MATTHEW PHELPS - Landscapes
Matthew has become a regular exhibitor here in Highgate.
Matthew Phelps has developed a unique expression in his work over the years. His work has now become a blend of sympathetic tone and colour, captured in a quiet atmosphere and developed through successive layers of paint and glazes. He feels a pull towards more abstract and involves reducing and simplifying forms within a landscape “I tend to work without a rigid plan of what it will look like, I want the forms to emerge and recede with a mixture of change and controlled marks. I have tried to capture a sense of a still quiet place, where the actuality of location is blurred’
After graduating from Aberystwyth University in 1990, Phelps has travel widely in order to extend his knowledge of art. He was granted a scholarship to study in Moscow and now lives in Norfolk.
A personal statement by the artist:
“My approach to painting has changed since I followed an etching course, where I found the broader application of tone and colour on to the etching plate helped me respond more expressively to large scale paintings. I now try to capture a quiet atmosphere, which is why I often opt for a darker tonal range.
I have always had the greatest admiration for Whistler and Degas - particularly the ‘Nocturne’ series of paintings by the former artist as,due to the fact that I am head of Art at a Sixth Form College in Norfolk, I mostly paint in the evenings”
Matthew Phelps September 2003
New Landscapes 2005: "... I have painted these pictures over the past year and they reflect my continuing interest in painting landscapes. In my larger paintings I have been trying to capture a strong sense of atmosphere by continuing to use a dark tonal range and glazes to produce rich colours. I feel it is important not to get stuck into a pattern of working and have therefore worked on a variety of ways of making marks in order to create interesting effects ...." Matthew Phelps 2005
More recently Matthew's inspiration and starting points have been walking in the Hebrides and the photographer Uta Barth's deceptively simple work. Another point of reference for him is poetry ..."Often, what I project onto these surfaces are passages from poems. In these passages I recognise a beauty and a solace, the quiet stillness I look for in painting."