Martha Holden
Artist Portfolio

Why do I make Art ?

Fascinated by the power of color, I create visual play by association of pattern, harmony and rhythm.  The tools I use are a combination of techniques including painting, printmaking and drawing.  I have had the good fortune to travel and live in different cultures.  The collages I created in France are a combination of elements I saw and felt in my daily life.  These papers were designed as time passed, I alternated between creating the elements and a finished composition.  When a grand number of papers were prepared, I assembled them to make a story.  Sometimes I look back at them and notice the solitude.  That solitude reflected my feelings of living within the French culture.  My influences included the curves of the French metal gates whose curves are very feminine and inviting yet the metal is a solid barrier that could only be opened by a key.  This is an accepted invitation by the other participant.  The images in my collages also come from my daily life; pottery, still life and other things that I see and feel.  One pattern represents the very basic checkered pattern of a weave, reminiscent of my love of textiles.  As I studied art history other influences such as the patterns of renaissance silks, woven in France on Jacquard looms are apparent.  Some other patterns of sticks and branches that I saw in nature.  The extended shadow of a window grill.  There is not a limit to the influences of the nuances viewed in daily life.  The intersection of these motifs and colored paper are like the kaleidoscope of how I view life.
These collages have a glow a light that invites others to go into them and to read their history.  At a certain time I wished to leave this solitude and get out of my studio.  I decided to explore painting with oils out of doors.  Being in nature with all my senses awakened, I burst open using colors that vibrate with my happiness.  The rich colors of the oils spurred me to work spontaneously, without hesitation.  I created a series of landscapes based upon the views that I found in the outskirts of Sucy en Brie, France.  The powerful river Marne, trees, forests or a quiet pond gave me inspiration.  Re-reading my paintings, absent of human form, made me once again question my solitude.  I decided to draw after the human model.  The beauty of a three dimensional subject, a human with all their expression made me anxious to work with this new freedom.   I learned to combine figure drawing and my printmaking experience by working on a series of monotypes.  Alternating between figurative and abstract I continue to create and design in oils.  Each piece has a story, I can only give my reasons, I allow the interpretation to the viewer.