What Makes an Artist: Chris Martin

Chris Martin is a Brisbane-based Australian artist. He shares with us his exciting ideas on art, life and evolution. His inspiration comes from paintings and drawings that come across as honest, well executed and are exciting to look at. “It helps a lot if art is not trite,” says Chris. Bravura and fluid artwork lift his spirits, and he doesn’t let poor technique impact his vision.

Chris Martin has degrees in Pottery, Masters in Business and 20 years of experience as a Special Effects Artist in the UK. Yet Chris thinks he’s an artist-in-the-making, describing his painting as “in development”, which he will get the hang of soon. He was always aware of his creative inclination. “At school, drawing was my strong subject,” says Chris. But it wasn’t until he became a Special Effects Artist, that he could explore the concept of creative thinking completely. He went on to teach the subject at a masters level for the Open University in the UK, although, he finds teaching to be a cerebral pathway. “I can teach concepts, but the path has to be worn by the person who is being taught,” explains Chris.

Chris Martin painting a demo at Logan Art SchoolChris Martin painting in his studio

Chris Martin’s influence comes from a relentless and undying pursuit of his craft. He thinks that only by working through self-doubt and failure can one make real art. “Failure is your friend, embrace it and learn from it,” says Chris. He identifies with art that is unpretentious. “Art is a language” so he thinks if you speak the kind of “art language” that common people speak, you will be universally understood.

Chris Martin as FridaChris Marin painted as Frida Kahlo

Chris believes that the artist’s role in society is significant, however, he is concerned with the common man’s appreciation of the same. Art is, in essence, attempting to reconfigure a fresh perspective on an existing viewpoint.

For Chris, art is a form that attends to the higher order needs of the human soul. In Maslow’s hierarchy of evolutionary needs; food, warmth and shelter are more important than higher order fulfilment like creativity… most of the time. “But, if one never has fulfilment in the higher level, one might become sick and depressed,” explains Chris. One might wonder about the things they are prioritising in art and life.

Collage_1The Truth Will Out‘ and ‘Molly on the Green Wall‘; paintings by Chris Martin

Chris likes to work with Oil on Canvas and Masonite. His paintings are mostly, single expressive portraits of people and landscapes from around the world.

Collage_2New York Rain‘ and ‘Irish‘; paintings by Chris Martin

For Chris, the artistic outlook is fundamentally honest in a way that other outlooks are not. He thinks it is perhaps that way because it’s less constrained by monetary considerations. He feels proud and even lucky to be an artist and admits that it’s a luxury that he can indulge in because of his and his wife’s combined contribution to expenses from other jobs.

Waiting for dawn. Chris Martin and some of his familyChris, his family and the Martin family dog; Ned

Chris describes his outlook to his work with an analogy of using a compass with a mind of its own and no instructions. “Try saying that to your manager,” he exclaims. “What’s it like to have that outlook? … Liberating!”

Support Australian artists, buy paintings by Chris Martin online here.

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