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DESIGN F INE ART


PROLIFIC PAINTER


christopher martin mesmerizes with reverse paintings BY DOUGLAS KING


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DSD 56


Pablo Picasso was one of the world’s most prolific artists and is known for having painted over 2,000 pieces and creating 50,000 works of art in sculpture, ceramics, prints, and more. At the rate Christopher Martin has produced stunning works of art over the last twenty-plus years, he will be joining Picasso in the history books.


Beyond simple productivity,


Martin’s work is mesmerizing, hypnotic, and even meditative, especially in light of understand- ing how the work is created. While Martin has painted several hundred canvases, his reverse glass paintings—actually painted on Lucite for durability—


capture the viewer and hold them in rapturous engagement. Painted from foreground to background, the exact opposite of working on canvas, reverse glass painting creates luminosity as each layer enhances the one before it. “Canvas never has a finish line. There is nothing that forbids the artist from going back months later,” explains Martin. “With acrylic there is a natural end to the piece. In his studio, Martin works with heat, wind and water to create, what appears to be random, and happenstance re- actions, but in fact are intention- al goals. “I see something in the experimentation then I work my


best to refine it and control it. It is taking the random event and then articulating that into some- thing that is more intentional,” explains Martin.


“The beginning of a series is


much looser and random. By the end of the series, I have taken that randomness and made the painting that I wanted to make in the beginning,” Martin says. “I like to create volume and review to see what works, and try to incorporate that into my next paintings.”


By working this way, Martin


has produced over 4,000 works of art, which in its own right is impressive. But, for Martin, the number of, what he calls, “in-


spirational pieces” is far fewer. “It’s those pieces that keep me moving forward. They show up two or three times a year, when I know I just nailed it and the finished piece is exactly what I want it to be. I am always work- ing to recapture that feeling.” Martin began painting on glass when he was 19 years old. As he became familiar with the feel of paint on glass, he continued his self-schooling and crafted his own style for fine art. Working in the financial business and realizing he lacked enthu- siasm for it, Martin explored art and received his first commis- sion for $400 over two decades ago.


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