Sam Mateer qualified in 1974 in Fine Art of the N.I. Polytechnic and subsequently achieved his Teaching Diploma in 1975. His paintings are mainly concerned with the landscape of Ireland but he is also happy to make paintings that trace social and political developments. In 1998 at the R.U.A. annual exhibition he was awarded the Silver Medal for "Shankill", "Greysteel", and "Enniskillen Poppies".
In 1998 he founded the Pastel Society of Ireland to encourage the more widespread use of pastels as a painting medium. His services are much sought after to demonstrate the technique of pastel painting and to lecture on the subject. Sam Mateer has had many successful one-man shows and has participated at the R.U.A. annual exhibitions since 1985. His paintings have been acquired for many major collections.