Artist Matthew Phinn showcases his beautiful Yorkshire landscapes
PUBLISHED: 11:03 16 April 2012 | UPDATED: 21:16 20 February 2013
Matthew Phinn, son of best-selling Yorkshire author Gervase Phinn, is successful in his own right as an artist. He shares his story with us
Are you an artist inspired by Yorkshires places and people? Share your story and images with us. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your contact details and an example of your images.
It has been an unusual journey. After graduating with a degree in fine art from the University of Leeds, I decided to follow my dream of exploring Japan. This year out however, somehow turned into eight years, most of which was spent as a painter and art teacher in the beautiful countryside near Hiroshima. After returning to England two years ago I have since concentrated on painting the place I know and love the best: Yorkshire.
I grew up near Doncaster and since I was a little boy, I would be out painting locally with my Auntie Christine and later in the wonderful Dales and dramatic North York Moors. It seems that wherever I go in this wonderful county, there are limitless scenes of nature, ancient villages, hidden gems and brooding landscapes with a dynamic and ever-changing light, which is ideal for painting.
During my time in Japan, I studied sumie ink painting and spent much of my time with local painters in Hiroshima. Gradually my approach to painting changed, becoming more delicate and detailed. I focused on developing my technique in watercolours, trying to push it from the small scale and ephemeral to something more grand and impressive. Many of my paintings are very large, reaching up to 5ft wide and because of this, my time is split between plein air sketches, taking photographs and finally, studio work.
I have a particular love for the North East coast and moors around Whitby, with small working fishing villages nestled against cliffs and breathtaking views over the heather and farms to small villages. My Yorkshire paintings have been shortlisted for the Sunday Times Watercolour Competition and this year, The Royal Institute for Painters in Watercolours. This May I will be holding a large exhibition in a department Store in Kobe, Japan. The organiser, after looking at my recent paintings asked that instead of my usual Japanese landscapes, I would exhibit my English ones. He said that these views are unusual and exciting for Japanese people, maybe even exotic! I thought about it and readily agreed. Perhaps I should title the exhibition Exotic Yorkshire!