I call my pastels “meditations”, because while I’m creating them, I find a center or space of mind
– almost like a prayer. I try to capture a moment in time and translate it into an impressionistic
snapshot or memory. For the artist, the work is about the journey, for the viewer, it’s the
destination. It’s my job as an artist to try to share a little bit of that journey with the viewer.
The youngest of 3 children, G. Matthew Dixon credits his eldest sister, Cathy and hours doodling together as one of his earliest influences on pursuing art. Having always had a love of drawing and sketching, he was never very far from a sketchbook.
In high school, Matthew met his second main influence, his art teacher, Mrs. Jean Jones. Mrs. Jones encouraged Matthew to look into art as a career and, as a result, Matthew made the decision to study Visual Communications and Graphic Design at the Art Institute of Philadelphia. There he discovered he had a knack with computers that led him to focus on Graphic Design and Commercial Art.
While exploring the art scene in Philadelphia, Matthew was exposed to a more diverse group of art and artists. He attended his first gallery opening and learned more of what it meant to make art as a profession rather than a hobby. The numerous teachers and artists he met at this time continue to influence and inspire him to this day.
However, Matthew put aside his fine art as his career as a graphic designer progressed. In 2008 his pursuit of fine art was reignited after joining a group focused on life drawing. It was also at this time that a gifted set of oil paints led Matthew to begin painting abstracts. He loved the thought of using color not only as an element, but as a subject in his works. He would put on music and create to all hours of the night in his tiny condo apartment accumulating in his dining room studio over 300 canvases in just under 5 years time.
As a birthday gift from his in-laws, Matthew was given a Stan Sperlak plein aire pastel workshop and his artistic direction changed. This workshop led to a shift in focus from oils to his current medium, pastel. Matthew immediately fell in love with pastel painting and has been working in this new medium ever since.
Matthew felt an instant affinity for the materials and the buttery consistency of the pastel on the rough sanded paper. This medium assisted Matthew to work looser while focusing more on values and composition. Pastels also allowed Matthew to use the materials and color in an expressionistic style which makes the viewer part of the overall work. Matthew posts his “Meditations” on Instagram, Flickr, Twitter and Facebook to expose his work to a wider audience.
Born and raised in South Jersey, Matthew has never been too far from the Ocean, Salt Marshes, Cedar Water or the Pine Barrens that make up the bulk of his current subject matter. The region and nature play a big part in all of his works influencing both his color palette as well as his body of work.
You can frequently find Matthew around the area exploring and painting the natural locales that make Southern New Jersey unique or at home in his studio. With cedar water in his veins and the Pine Barrens in his bones, this Jersey-born artist pops up in places particularly around the Atlantic City region. However, Matthew can also be found vacationing in areas that have their own natural beauty such as the mountains of Colorado, the beaches of Puerto Rico or the forests of the Smoky Mountains.
Matthew currently serves as President for the Absecon Cultural Arts Alliance whose mission is to promote art in the community. Matthew’s work with the ACAA has helped introduce him to a broad range of local artists. In 2019 Matthew founded the Facebook group Artists Supporting Artists. This group was created with the intention of connecting the various circles of artists Matthew had met throughout his artistic journey in ways that would help elevate and encourage those artists in their own practices. The group has grown considerably since its creation and continues to attract new members from the region, country and internationally every day.