Laura Martin's first art exhibition
PUBLISHED: 06:00 11 May 2016
Exhibiting your work for the first time is a nerve-wracking experience, but Laura Martin is taking it all in her stride as she shares her talent at the Loughton Art Centre this month
Laura Martin’s love of animals is in her blood. Brought up on a farm near Saffron Walden, she subconsciously studied the character and anatomy of the livestock from a young age. She studied art at college but, as is often the case, life and work got in the way of the pursuit of her dream, until now, when, fortunately for art lovers, she has decided it is time to present her work to the public.
‘In the past I have only exhibited my work via social media. It’s been successful; I’ve sold work to customers as far afield as Italy and the US, but I am really looking forward to seeing my paintings hanging in a gallery,’ says Laura. ‘I’m a country girl at heart. Many of my paintings have a modern farming twist; they are big statement pieces that can be displayed as a focal point of a room and are just as at home in a rustic farmhouse kitchen as a contemporary lounge. I enjoy the freedom of choosing my own subjects and although I have painted several commissions, I find that so stressful. It places an enormous responsibility on an artist to recreate not only the likeness of someone’s pet, which is the easy part, but you also have to capture their spirit (often from just a photo) and depict the relationship between the owner and the animal, which has been built over many years. I’ve never had a disappointed customer, but I have had many sleepless nights on the journey to that point.’
Specialising in acrylic and watercolour, Laura’s subjects include horses, chickens, eagles, dogs, cows and sheep. After a recent safari trip to South Africa, she is ready to increase her portfolio with a selection of truly wild animals including zebras and leopards.
‘My fiancé is a keen photographer, so I have lots of material to work with,’ explains Laura. ‘When I paint, I endeavour to share the animal’s story with the viewer. I don’t distract them from that path by painting backgrounds; my work is about the creature. My aim is to reveal the true personality of the subject, to capture its raison d’être, its soul, and to recreate that energy on canvas. Although I will be working from photos from our safari, I watched the animals I am painting in the wild. I saw them play, I saw them rest, I saw them interact with each other and I will never forget their beauty in their natural habitats. I am determined to do their magnificence justice in my work.’
A selection of Laura’s paintings will be on display and available to purchase at the Loughton Arts Centre from May 27 until June 10. The centre is part of the Lopping Hall complex and provides local artists and groups with exhibition space that visitors can enjoy free of charge. The venue has enabled Laura to make her first exhibition a solo event, rather than as part of an open display.
‘It’s a big step and I wouldn’t have done it without the support and encouragement of my amazing fiancé,’ says Laura.
Find out more
Loughton Arts Centre. 187b High Road, Loughton, Essex, IG10 4LF. www.loughtonartscentre.org. Open Monday to Saturday, 10am to 4pm.
Laura’s exhibition runs from May 27 until June 10. To find out more about Laura’s work, email firstname.lastname@example.org, search for Marbaulin Art on facebook or follow @MarbaulinArt on twitter.