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About

I was born and grew up in Staffordshire, and went to school in Shropshire, and eventually returned here after many travels. I have been painting for a decade after returning from working as a journalist.  

Colour is a very important aspect to my work; a hidden language. I rather like that quote from Leonardo Da Vinci: “Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen.

My art seeks to capture colour and how it relates to us.  You will find various styles in my works. I like creating fantasy landscapes, but also illustrations to accompany my writing. I am largely self-taught as painter, though I have some formal education in Art. I also enjoy writing and I am currently studying writing at master’s level.

When I create paintings in oil or watercolour, I tend towards allegorical images, mostly landscape. The India watercolours are illustrations and are drawn from my travels there. My paintings are regularly exhibited, and some are currently enjoyed in private collections.

I wonder where I would be without the opportunity to express myself in paint, or ink or poetry. People get quite embarrassed when you talk about deep feelings and different realities.

However, I’m sure we all see pictures in clouds, in the rhythms of landscape and in trees. I am so delighted and intrigued by these things. I have an urge to share my experiences with other people. Art is a less embarrassing vehicle for expression. This is because I look at the familiar and see it from another point of view. ‘Do you see that form in the tree?’ is more an associative perception, now potentially the title for a painting or story, rather than something I’d mention to a bewildered passer by.

I’d like to call my type of art poetic. Yes, they are painterly expressions, but they are also poems written in paint, possibly even prayers.

A small bit of creativity seems to have been given to me, since it forced me to explore a particular gift, rather than get frustrated by it. But to have it is one thing. I’ve learned, I must work consciously to develop it. To enter a creative phase unbidden is not unknown to me, as a waxing before a waning like the moon. However, to be assured of continuity I always set new intentions with both my imagination and particular feeling for the new collection, and this sets my path ahead for creating the new phase of work.

Where do my pictures come from, you ask? Well, the simple answer is that they come from inside me, from my artistic imagination. However, it is also the case that they are a response to the world outside. It is the interaction between the inner and outer life, that is the source of my paintings; the ‘in-scape’ and ‘out-scape’.

The greatest pleasure in exploring creativity, is in sharing and having my vision appreciated and understood by someone else.

I could write whole aesthetic tracts of pretentious nonsense about alternative dimensions from the fourth to the tenth, the astral and etheric planes, tree devas, sylphs, nymphs, pure psychic automatism, psychological pareidolia and apopheria bordering on temperamental withdrawal, sophisticated Rorschach tests for the collective unconscious, channelling, alternative, subatomic, invisible and transcendental realities; and the all too romantic notions of the artist as a mad man.

However, I will not conjure up any more apoplexy. The paintings speak for themselves. Let the viewer decide or not!

 

 

 

Harry Matthews,

Shropshire, England.

2018

 

Education & Work

BA (Hons), University of Reading.

Writer, Amsterdam Weekly, Netherlands.

Poetry, Drawing, Watercolour Skills and Landscape Painting. University of Wales, (LLL).

Artist, Exhibitions, North West & West Midlands, England.

MA, Liverpool John Moores University.

e-mail  harry@harryart.co.uk

www.HarryArt.co.uk

 

“More strange than true. I never may believe
These antique fables nor these fairy toys.
Lovers and madmen have such seething brains,
Such shaping fantasies, that apprehend
More than cool reason ever comprehends.
The lunatic, the lover, and the poet
Are of imagination all compact.
One sees more devils than vast hell can hold—
That is the madman. The lover, all as frantic,
Sees Helen’s beauty in a brow of Egypt.
The poet’s eye, in fine frenzy rolling,
Doth glance from heaven to Earth, from Earth to heaven.
And as imagination bodies forth
The forms of things unknown, the poet’s pen
Turns them to shapes and gives to airy nothing
A local habitation and a name.

-Theseus, 

A Midsummer Night’s Dream,

Act 5, Scene 1

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