Matthew Summers Artist
Based in Christchurch, New Zealand, artist Matthew Summers is an exhibiting artist and art teacher. His main focus is painting abstract oil landscapes, inspired by his travels in New Zealand and abroad, but he occasionally dabbles in other media. Since he completed his formal training at Wanganui’s Quay School of the Arts, Matthew Summers has been highlighted as an a emerging artistic talent and featured in print by two of New Zealand's top art commentators - Warwick Brown and Dick Frizzell.
"Probably the most important tool for my painting has been travelling," says artist Matthew Summers. "Since leaving art school I’ve been to a lot of places in New Zealand and abroad that I hadn’t seen before. My paintings are a colourful by-product of a constant learning process. Painting, for me, is about exploring relationships of form and colour. The land provides a simple basis for this, as well as an arena where painting can be challenging, satisfying and fun".
The results are exceptionally vibrant landscapes of the Wellington region, Coromandel, Tauranga, Canterbury, Otago and the West Coast, Europe, the United Kingdom, South America, Asia, Africa and beyond. The paintings' rich colours are mixed from just five different tubes – yellow, red, two blues and white – and applied thickly to create intense, vivid scenes on a small scale.
"I like working at this scale," Matthew Summers says. "I find it a lot more intimate. Smaller work draws you in - you have to go close to have a look at it, and it gives a more personal interpretation of the place."
Artist Matthew Summers has been painting and exhibiting steadily since leaving Wanganui’s Quay School of the Arts in 1998, and his highly distinctive work has appeared in a variety of settings. Most recently as part of the Art of Teaching exhibition hosted at Pataka Gallery.
Following art school Matthew Summers also trained as a secondary school art teacher before departing for a stint in the United Kingdom. Some works from around this time derive from telling his own classes about the Fauvists, the wild European colourists of a century ago. "One of the reasons I enjoy teaching so much is that I’m learning through it myself."
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