Matt Forster


The immediacy and the spontaneity of watercolour have always appealed to me. It’s the most underrated, misrepresented and misunderstood of all the painting mediums. In theory, of course, it’s simple; you can only lay a darker colour on top of a lighter one. The implications of that have taken me 20 years to begin to overcome.

I’m a watercolour purist. I use no white paint, no highlights, no masking agents, only the paper. Unlike other painting mediums, with watercolour there is no room for error. There is no pause, no rewind – only forward – and no means of correction. It must be executed perfectly first time, like an actor performing on a stage.

Experimentation has always been crucial to the development of my painting. Several of these artworks have been made without a brush as I’ve discovered other ways to apply and move paint. Gravity has been my new best friend!

These paintings are a strange fusion of the complete abstract and tight mathematical drawing. The first stage of any painting, be it a geometric pattern, an abstract or even a landscape, provides the basis for uniqueness. Every sheet of paper has minute surface variations, so the same method of application of the paint – whether emulsion or my watercolours – will produce a different flow. It means my paintings are impossible to replicate.

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