Questions and Answers with artist Roanne Martin

A childlike curiosity of ‘what happens if’; An Interview with artist Roanne Martin

With a childlike curiosity of ‘what happens if’; Roanne’s process is like piecing together a puzzle until that illuminating moment when the art takes over and life is created within the canvas itself. Working with a variety of mediums Roanne discovered her love for oil although she will mix it up and play around with other materials like silver powder and ink. It’s this playful nature to her work that keeps Roanne’s collection so varied and unique. Roanne’s exhibit at SiOTT features a 13 piece.


SG: Where do you get your inspiration from?

RM:I get my inspiration from anything I either see or dream up. I have used live plants in paintings, a painting based on a photo where I have been or would like to go, or an image which comes to me by itself. Some times the painting of the image does not turn out as I have planned. As I mentioned in my artist’s statement, I really believe that at a certain point there is no use in struggling to make the painting be what I want so I just let it get on with it. I know it sounds a little “zen” but it is a lot better than banging my head on the wall!

SG:  Which artists do you admire?

RM: Too many to mention. I admire the works of, Georgia O’Keefe, Balthasar Burckhard (photographer), Farhad Ostovani, Zao Wou-Ki. Also, there are the more obvious artists such as Dégas, Manet, Monet, et al.

SG: Can you talk about your ideas and how they evolve?

RM: . I think this answer is really answered in the first question. I have an image in my mind as a final image and it may evolve, not in the way I necessarily want it to but because it “has a mind of it’s own” and I let it “take over”. I really believe that at a certain point there is no use in struggling to make the painting be what I want so I just let it get on with it. Some times the ideas do not evolve whatsoever and I just paint over the original painting. It gives a great texture and is quite liberating.
With respect to my ideas, I some times think like a child in the way one would think “what would happen if I did this with that?”.  I will play around with materials, inks, paints, silver powder, and other materials and just wait and see. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t.

SG:  How would you describe your work?

RM: It is difficult to describe my work since it constantly evolves. I become bored rather quickly and once I have done a series or a few similar paintings, I move on. One could say that this is proof that I have no typical “style” of painting but others have said that whatever I paint, they realise that I am the artist.

SG: What is a ‘typical’ workday for you like?

RM:  I don’t want to sound cheeky but I don’t have a “typical” day of work. I only work if I am inspired. I know that many artists get up in the morning, head to the studio, paint until noon (or most of the day) every day of the year. I tend to find that the outcome of their paintings all look slightly alike. If, all of a sudden, I am in bed for the night and an idea comes to me, I will get up and paint all night until early morning. I think that is inspiration!

SG:  Is there a specific theme or concept you keep in all of your work or does it change with each series?

RM: . Not really. As I mentioned, I do a lot of series but I change methods, subjects, etc.

SG:  Tell us about the materials and techniques of your latest work. Is there a specific process and set up for creating your paintings?

RM: . After having tried water colour, etching (which I do like and is very difficult but the public seems to think that it is the same as a photocopy so I gave up!), acrylic, pastels and other mediums, I discovered that my favourite medium is oil. That does not stop me from mixing it up with other materials!

As for the setting up and process, it all depends on the size of the canvas, materials used. I can’t really answer the question properly – not all paintings are created on an easel. I have even painted some canvases in the kitchen on the stove (not turned on…).

SG: Are you a part of any artists groups or organisations that have been beneficial (to your work in general or career as an artist)?

RM: No.

SG:  If you could own one work of art what would it be?

RM: . Bella Donna by Georgia O’Keefe.

View original paintings by artist Roanne Martin