So happy to announce that my painting Mother Tree won best in show at the Windows Open 2021 show with the Markham Group of Artists! Here is what Art Consultant and Juror Joanne Poluch said about the painting:
Laurel’s work convinced me that the engaging wide path and lovely mosaic imprinted on her path, metaphorical or not, was someplace where I wanted to go – right now. The structure of the painting was so harmonious, serene and calm. I found it fascinating that Laurel’s setting incorporated so many wonderful rich elements; mountains, beautiful lush green landscape, plants, and rich textural forms saturated in colour. The colours are divine in this work. It is a winning combo. All the boxes are ticked here.
I started plein air painting in oil a little less than a year ago and it was quite the adventure at first. I was new to oil painting, new to painting outside and had no idea what I was doing. I only knew that I wanted to do it. I liked the fact that it was challenging. While the pandemic raged, it gave me something else to concentrate on. I've found that the brain only has so much bandwidth when you're learning. You can understand how to mix colours, how to compose your picture, and have a grasp on the importance of lights and darks, or values, but when your outside with the cold and the bugs and a new medium there is only so much you can concentrate on at one time! I've come home with a lot of strange paintings and not in a good way! But plein air painting is a roller coaster ride. You can't wait to do it. Then you start and it's scary and bad things are happening. Help!!!! Then it's over and you really want to do it again.
Back to this thing about band width. Now that I'm starting to get more accustomed to oil paints, I'm starting to have more brain space to concentrate on brush strokes, values and other important things. No one ever said painting was easy, but it's worth all the effort. That next great painting is always around the corner!
© Laurel Martin 2010