Matt Art  
Matt Clark Art
About Matt

Matt's Studio


The combination of running painting holidays for 14 years and of being a keen photographer for many more years means that I am equally happy working from photographs in the studio or out in the landscape painting “en-plein air”

Having been a photographer and selling my photos in a Gallery that we ran in Cheddar for 7 years, I like to use well composed photos that have well balanced light and colour accurately depicting the scene based on the photos I have taken.

That said I will use artistic licence where it improves the scene and of course there are those photos where you say “If only…” and on that basis I can enjoy the best of both worlds and adjust my paintings to suit artistic preference because whilst many compositional rules are the same for photography and art there are also some key differences.

Also, sometimes if I get an idea in my head, I can just use photos as reference but I have found that accurately depicting photos, even in part,  has enabled me to learn more about the subject I am painting and helped with my observational skills, especially coastal scenes and waves…but more about them later.

Sometimes during the painting holidays when I have had opportunity to sketch or paint, I have enjoyed the spontaneity that can be achieved and the “memories” that can be stored in the sketchbook or on the canvas that can be used to develop back in the studio and of course some pictures can be paintings in their own right too.

I like impressionistic scenes where the images are atmospheric but with my love of buildings and street scenes as well as coastal scenes and waves I strive for realistic paintings but know that I will always fall short of photo realism but that’s okay because I hope that whilst I achieve enough accuracy to depict the scene well it can still have a painterly feel.

I love the Algarve and much of the West Country especially Cornwall and Exmoor which is reflected in my paintings. I have painted many pictures of the Algarve during lockdown and am just blown away by the vibrant colours and light of the Algarve and try to reflect this in my paintings.

I mainly paint in oils and the vast majority of the pictures on this site are in oils but I also like painting buildings in watercolours and I love drawing and using pastels from time to time.

Matt's Studio
How it all started

I first started painting in 2005 when I was recovering from CFS/ME. I then had a vision to open a Gallery in Cheddar to promote the “Beauty of God’s Creation” but also to run painting holidays. For more on my vision below. We opened the gallery in 2007 and ran our first holiday in 2008. The painting holidays grew year on year and we have been so busy since then that I have only painted 3 to 4 times per year but during this time have been around artists, tutors and art generally and so had a good understanding of art but never enough practice until 2020 during lockdown when I decided to try to paint every week because I was determined to use the time wisely, keen to improve my paintings and desperate to remain sane and not go stir crazy!

Help along The Way

There are many tutors from our painting holidays whose paintings I admire and I have learnt lots from most of them but there are a few long standing tutors whose work and/or tuition style has stood out for me. There are three tutors I want to pay tribute to as they are no longer with us.

In the early years, I learnt a lot from Michael Sanders whose loose style of oil painting and tuition style were an inspiration to me. I found Noel Gregory’s huge oil paintings with detail really inspirational and I always loved Terry Harrison’s traditional paintings that were always full of life. All three of them had a cracking sense of humour too!

In the here and now, two tutors stand out for me in terms of them helping me on my journey and that is Jeremy Ford and Rob Dudley and Rob in particular has helped me with his advice over the last year during lockdown. Both of them paint in all media that I use and are very adaptable and flexible and want to bring the best out in everyone they teach.

My Vision…….

I have always loved creation and seen God in creation and this has shown itself in my vision to promote “The Beauty of God’s Creation through Art & Photography”.

Matt's Studio 

Prints are available on request of most common sizes from these original paintings.

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