William Matthews: Field Studies and Small Paintings
March 29 through May 10, 2018
Great Basin Studio, Denver, Colorado
From the Matthews studio:
Born in New York City and raised in San Francisco, watercolorist William Matthews attended
the San Francisco Art Institute. In 1985 he attended the annual National Cowboy Poetry
Gathering in Elko, Nevada and embarked on a series of works centered on the working
cowboys of Nevada’s Great Basin that continues to this day.
“I have been painting outdoors, in front of my subject, since I was a little boy,” Matthews says. “It was my way to escape into my own world. Some of my first memories are sitting on the grass with a watercolor block on my lap, with pencils and brushes. It has always been about the time spent and the daydream focus. It is never to accomplish a task, but when the firefly is captured, it’s a thrill!”
Matthews’s first gallery opened in 1990, and since then he has traveled the world with paint and paper gathering subject matter for a body of work that knows no bounds. Previous shows have examined India, China, the British Isles, Egypt, Italy, and countless points across the United States.
In 2014, Matthews was the subject of a documentary titled “Drawn to Paint,” focusing on his Western watercolors and the cultural shifts they depict, and his creative process in capturing them. The same year, the Denver Art Museum staged “Trespassing,” a six-month, one-man retrospective of his watercolors in its Hamilton Wing.