Month: April 2017

Painting of the Month

PM camo trees

Camo Trees by Paula Martiesian

Years ago when I was a student at the Rhode Island School of Design in the 70s, I painted a trio of small portraits. I remember one in particular. It was a self-portrait about 20”x16’ in size and I worked on it happily for hours. At the end of the day, I stepped back to take a look expecting to see a skillful rendition of subtle facial tones. Amazingly there was nothing, or at least nothing of what I thought was there.

Instead a bland painting of no one in particular stared back at me. All those beautiful quiet shifts of color I had imagined were virtually invisible. It was a lesson I learned well ­– what’s in your mind’s eye isn’t always what’s on the canvas.

A painter approaches a painting with an idea of what might be.   If the vision is strong and the artist dedicated, there’s a chance that idea will become reality. It’s taken me years to achieve those subtle color variations I have always seen so clearly in my head. Hundreds of paintings later, the successes finally outweigh the failures.

Watch for my upcoming exhibit at ArtProv Gallery in Providence, “Heart of a Tree” with Karen Rand Anderson and Mary Jane Andreozzi. The opening reception is Friday June 2 starting at 5 pm.

Painting of the Month

PM The Last Dance copy.jpg

The Last Dance

by Paula Martiesian

My technique, if I have one, is to put paint on and then take it off. Brush, rag, knife – it doesn’t matter. Whatever paint I put on, however I put it on, I almost always take it off. It’s as if I am unwilling to commit until I’ve tried every option, a time consuming and ultimately frustrating endeavor I call painting.

Each color I do put down presents a whole new series of choices. Each path I take has a seemingly infinite number of side paths I’m eager to explore. Every choice I do make influences old decisions, so I often have to go backwards and repaint something I thought I had finally nailed down.

Not too long ago I found myself sitting in a Boston gallery next to a dear painter friend. I listened as she lamented her growing inability to tell the difference between one of her successful paintings and one that was a complete failure. I had nothing to offer her as I felt the same way.