Why do I Paint This Way?

I have been told many times that I have a very unique distinct style. I’ve always painted this way . As an artist I often paint for the sake...

I have been told many times that I have a very unique distinct style. I’ve always painted this way. As an artist I often paint for the sake of painting… it’s what I love doing. I do put a lot of thought and planning into my artworks, and how my themes are conveyed on the canvas, as one can see by looking elsewhere on this art blog.

But my style very often just comes naturally – it’s the way I love to paint. 


What I love most is the “act of painting”… the mixing of the colors, and seeing the paint spread across the canvas.

I approach painting in the same way as I sculpt clay – I mold the forms by using contrasting colors and often detailed rendering. 

Bright colors near neutral make the forms pop out, obviously.


I’ve always loved looking at paintings from the Old Masters of Fine Art, whether it be Rembrandt, Caravaggio, or others.

 These paintings are amazing to me!

What I love most is the dark moodiness and the drama in the paintings. Most are dimly lit but even have detail in the dark areas.

They convey deep emotion just by simply using these basic elements.

 

Voyage Abroad
Oil on Canvas
3” by 4”
Graham Matthews

I will examine one of my paintings I completed in my art school years entitled “Voyage Abroad”, listing several common elements throughout the whole scope of my art.

  • Movement – Long lines extend and look like they are reaching out. The whole painting looks like an image captured in time, like a photograph. My paintings almost always are very “busy”.
  • Detailed Rendering Even in the Background – The darker background and lighter foreground mixed with detailed rendering make the forms appear “living in the space”. This makes it appear like one can reach into the painting.
  • Forms that Look Like they are Alive - This abstract art work has long extended flowing tentacle like forms that look like they are moving. Some of the shapes appear plant-like while others look like weird other-worldly creatures, but obviously have a certain meaning for me (which I will explain here at another time)
  • Combined Forms – There are a few combined forms at work here: plants, a landscape, a tower/tree combination (Eiffel Tower), and various forms that resemble parts of the body.
  • Different Levels of Meaning – The morphed forms that are used obviously imply separate interpretations. (I will explore this in a separate post)


So, as I asked before, “Why do I paint this way?”

Of course it’s all the reasons I mentioned above. It is partly to create an artwork that the viewer can interact with, that is both familiar and foreign.

But, primarily I paint like this to release feelings and emotions onto the canvas that are very personal, and are hidden in the “deeper meaning”.

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Graham Matthews: Why do I Paint This Way?
Why do I Paint This Way?
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Graham Matthews
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