G. Matthew Dixon was born and raised in South Jersey. The youngest of 3 children and the only boy, Matt credits his eldest sister, Cathy and hours laying on the floor in their living room drawing from how to cartoon books as one of his earliest influences on pursuing art. Having always had a love of doodling and sketching, he was never very far from a sketchbook and frequently hoarded paper to feed his ever growing art supply addiction- frequently cutting down larger pieces of paper to make smaller pieces in an effort to have more paper.
Once he hit high school, Matthew took advantage of his elective courses and took every art class that he could within his high school curriculum. It was here that he met his second main influence, his high school art teacher, Mrs Jean Jones. It was also at this point that he began paying more attention to art history and to studying the past masters.
In High School, Matthew had the dream of becoming a comic book artist and illustrator, and began to look into art as a career. It was in his Junior year of High school that Matthew made the decision to go into a 2 year program at the Art Institute of Philadelphia and study Visual Communications and Graphic Design.
Upon starting his advanced education, Matthew found he had a knack with computers (especially Photoshop) and an instant connection was made that led him to put aside the dreams of becoming an illustrator and to focus on Graphic design and Commercial art.
It was at the Art Institute as well, where Matthew was exposed to a more diverse group of people and the art scene of Philadelphia. He attended his first gallery opening and learned more of what it meant to make art as a profession rather than as a hobby. He met numerous teachers and professional artists that continue to influence his work and out look to this day.
As so often happens even in creative fields, Matthew put away his fine art in order to focus on a career in graphic design. It wasn’t until 2008 when a friend and coworker introduced him back into life drawing that he began to give more serious focus on pursuing fine art once again. It was then, as well, that he received a very influential Christmas gift consisting of a starter set of oil paints (a medium up to this point that he had not touched due to intimidation). From the first brushstroke, there was almost an audible click as he found a new love for oil paints and abstraction. 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 and boards in just under 5 years time.
It was in the Summer of 2014 that Matthew met and fell in love with his now wife Tara and soon thereafter moved into a larger house with a garage studio, enabling him to work on larger canvas. It was also at this point that his art began to develop and change.
In 2017 as a birthday gift from his Mother and Father in law, Kathy and Ron McQuaid, Matthew was given a spot at a Stan Sperlak plein aire pastel workshop and life as he knew it changed once again. Matthew immediately fell in love with Plein Aire pastel painting and has been working in this new medium ever since.
Matthew loves the feel of the materials, the buttery feel of the pastel on the rough sanded paper. The process of plein aire lends itself to quick sketches and capturing moments in nature. This process causes Matthew to work looser than he had before but to focus more on values and composition and to use the materials and color in an expressionistic style which makes the viewer part of the overall work. With his “Saturday Morning Meditations” and “Midweek Reflections”, Matthew posts his work on Instagram, Flickr, Twitter and Facebook in order to expose his work to a wider audience and connect with those who may not have access to original fine art pastel on a regular basis.
Having been born in 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 recent subject matter. The region plays a big part in all of his works influencing his color palette as well as the sanded surfaces he paints upon.
You can frequently find G. Matthew around the area exploring and painting the natural locales that make Southern New Jersey unique. With cedar water in his veins and the pine Barrens in his bones, this jersey born artist pops up in places particularly around the Absecon, and Galloway region.