.  Sometimes there’s folks at the events that want the painting bad enough to outbid the online folks, other times, there’s no takers at all so even a low online bid wins it.

Sign up for my AidCurrent mailing list to be notified of each live art bidding opportunity.  If you don’t see any action on an auction nearing its close, don’t be a sheep and think that since no one else bid on it you shouldn’t either, instead realize it’s a great opportunity and it means you can really score a deal on that one so don’t hesitate to throw a small number at it, you never know…

RampArt Skatepark

Posted by on 11:36 am in AidCurrent, Finished, Live Arts, Shows & Events | 0 comments


Sold for: $400
Funds raised: $200

Beneficiary: RampArt Skatepark

Painted live at the RampArt Indoor Skatepark in Arcata on April 12, 2014

Source: AidCurrent


This may have been the raddest setting so far for one of my live art events.  They had me on the deck of a ten foot vert ramp while 5 feet below on a second deck to the right a series of bands completely rocked the indoor skatepark.  The opening band played Minor Threat covers exclusively and the whole canvas quickly turned to a frantic mess of red, black, and brown as the rough forms of skate rampage emerged.  Felt like I was about 16 again for awhile there.  After that things settled into a more liquid flow, but the high-energy music kept cranking all night so the finished piece has a pretty nervous vibe.  It’s all good, that’s half the fun of live art, just not knowing where it’ll go in the end.  As usual I took a few online bids prior to starting this one through my AidCurrent project, and although there was some bidding taking place at the event, it didn’t match the highest bid from a collector in Oregon.  An original painting for $400,  a donation to the skatepark of $200, and a fun night for me with all my costs covered = win, win, win.

“Surface Tension”

Posted by on 10:19 pm in AidCurrent, Bloggalogga,, Paint, Visuals | 0 comments

I’m stoked to be finished with this latest painting, and even more stoked on the patience of the clients that commissioned it, dating back at least a year and a half now.  It’s a simple painting, but I went through all sorts of grief just arriving at this state.  There were clouds in the sky, there were rocks underwater, there were these goofy air bubble things underwater that at one point were painted with gold which gave them the unmistakable look of brass knuckles, there were a few other double ups in the wave face…  finally after walking away I don’t know how many times, I just realized I should keep it simple, not sure why that was so hard to do.  Such is life, yeah?

Being that this was a commissioned painting, the original is not available, but I’ve made a wide selection of print options available on my AidCurrent site.  Check ‘em out, and support whoever you love.


Title: “Surface Tension”

Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Size: 48″ x 30″
Year: 2014
Price of Original Painting: SOLD as a commission
Signed Prints (Limited, Archival, Canvas, Paper): Available here.

Source: Matt Beard Art

LIVE: Matt Beard with Likwefi and ?? at Fire Fusion 420

Posted by on 10:05 pm in AidCurrent, Shows & Events | 0 comments


When: Saturday April 19th, 2014
Where: Mateel Hall
Redway, CA
(707) 497-0767

AidCurrent artist Matt Beard will be painting live at the Fire Fusion 420 event held at the Mateel Hall in Redway, CA.  Throughout the show, visual artist Matt Beard will be painting a spontaneous expression of color inspired by the event itself. The finished 36”x 36” canvas will be silent auctioned to the highest bidder at the end of the show with 50% donated to the non-profit of the buyer’s choice.

Matt Beard’s live art presents a rare opportunity to own one of his original works, as many of his studio paintings are purchased by collectors before they ever become publicly available.  His live art is unpredictable and a bit different from the studio work he’s known for, but we dig it.  You can check out some of his live work here to see how it’s unfolded at past events.

We’ve set up an online auction for this piece with the auction set to end an hour before the live event begins.  The winning bid from the online auction will become the starting bid at the live event.  The higher the online bid, the greater the chance that it will hold and nobody at the event will outbid it.  This opens the auction up to folks who can’t make it to the event, while giving folks at the event who actually see the painting unfold a fair chance to take it home themselves.  You can place your bids for this piece online here.

It will be a silent auction at the event itself, to bid there just make your way to the table his paint palette is on, and find or ask for the clipboard with the auction sheet.  Or, to place a silent pre-bid feel free to contact us here, and let us know how far you’d go to own one his original live art piece from this event.  We will raise the bid on your behalf in increments of $25 until your limit is reached, so nobody will know how far you’re willing to go.

Source: AidCurrent

LIQUID SALT Limited Edition Prints

Posted by on 9:54 pm in AidCurrent, Bloggalogga, Uncategorized | 0 comments

AidCurrent is proud to support LIQUID SALT, an independent surf media site that chronicles the culture of surfing.

For a limited time, pick up one of these “LIQUID SALT EDITION” limited edition prints from AidCurrent artist Matt Beard.

Limited to only 10 prints each, these are printed with archival Epson inks on Epson Velvet Fine Art paper, a luxurious heavy-weight 100% cotton rag paper.

Each print is pencil signed, titled and numbered by the artist.

$125 ea. 


Each print also comes with a LIQUID SALT sticker pack as well. So get on it!

All proceeds will support the LIQUID SALT team’s effort to update their site and improve their efforts to catalog and document the culture of surfing through in depth interviews with the characters that define it.

available at:

Source: AidCurrent

In Defense of the Non-Profit

Posted by on 9:58 pm in Bloggalogga, Thunked | 0 comments

by Matt Beard

It makes me a bit sad to even feel the need to write this post.  I woke today to read an artist friend of mine posting about how he prefers to give directly to people rather than go through non-profits that pay “big salaries with lots of overhead”.  His preferred method of giving with his art was absolutely beautiful, choosing to bring supplies and literally create art with children in places he was visiting.  I think that’s a wonderful way to use art to make the world a better place, and his example is truly inspiring.

What I take exception to there is his casual and somewhat bitter dismissal of non-profits in general.  If it were the first time I’d heard that line of thinking, I don’t think it would have bothered me so much, but it’s something I hear a lot of these days, especially since launching this AidCurrent project.   Perhaps my ears are just a bit more sensitive lately, but either way, I feel like there needs to be some defense of the world of non-profits.

In regards to my friends position, not wanting to support organizations but rather use his art directly to have a positive impact on the world, I’d first argue that the two are not mutually exclusive in any way.  I’ve created AidCurrent to be a specifically fund-raising oriented tool, but it does not represent the entirety of what I give or my efforts to be a blessing to others.  This should be fairly obvious so I’ll leave it at that.

Secondly, there are problems in the world that are solvable, but art itself is just not the solution.   Sometimes we need to pay people to fight the legal battles necessary to preserve threatened natural habitats, to organize creative distribution networks to get food to starving people, to oversee the immense logistics of helping displaced refugees rebuild lives with dignity, there’s no end to the list of great work that non-profits are doing which simply could not be done effectively without paying someone well enough to make it their first responsibility.

It seems the root of many objections to non-profit fundraising has to do with a concern over where the dollars end up.  Will they be used effectively toward the cause being promoted by the organization, or will they simply pay the rent and salaries of the folks doing the fund-raising?  This is an entirely valid concern.  It seems there are non-profits out there that have been so bogged down by their own organizational structure that they have drifted from their founding focus on making a difference and seem to only seek to continue to exist in a self serving fashion.  I hear that. I think we all do well to watch out for that.

However we should not confuse the presence of paid salaries with a non-profit gone awry.  How many of us like to work for free?  Occasionally we volunteer for sure, but to really make a life of it?  A career?  The fact that salaries are paid simply allows people to dedicate their careers, and even their lives to making a difference in the world.  The reality is that they would have a hard time accomplishing nearly as much if they were holding another job to pay their bills while putting spare time on the side toward working to solve the difficult problems the non-profit is focused on.   It is unfortunate that sometimes we see only the fund-raising face of these groups, which is a valid part of their existence and necessary to their mission.  But let’s not confuse these efforts with the work the organization exists for.

Nearly every non-profit begins with a vision and dedication to make a difference in a tangible way, not just desiring that the world be better and passively hoping for it, but actually finding some small way to make it happen.  Because they begin with this core of idealism, I think we sometimes hold them to an unfairly high standard.  We expect them to be run by saints, not regular people who need to pay rent, feed families, and live comfortable lives, and even get caught up like we all do at times with keeping up with the proverbial Jones’s.  Maybe it’s the term non-profit that throws us off and creates unrealistic expectations.

Let’s unpack this a bit and look at it a bit more abstractly and consider that a non-profit really is a business like any other.  Let’s say one business sells a product they don’t even make themselves, but they’re clever and they know how to outsource it and really market it well.  If the product is a truly crappy product, the company won’t last long no matter how well they market it.   A second business sells a great product, but it’s niche is so small that they struggle to find a market for it, in other words, it just doesn’t meet the needs of the general population and the niche that it does serve is so broad and scattered that they struggle to find a way to effectively get this great product in front of their sparse potential customers, they may not last long either, no matter how great their product really is.  The non-profit is just another type of business, and their product is called “making a difference in a certain area”.  They solicit this product to folks who desire to make a difference in that area but whose lives are too busy or whatever.  These folks “purchase” this product by way of donations to the non-profit.  Now if the non-profit doesn’t actually make a difference in the specified area but it’s really all just marketing, that’s a crappy product and word will get out and the nonprofit will go the way of our first example and fail.  Likewise if the non-profit cannot find a way to effectively connect its “product” with those that desire to “make a difference in a certain area” they will fail as well.  So fundraising at heart is really just marketing for a non-profit.  A business with poor marketing or inferior products will not last long, and neither will a non-profit.

Ok, so what, they’re just businesses like any other?  Not quite.  The normal business produces products or offers some service that benefits those who can pay for it, and we don’t often begrudge them for their employees making decent salaries and paying rent for their offices.  The non-profit’s “products” usually benefit those who can’t afford to pay for it themselves.  That’s a huge difference.  A successful non-profit, with rent and salaries and all, will provide years and years of service to meet areas of real need that go way beyond a consumerist level.  Let’s no begrudge them for doing well and hiring quality people and even engaging explicit fund-raising as needed, every business has to advertise some way or another.

By all means give direct where you can whenever you can, but for problems that are bigger than what your life has prepared you to address directly, don’t let a bitter resentment prevent you from partnering, volunteering, and supporting organizations that exist to meet those needs.  Get past the dollars and look for the heart.  If the organization has no heart and exists for dollars, let them rot and go out of business just like any other failed endeavor, but realize that sometimes you have to embrace fund-raising and look past it to see the greater good.  Don’t miss out on that.

Source: AidCurrent

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