About Martina's Colors
My art is about freedom.
Freedom to express the full spectrum of emotions. Freedom to lead a poetic cheesy life being in love withe the sea, and the sun, and the trees.
I lived in fear for so long. I wanted to please my temperamental mother. I wanted to fit in. I was afraid to make a wrong move and trigger some kind of cataclysm.
My family was full of drama and provided very little support for us to discover ourselves and experiment freely. I experienced bullying at school while feeling completely disconnected from pretty much everyone at home. We were pressured to stay home and have very little social life outside of our house. At least that’s how I felt. Being controlled by my mother.
I did have the immense luck of spending many summers in a magical place called Notre Dame du Portage and it felt like paradise because we had a huge yard right on the beach. We had front row seats to the sunset every single night. I started to paint the St Lawrence River, its colors, its moods, it’s textures… We listened to music from the 70’s and before. Mostly French songs from France. We didn’t care what anyone would think.
Then one day, I was 18. I was staying in a small cosy house owned by my aunt’s monastery that I had to deep clean. My family was thousands of kilometers away across the Atlantic Ocean. I chose to enjoy those 3 three weeks as much as I could instead of feeling rejection and loneliness. Enjoy the freedom. So I got myself cherries, goat cheese. I listened to poetry and started painting all the beatiful images that went through my mind. Just for fun. I went for a siesta in the woods, in the fields. I felt a bit like Maria dancing in the mountains at the beginning of the sound of Music. So much so that i didnt want my family to come back.
I went to college, studied opera. Then one day, that didnt work out so well anymore and I found myself living with/taking care of a 87 year old lady with dementia and a wheelchair in Notre Dame du Portage. I did that for about 5 months. During those months I had a lot of time to kill and I started to paint the St Lawrence river again while listening to music.
When I burnt out of that, I ended up back at my aunt’s monastery, helping out and still painting a lot.
Then life led me through a health aid career, meeting my husband, studying Graphic Design, buying our first house, having a baby, working as a Graphic Designer. Then I moved with my husband and child across Canada, from Quebec to British Columbia.
About 14 years after my last stay at the monastery, there was Covid-19. I was at home with my child. I had the good initiative of joining a workshop about living your life to the fullest.
It was all about letting go of bad habits and going back to activities that we loved. So my goal was to go back to painting. So my step by step plan worked out and I went back. That and listening to music from my youth that nourished my soul and reassured my little fearful heart back then.
Now living in a wonderful place called Tsawwassen, my best shot at recreating Notre Dame du Portage, I spend time in my car looking at Boundary Bay and drawing or working on my computer. Like right now. I feel quite blessed. I don’t know where life might lead me next but I know I need to be able to paint, listen to music and live close to the sea.
My art expresses freedom through intense colors, movement, textures. I’m not so concerned about photorealism as much as the movement, the feeling, the senstation of experiencing nature. If I paint a crashing wave, I want people to «hear» it crashing. I want them to feel its power, smell the salty air of the sea, and feel some drops of seawater splash on them.
My goal is to share this gift with the world. I want people to be able to nourish their souls with my art. I know now that not everyone has this gift and that it wasn’t meant for me to just go hide away with it and pretend it doesn’t exist. I have something special to share and it’s my responsability to make this possible. That’s why I am building an online presence and participating in contests and exhibitions to make my work known to the world. I think art can be very powerful and give meaning and inspiration. I don’t have this gift for myself.
Also, I have a responsability to myself to feel alive which I don’t if I let myself spend too much time away from my paints and music. And I want my child to grow and know that this artist life is actually possible and not try to hide away from destiny.