Updated: Apr 17, 2020
by Adam Brant | Feb 26, 2019
“Express yourself joyously and help others – what could be better?” – Mathew Bose shares his thoughts on the Twitter Art Exhibit (TAE), along with his love of portraits and how his artwork led to recreating the inside of an Egyptian tomb!
We chat to the multi-talented Mathew Bose and hope his work and enthusiasm for all things TAE provides you with motivation to complete your own TAE19 entries. Remember the deadline for entries to be received in Scotland is 29 April 2019 (12 April 2019 if you’d like your card to be added to the TAE19 catalogue).
Mathew lives in the historic city of York in the north of England (UK) but originates from the English south coast. He’s an actor by trade (if you’re a fan of British soap operas you may recognise him!) and runs a guesthouse. Despite these intense commitments Mathew finds time to produce wonderful artwork, and believes art is a powerful but often underrated influencer and inspiration.
Mathew loves to see social media being used positively and isn’t surprised artists and creative minds like those involved in the TAE are leading the way!
“I’d like people to not only enjoy my work and get a sense of enjoyment from it, but for it to inspire them to support the arts and maybe try doing some of their own too.”
What have been the benefits to you of being involved in the TAE?
I find working on my artwork quite isolating as I don’t know many other artists. The TAE is a brilliant chance to engage with other artistic people to exchange ideas and support. I’ve felt so proud when other artists supportively comment on my contributions enthusiastically – it really is an incredible boost. The chance to exhibit all over the world is great too!
The TAE is the perfect arena to have a go at creating an artwork as it’s so inclusive and supportive. No one involved is judging or competing, just creating in the hope of focusing energy on raising heaps of cash for a worthy cause to help others. It’s also wonderful how the TAE brings diverse people from far flung places together, all united by art. Seeing hundreds of pieces of creativity displayed as a mosaic is a most excellent sight, and I try to get everyone I know involved!
What was the first postcard you submitted to the TAE?
It was a portrait of my friend’s dog “Gus” for TAE16 held in New York City. My friend lives there but was away for the exhibition opening. She provided specific instructions to her husband before she left that he better be the first through the door to purchase the postcard. Her threats worked as he was, and he did!
Your portrait of Gus is wonderful! Do you specialise in portraits?
I mainly create portraits and often of animals (especially dogs). I never tire of seeing their wonderful expressive faces and love trying to capture that one expression that sums up their personality! I enjoy the challenge of making large, dramatic and detailed work – bringing the animal to life hair by hair – to create an energetic and visceral portrait.
I mostly work with coloured pencils. I was given a box when I was young and used them for everything I created. I’ve continued to stick with them but would like to branch out more. I tend to work on life size pieces due to the impact they have, and as the larger scale allows me to work in detail to represent every hair. I find the TAE postcard size challenging as I’m not used to working on a small scale!
I’m not sure how I ended-up doing portraits, but I love facial expressions and features of people and animals (such as eyes and hair) work well in the coloured pencil medium. I’ve started doing some collage work recently as I like the contrast to the fine detail in my portraits. I enjoy the organic way the collage occurs even with some planning!
Your work is very detailed – did you train as an artist?
I’m not from a particularly artistic family, although my aunt is a fine oil painter and encouraged me to create art. I took art as a subject at school but almost failed my A Level (a post-16 examination). I was interested in the subject but found the structure of the course quite stifling. I created my own artwork at home which became my own personal art college. I experimented with everything from drawing and painting to collage and murals (even painting our hallway like the inside of an Egyptian tomb!).
However, having a great art teacher meant my interest in artwork continued after leaving school. I’ve always gone to art exhibitions and see everything around me as a potential inspiration. Nature is my true muse – her perfection and use of colour and texture is unparalleled. I’m hoping to take some art classes again as there are always things to learn. I hope they’ll free me up and take me away from the safety of pencil and intricate detail – wish me luck!