Studio 3 at Clevedon Craft Centre is home to a number of very talented, diverse artists. Alongside these resident artists, Gail and Lucy the co-founders, invite a number of guest artists every month. Guest artists are chosen from those who have requested wall space or because Gail and Lucy have seen their work and would like to see more. Both have different tastes in guests which works well in keeping the art varied. and both are keen that their choices represent the widest cross-section of all artwork. Their guest artists range from beginners to the more well-known from the surrounding areas.
Their most recent guest, is world-renowned artist Les Matthews, based in Clevedon and Honorary Vice Chairman of Clevedon Art Club. Les will be a familiar name to many in Clevedon and Studio 3 are overjoyed to be exhibiting his work from today until the 9th of November.
Born in 1946, Les was educated at Bristol’s Cathedral School between 1959 and 1965; he then went on to Gloucester College of Art from 1965 to 1969 where he achieved a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), in Art & Design; and finally to the Royal College of Art between 1969 and 1972 where he obtained his Master of Arts (M.A.), Painting. Les secured a position as Restorer at the National Gallery where he remained for four years and then returned to education as Head of Art in a number of schools including Churchhill School in Somerset where he taught for thirteen years.
Les has had many solo and many mixed shows including the Royal Academy, the Royal West of England Academy, Bath Society of Artists, Bristol Savages of which he was an elected artist member in1990, Bristol Guild, BWS, Erotica, Kaleidoscope and Sunday Times, Mall Galleries.
He has also had designer/illustrator commissions for Oxford University Press, Johnnie Walker, Toblerone and notably Transworld Corgi.
Les can be found in numerous public and private collections, including various City Museums, National Trust properties, universities and in the personal collection of H.R.H Duke of Kent.
Les’ work covers a wide subject range including the female nude, Egyptology and mythology, chivalry and science fiction, but there is no question that he is best known for his very unique landscapes and cityscapes which include London’s Millennium Bridge, the canals of Venice, New York City skyscrapers as well as the small towns of Brixham and Polperro.
“I am inspired by cityscapes and architecture; I love the way they constantly grow and change. These inspirations began on my first visits to New York where I really saw skyscrapers scraping the skyline of Manhattan!”
Oil, gouache, egg tempera and watercolour are Les’ prefered mediums and he creates beautiful fine art paintings which are layered over with geometric shapes. Some shapes reflect the structure of the subject matter; some reflect an emotional or visual interest; some are purely compositional but they all make for great interest and speculation.
“Often my work has shades of tonal panelling where I try to give the imagery a structure that belongs to the painting itself not based on what I see. Some shapes pick out the areas of particular interest to myself either emotionally or visually, some are purely compositional.I do see myself in a deep figurative tradition, but I am an artist not a camera!”
The detail in Les’ work is delightful, a fine example being that of the London painting which I’ve used as the banner photo for this blog.
It’s understandable that all at Studio 3 are excited about Les’ exhibition. Check out these reviews from very reputable sources:
“A notable British Artist with a unique vision” Arte Moderne, Paris, France
“New paintings by sought-after artist Les Matthews are rare, as each one is painstakingly created. Les is passionate about his work.” Art & Antiques, Somerset Life, UK
“Highly original painter, Les Matthews work is truly unique. This creative quest for perfection leads to a greater demand than the artist can fulfil” Steve Wright, Folio Magazine
If you’d like to know more about Studio 3, you can check it out here: www.studiothree.art and these are the contact details: Studio 3, Clevedon Craft Centre, Clevedon, BS21 6TD Telephone: 07557331967 E mail: firstname.lastname@example.org They are also on Instagram @studiothree_galler
And a quick reminder of the opening times which it’s worth mentioning are not the same as the Craft Centre: open Monday to Saturday from 10.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. and Sunday from 11.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m.