JEAN MARTIN RSW was born in Glasgow and studied Drawing and Painting at Glasgow School of Art from 1964 -68. While there she won a scholarship to Hospitalfield School of Art and a number of awards including the final year drawing prize. She then undertook postgraduate teacher training in Aberdeen, gaining distinctions in teaching practice and academic studies and she taught in secondary schools for a number of years. While bringing up her two children (both now artists) she taught part-time while continuing to paint. She spent many years working in pure watercolour, and still loves the delicacy and vibrancy of that medium. She was invited to write a book, ‘Structure and Expression for Flowers in Watercolour’ which was published in 2003. She then started to explore mixed media, and now, within her paintings, she plays the brilliancy and delicacy of watercolour against the surface texture of acrylic and collage.
My painting is a reaction to observation, whether it is within still life or landscape. I work with the intention of creating a response to my experience. I am fascinated by the way light affects the surface on which it plays. Whether it is on a delicate flower head or the stone of a church pillar, the fleeting impermanence and the vibrant or subtle illumination is a constant source of delight to me. I paint using watercolour and mixed media and collage, often layering and working back into the image until I arrive at the surface and structure I am after. Freedom and form are the two dynamics that inform my work. I love the freedom and translucence of watercolour and the rich textural possibilities of mixed media. I often use the chaos of plant form and the decorative surface of textiles within my painting. I usually work from life, but when dealing with landscape, I work from drawings and recorded images. The pictorial content of my paintings may have symbolic, historical or geographical associations and may or may not be set in a spatial context.
Jean Martin exhibits widely and has work in public and private collections in the UK and worldwide.