It has been said that those who achieve notoriety in life are typically those who possess the courage to seek the wisdom of their souls. After spending 15 years of his life as a talent agent & manager for high-profile celebrities, Matthew Henry (born Tim Tye) went in search of that wisdom and quietly walked away from his lucrative music business career to begin what he believes will become his life¡¯s work - The Language of Nature Collection. Using the pseudonym Matthew Henry, he has transformed himself into quite a success with his simple, yet effective rustic wooden sign art collection that embodies both, visual art and poetry.
It was back in the mid-1990¡¯s when he and his former wife, Portia, grew tired of their big city life and built their dream home (complete with a barn and cabin) in the wilderness area of Middle Tennessee. Living with nature was where he began to feel alive again. During those years, he kept a journal to capture the essence of what mattered most in life. It was out of those writings that birthed his emotionally inspiring and visually pleasing Language of Nature Collection. His twelve self-penned inscriptions are a translation of the timeless message that nature so eloquently speaks, and serve as an inspiration to many. Often referred to as the Poet of Nature, Matthew Henry¡¯s work continues to be featured in magazines and newspapers across the country. ¡¡ãThings kind of started taking off when I appeared simultaneously in Log Homes Illustrated and Country¡¯s Best Log Homes in early 2001. Then came the front page Sunday newspaper features, sales of my work, and even an award for my web site. It was pretty overwhelming. People often ask me what it is I do, and I¡¯m never really sure how to answer. Some people see my work as art, some call it poetry, and some just call them wooden camp signs. I suppose that more than anything, I am sharing my philosophy of life thru my work. Often, I think back to when I was a small child and first discovered the tranquility of nature. It was then that I knew that I had just discovered the truest essence of God. I believe that my purpose in life has always been to help others find their peace. So for me, Nature is where I¡¯ve always found true happiness. Sweet peace. And I believe that my work is a true reflection of that.¡¡À
A few Summers ago, seeking continued inspiration and a cooler climate, Matthew and his then wife packed up their van and ventured off in search of a new place to call home. During their journey they visited several smaller mid-Atlantic & Appalachian cities and towns hoping to be inspired by a place. Their search ended 2,000 miles later in the Potomac Highlands of West Virginia when they happened upon the small mountain community of Elkins. ¡¡ãMy wife and I were truly enchanted by this place. And I knew that the surrounding Allegheny Mountain range would be a great place to spend my days frolicking in the forests & streams. I¡¯ve since found that the beauty here rivals anything I¡¯ve ever witnessed in the Great Smoky Mountains of the East, or the Rocky Mountains of the West. Every chance I get, I spend time in these beautiful forests either alone or with my children. So I don¡¯t just talk about a lifestyle, I live it. My life is filled with the simplest of things . . . . the good things.¡¡À
During the long, cold Winter of 2003, Matthew Henry completed work on his latest collection titled, ¡¡ãWhen the World Burdens You¡¡À. Consisting of 8 new inscriptions, this body of work offers simple advice for finding solace in troubled times. ¡¡ãI was looking for a way to simplify my ¡¡ãSpend time with Nature¡¡À message that would appeal to a more mainstream audience than just nature lovers & rustic lifestylers. In this era that we live, more people would benefit from spending time with nature. Clearing ones lives of chaos is very important not only from a mental aspect, but physical as well. I¡¯m very proud of this work.¡¡À Much of the year kept him diligently at work promoting his ¡¡ãspend time with nature¡¡À movement via personal appearances, magazine & news articles, and some advertising. His future plans envision pursuing licensing agreements for his work, retail partners, and writing his documentary. ¡¡ãSure, it¡¯s a lot of work at times, but the reward is knowing how my work affects peoples lives. So I work hard at not letting it burden me. In the end, all I want to be remembered for is just being some kid who loved Nature!" And don't miss The Lodge & Cabin Sign Series found at www.LodgeandCabinSigns.com and his latest Spring 2009 Collection at www.ClassicHouseSigns.com <W.K. Woodward 4/07 - updated>