Laurie Martz, Artist

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April showers

April showers I hope you are all doing well. I for one seemed to have skipped through April. Maybe it was the weather, the incessant rain,. Or maybe it was the news out of Europe.
Anyway, happy May to you ! My flowers are still waiting, hopeful but demurely covered up in the garden. We have a load of garden soil and compost sitting out front waiting for a few dry days to turn our front post- construction gravel pit garden into some thing alive and organic that I will contentedly water, weed, and watch grow over the summer  instead of travelling (the price of gas OMG! not to mention residual Covid caution). My youngest child turned 30 this April. I love this early painting I did from a photo taken of her at 3 years old. I know it has a lot of amateurish technique, the perspective is off, and there is weird detail and odd angles, but the essence of a child shows through. Sometimes I do find it so interesting to look back at where we’ve been, both in life and in our art. I’d love to hear what you think about these thoughts that I share, the things that keep us all up in the wee hours. Just hit the button below and you can pop me an email!
share your thoughts, I’d love to hear from you! The other thing that happened in April is that my studio got a floor! That meant that I had to move everything from one side of the space to the other and back while my husband and I (mostly him) worked on half the area at a time, struggling to put a vinyl plank floor down on uneven construction grade plywood. Yeesh.   But it is done, taking a lot longer than he had hoped, which does account a bit for my April absence.
In the studio… I just finished a “new” painting which just about titled itself, Visions. I started it in 2020, which explains my use of the quotation marks. It began as a colourful loose abstract which rendered a group of figures, seemingly a family. That apparition stopped me in my tracks, as I had not intended to paint figures. I put it to the side for a long time, picked it up a year ago and painted over the family and beyond. It has gone through a series of both modest and radical incarnations, frustrating and challenging me, hence my nicknaming it “bad child” (politically incorrect for sure). I had trouble with the composition, struggled with the colours, with its texture…on and on. All the advice I sought (which suggested I put it to the side and move on) I ignored. It hung on my painting wall like a ghost. One day while working it was turned over and sideways. I  took a quick look… and saw that the figures were back again: perhaps as a vision of family, filtered and layered in its complexity, or else a dream sequence.   Now it feels finished, and ‘Visions’ as title seems right. I have entered it in the 2022 Sooke Fine Arts Show, which is a bold move for a painting that struggled so hard to be birthed but why not. I’ll keep you posted! Visions 30×36 check out the 2022 Sooke Fine Arts Show Upcoming... I am busily getting ready for a ‘first’ experience, as my arty pal Nina and I are having a 3 week exhibition (June 30-July 23) of our artwork titled ‘Echo’, aided and coddled by a dear artist friend whose long career as a sculptor has included teaching and curating in galleries. So we two are sitting back quietly, following her lead, and learning some valuable lessons about the art world that for both of us is a new and immersive experience. My ‘immersive’ experience…messy paint hands I will be sending out a preview peek of the new paintings going into the exhibition in early June, stay tuned. have a look at paintings on my website ‘Echo’ is the title of the exhibition that Nina and I are working on, and it will be held at the Pearl Ellis Gallery in Comox from June 30th to July 23rd.   Nina and I met in 2017 when we both landed independently in Comox from North Vancouver, and have been painting together since 2018. For a year of Covid lockdown we shared a studio and some big life challenges, painting together and supporting each other through these times. This exhibit is a curation of that time together. We are quite different in many ways, our backgrounds, our neat-to-messiness ratio (just to name a few) and our nascent artistic voices which show that clearly. Yet there is a conversation that happens between us on the canvas and that’s what Echo is about. Please come on down to see our work, and for those who can’t make it to our lovely community there will be a virtual version which I will send you a link for late June. link to the Pearl Ellis Gallery gallery upcoming show page: you can bookmark this to see “Echo” later in June before the opening day June 30th So for now I am busy painting edges, varnishing, framing and adding hooks and hanging wire. These are practical tasks that take concentration and focus, and meanwhile the creative muse is busy running around in my right brain dropping hints about what’s next. Whatever it may be, it will be exciting and challenging, and hopefully a lot of fun.     Nick Wilton, a well known California abstract painter and teacher who I have learned a lot from, talks about ‘the joy of finding your way as you go’. I like that.   sign up for my newsletter If you know anyone who might like to read my newsletter, please pass it along and they can sign up by clicking the button above, and thanks for all your support. And a happy spring to all! Laurie .

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