The Watercolor Art of William Matthews

RoustaboutsIncomingLast year around this time, I was excited to receive a book on the artwork of William Matthews, titled Working the West.

I stumbled upon William Matthews and his watercolor artwork about 5 years ago, and absolutely fell in love with his work.

Normally, I don’t get that excited about watercolors. After all, many watercolor artwork incorporates landscapes, and dreary landscapes at that.  Maybe I just haven’t seen enough watercolor artists that speak to me. However, in my opinion, William Matthew’s artwork is not only fresh and interesting, he uses the watercolors in such a way as to keep your eye moving. 

In the first piece of artwork, titled Roustabouts, I ask myself why is the man in the back off balance. What is happening with the cow that we can not see. What is taking place to the right of the picture.  

In the next drawing, titled Incoming, we can see the storm coming, but the dark sky hasn’t seen as a sense of alarm.  Is that because they are familiar with the landscape? Are they almost home? Maybe its a passing thunderhead?

Thats what I love about William Matthews artwork: it tells a story revolving around the cowboy, and yet it’s more than the story. It’s how he leads your eyes into the painting and helps you see the story he is telling. The dark colors and the softness surrounding the subject matter also help to make it work together to complete the story. To quote the artist himself, “Watercolor has been my paint of choice since I was a young boy. I have always loved the freshness and transparency of watercolor; but above all, I love its fluidity.”

To see his artwork in person, come visit him at the National Cowgirl Museum Hall of Fame on December 10, 2013. I know I will be there! For more info on his upcoming event, click on the link above.

And now I leave with another favorite piece, March Flurries.T53 CB 6-7-1

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About Geri Dunn

Western Graphite Artist
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