Matthew was born in Wharfedale in the Yorkshire Dales in 1967. Praised for his talent as an artist from an early age, Matthew’s education led him towards architectural studies and while this helped him to develop his natural talents, it drew him away from pure art into a career as a practicing architect concentrating on the built form more than the drawn one. Architecture also led Matthew away from Yorkshire and the dales landscapes he loves so much. A move back to Wharfedale in 2018, followed by a short career break in the 2020 lockdown, created the “perfect storm” allowing Matthew to re-evaluate his priorities and to return to his first loves of painting and drawing. Following a basic art education at school, Matthew is a self-taught artist drawing from his design experience as an architect and inspired by the beautiful landscapes around his home in the Yorkshire Dales.
Matthew’s work explores the sometimes-stark beauty of the Yorkshire Dales landscapes. He is fascinated by the changing nature of the countryside and how it is affected not only by the seasons, the light and the weather conditions but also by human intervention – the sculptural forms of trees and hedges cut-back to allow farm trailers to pass through the narrow country roads, the dry-stone walls, fences and old farm gates, even road signs and telegraph poles. Matthew makes sketches and takes photographs on his daily walks. His works are informed by these, working them into carefully constructed compositions. Matthew’s paintings are generally produced in acrylic inks with some watercolour and pencil work.