Thursday, June 7, 2012

Artist Spotlight: Peggy Martinez

Gratitude Pink Rose, in oil
"I have found my strength emerges in my art through my love for painting nature’s garden. The beauty and grace of flowers are never ending and sustain my imagination with an infinite resource of inspiration." ~Peggy Martinez 

Painter Peggy Martinez was brought up in central New York and Puerto Rico, finding her passion for painting emerge during her full-time career in banking.  Learning from books, attending workshops, and practicing her skills has honed Peggy into a gifted floral artist and instructor.  Though it wasn't until other artists started asking Peggy to teach her own workshops that she realized it was time to give herself the title of professional artist.

Quality materials, or lack thereof, has been a recurring theme in Peggy's journey.  She has found through numerous channels that using poor quality art materials will make painting into a struggle rather than a joy.   

Iris, in watercolor
Peggy began her work in watercolors as a way to have more social interaction, yet found it to be a frustrating experience due to poor materials.  But, she stuck with it, seeing the potential of the medium and began taking workshops, reading books and studying other artists. Her hard work paid off.  Recently, Peggy's practice has been focused on the basic foundations of color, value, composition, and design in order to improve her practice with the tools at hand-- both brushes and a limited palette.  "A good brush will literally paint itself and you will rediscover the joy of painting," she explains.

Her inspiration comes from the flowers and gardens around her, connecting the life of a person with the journey of a flower.  Finding that flowers mimic human events, like life, survival, motherhood and death, Peggy pursues painting the exquisite folds and curves of florals in both watercolor and sometimes oils or acrylics.  She finds high quality brushes for her work, using separate brushes for each medium, and even some mop goat hair for clean water washes only.  Finding that many brushes are suited best for individual types of mediums, Peggy has noticed that acrylics are hard on brushes and that her oil brushes do well with walnut oil as a medium and cleaner.  Keeping them clean is essential for helping them last and for getting clean color in each use.  She uses a heavy duty laundry bar soap, Fels-Naptha, for cleaning brushes, sharing that it also smells great and is good for the skin.

Tenderness Yellow Rose, in oil
Peggy's upcoming exhibition, Gift of the Rose, is her first solo exhibition, dedicated to creating awareness of Asthma and in memory of her sister, Margarita Martinez, who lost her life to the disease.  The exhibition is at the 1570 Art Gallery in Rochester will run from June 29-August 24, 2012. 

To see more of Peggy's work, check out her website at:  Peggymartinez.net.

Keep Painting, 
Karyn 

For more brush information, check out the Dynasty Brush website.