Forever We Grow (Matthew Pepi)
Hailing from a small town north of the Mornington Peninsula, Matthew Pepi from Forever We Grow, is an aspiring, self-taught watercolour artist with a speciality in seascape, landscape and focused imagery.
Matthew, 29, pursued an interest in visual arts as a young student, focusing on graphite drawings through his VCE years. In pursuit of a more challenging medium, Matthew decided to turn his attention to watercolour oils after an inspiring encounter with another watercolour artist upon the Mornington Peninsula. Matthew decided watercolour oils would provide long hours of focus, expressive opportunities and ways in which a connection to the natural environment is always evident.
Between 2007 – 2012, Matthew was employed as a Rifleman in the Australian Defence Force. After serving his training periods in Kapooka, Singleton and Darwin, Matthew was selected for deployment to Afghanistan in October 2008. During his deployment, Matthew experienced a pivotal turning point in his life and career when he was wounded in action in December 2008. Difficulties in mobility and personal mental health meant Matthew had to turn his devotion to therapeutic practises such as drawing, surfing and hiking the Australian high country.
As a way of personal rehabilitation, Matthew decided to take some time away from the Defence Force and travel to South America. Both to aid his recovery and to find influence, inspiration and purpose, Matthew made his way through the desert plains of Bolivia, to the vast mountains and glaciers of Chilean Patagonia. Most notably, Matthew found an immense connection to the Torres Del Paine National Park and subsequently, spent months on end sketching the infinite possibilities South America could provide. Inspired by a region so foreign to the Australian landscape, Matthew’s true muse came in the pages of his arts journal, detailing the sketches and intrinsic feelings he felt during his travels.
You will often find Matthew searching Westernport Bay for the nearest surf break with his mates, or in his home studio overlooked by his wife, Melissa, and two daughters, Bonnie and Ariel (two adorable King Charles Cavaliers), as he continues to experiment with watercolour. Whilst Matthew continues to search for that one perfect wave, he continues to connect and evoke human connection through his paintings for every art lover to enjoy.
Matthew is exploring the corridors of art therapy at the moment, and commissions his personal artwork throughout Australia. If you would like to get in touch with him, please email email@example.com or personal message him on Instagram at @foreverwegrow.
Words by Jonathon Pepi
Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, Australia
0411 312 862
"I surprised my girlfriend for her birthday by taking a private watercolour class with Matthew. Having just returned from an overseas trip, Pepi helped us create paintings from our photos we had taken on our travels which was very special. We had such a great time painting altogether. It was a relaxing environment and we learnt so much about watercolours and techniques. We were even spoilt with delicious scones for an afternoon treat. Couldn’t recommend this enough, thanks so much Matthew."
-Watercolour workshop customer-
"I was recently lucky enough to observe and take part in a mindfulness/watercolour workshop with Matthew from Forever We Grow. Matt's ability to engage with a diverse group of adolescence was nothing short of remarkable. His passion for the importance of education surrounding wellbeing was evident throughout every aspect of his workshop. He is both as talented as an educator as he is an artist. I cannot recommend a workshop with Matthew enough."
-Secondary school teacher-
"Matthew Pepi helped me connect with myself and left me feeling grounded and secure. The activities he directed united our class in a way we never had before and created strong bonds between all of us."