Where did you grow up?
I grew up in the beautiful Co.Wexford countryside about a mile and a half from the village of Galbally.
When did you first become interested in art?
I have been drawing and painting as long as I can remember so the interest has always been there.
How did you pursue your desire to be a painter?
When I left secondary school I did a portfolio course in Scoil Stiofán Naofa in Cork and then went to Limerick School of Art and Design to do a degree in Fine Art Painting. I then moved to London where I exhibited regularly while working part time. In 2015 I returned to live in Ireland and now work full time as an artist from my studio beside my home in Co.Wexford.
What is the artistic lifestyle like? Take us through a typical day.
Well my day is quite different at the moment to my typical day before Covid 19. With my daughter home from school I find myself painting at night when she has gone to bed. I sometimes grab a couple of hours during the day but prefer to work when I know I won’t be interrupted.
Do you paint every day, or only when the inspiration hits you?
I paint or draw every day and have never found myself waiting for inspiration. I think when your painting time is limited then you make the most of the time you do have.
Choose one of your paintings and explain your inspiration behind it.
‘Ancient Earth’ is one of the paintings from my Internal World Series. This series is my response to research into spiritual hunger, the mystery of being human and connecting to nature. The abstract imagery in this painting was inspired by the Irish landscape but it represents our internal landscape, the place where we process all our daily thoughts. The use of dark and light colours side by side reflects the quest to find the balance between the darkness and light within as each of us navigates our own unique world.
Where is your favourite place to paint?
In my studio where I won’t be disturbed and where I have all my tools.
Which artists have most inspired you and why?
There are many but I will pick two, Victor Willing and Pascal Magis. I came across Willing’s work many years ago and studying it helped me understand the work I was producing at the time. He painted objects scattered in a space which seemed to be more of a perception of the mind than of the real world. I realised I was doing the same thing but had struggled to find the words to explain it, even to myself.
A postcard for an invitation to a Pascal Magis exhibition came through my letter box when I lived in London some years back. The raw colours and powerful, energetic strokes in his abstract paintings have inspired my work more than any other artist over the last ten years.
What are you working on at the moment?
I am continuing with my Internal World Series of abstract landscapes. Alongside this I am working on new mini landscape oil paintings. Earlier this year I started working on some portraits from sketches I had done over the years. I am doing more work on them now to see if this is something I want to explore further. Also, I am making new mixed media construction using canvas and wood cut offs from my studio.
Do you have any current or upcoming exhibitions?
I have an online solo exhibition coming up in September with Hambly & Hambly at Dunbar House, Enniskillen, Co.Fermanagh as part of their Imagine series of online exhibitions.
At which location (or who) would you love the opportunity to paint?
I don’t have one location in mind but I would love to travel and paint my way around the world experiencing lots of different cultures.
Check out Martina’s current collection of available art on ArtClick HERE