I started drawing and painting as a child and haven’t really stopped. Watching my mum and my nan painting, sewing and generally being creative from an early age stayed with me. Early twentieth century advertising, all things vintage and the Mr Men still influence me to this day.
In the past I have dabbled in printmaking, ceramics and illustration, but it’s painting that I feel most comfortable with. I like to use anything that I think would make a good platform to start a painting, such as discarded materials that I find on the street, plywood or a piece of furniture. I like to think that anything’s a canvas.
Humour, both visual and written, plays a big part in my work. Puns, word association, anything that I find amusing can be the start of a painting. Ideas evolve along the way, especially with bigger paintings. The visual quality in a piece is more important than the reasons and ideas behind it. One image can complement another but may have nothing to do with it. As long as it sits well, that is enough for it to work. I want the paintings to be eye-catching and visually stimulating but also ambiguous. If the viewer comes up with their own interpretation of the picture then it’s interesting to hear their perspective.
I try to paint every day – even if it’s just for ten minutes – sometimes you can do more in ten minutes than in an hour. I’ve always got something on the go. I like to draw things on paper first to get a pattern of the image, then position it in the best place on the surface.
The dawn chorus and the first cup of tea in the morning are both magnificent in their beautiful simplicity. I prefer painting outside where the light is best, then you can see how the colours work together at their brightest.
You can see Matt’s work at the Designer Workshop, Bar Lane Industrial Park, NG6 0JA and Nash at Home, Friar Gate House, Derby.