Chas Martin - Paintings, Sculptures, Art Classes

Watercolors, acrylic paintings, sculptures and art classes

Daily studio ritual

Chas Martin

This ritual started about four years ago while flipping pages through a book. I found a Celtic alter which consisted of three rocks. I drew it a few times. It looked like the character "pi" which seem to lack something. So I rendered it a few times, then put a head on it. After repeating the four strokes a number of times, it felt like a good sequence for a daily ritual. Hundreds of renderings later, I have boxes filled with variations. This is a short, random selection.

The process is simple. Each day I choose a brush, never the same one as the day before. Then I select a pigment, or two. Never the same as the day before. Some days I use a single brush. Some days I choose two. I may use a single pigment or mix two on a single brush - of four pigments on two brushes. The paper is whatever is handy. Maybe a piece of cardboard. Maybe rice paper. Maybe watercolor paper.

Prepare the brush. Take a breath. Create the character. Watch what happens. When pigments hit the surface, I have an immediate reaction to the marks. It looks like a warrior, a bird, a leaping frog, dancer, singer, tiger, something different every day. And they change as they dry.

I keep each day's image visible while I work in my studio. When I get stuck or need time to think, I look at today's character and I know how to proceed.