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Chas Martin (MAP #15)

Water-based pigment on raw linen
14″ x 14″

Raven’s Vision
Watercolor on paper
9″ x 12″

Shaman’s Shadow
Watercolor on paper
14″ x 20″

Chinese proverb: If you don’t know where you’re going, how will you know when you get there? Martin’s proverb: When you know where you’re going, you miss many experiences along the way.

The journey is everything. The destination is merely an excuse for going. My watercolor sketches and paintings document my journey. It may be personal. It may be universal. It doesn’t matter. It’s an adventure full of lessons.

I have evolved from realistic landscapes an exercise in understanding value, color temperature and basic techniques, to an exploration of inner space, the wilderness within my imagination.

In the past year, I have returned to themes and concepts I was exploring 30 years ago: perception, consciousness, time/space, and spirituality. There are no boundaries here. I find threads of continuity from one painting to the next regardless of the subject. My dreams flow into daily experiences and vice versa. Books, films, music and conversations all contribute synchronously while continuously opening doors to new experiences along the way.

I enjoy plein air painting for the excitement and humility of trying to capture the moment. Taking those lessons and observations back to my studio, I compose new scenes from my sketches, photos and imagination. I fill sketchbooks with graphite drawings and notes. Frequently, I will add watercolor to these drawings to explore composition, value, color, and temperature. At the same time, the images themselves feed the ongoing conversation in my head. What if I change this element? What if I add or invert an element?

Each painting extends my path and also challenges me to go further still. Each painting is one more step into new space, new ideas, new understanding and new unknowns.


Media: acrylic, watercolor or gouache