Art plays an important part in our daily life, even if we don’t realize it. From photographs and pictures, to furniture pieces and jewelry, all of these are a form of creative art. Starting today, I will try to highlight an artist from Washington and the area, complete with samples of their work and a story of their artistic journey. To mark the beginning of this section of the blog, I decided to interview Marty Coulter, the new President of the Mid-Missouri Fine Arts Society and a wonderful artist.
Marty, demonstrating how to paint trees, at a MMFAS meeting.
How long have you been painting?
My first remembrance was in kindergarten, when my painting of a sailboat against a bright blue sky and deep blue water won some little contest. My Mom treasured it for decades. All throughout school, I continued drawing and painting. I won poster contests and painted stage sets. I drew portraits of our senior class student-council candidates that were copied and pinned to everyone’s shirts on election day. In short, I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t drawing or painting.
From an architectural illustrator to a fine art artist: one of Marty's most recent commissioned portraits.
What sparkled your interest in art?
My Dad drew cartoons on the pages of his photo album from the days when he was mountain climbing in Calgary, Alberta. He also loved science fiction novels that had wonderful cover illustrations. Even though he would have preferred me become an engineer as he was, I credit him with sparking my interest in art.
Talent runs in the family: Marty shows some of his son's awarded work to a group of boy scouts.
What is your favorite media?
I have worked in almost every conceivable media with the exception of digital. Considering how overcome the commercial art and even certain types of the fine art industry have become with computer art, I have obviously turned into a dinosaur. I guess I just enjoy getting my hands dirty.
Nature and the outdoors serve as a constant inspiration. Marty likes to create art with brushes and paints, rather than a mouse and a screen.
What is your favorite place to paint – home, studio, outdoors?
I have always painted indoors, until my recent excursion into outdoor (plein air) landscape painting. Within my limits to endure the elements, there’s no better environment to create a painting than the great outdoors!
One of Marty's most recent paintings - he had to draw every single person out of individual pictures he was given. Creating the big picture is not always as easy as it might seem.
What is the most challenging project you have completed?
Years ago, when I was working as an architectural illustrator, I was asked by Universal Studios to create a painting of the top deck of the Tour Expansion at their Los Angeles offices. They asked me to come out in person to view a very large scale model they had built so that I could take reference photos. After drawing for nearly a week, they were still not quite pleased, somehow it just didn’t quite depict how big the project would be. The thought occurred to me that maybe the drawing itself just needed to be bigger. I had the 20″x30″ drawing they had just rejected enlarged to 40″x60″. They immediately approved it! Hollywood likes to thinks big. Since the week was gone and I had to get back home, they agreed that I could paint the piece in my studio. It took nearly another month to complete, but they loved it.
Although not fine art, Mary has done some amazing work in his career as an architectural illustrator.
What are you currently working on?
I am currently building frames and creating new paintings to supply the galleries who have been kind enough to represent my work. I am also looking at expanding my presence on the Internet, as well as seeking representation out of State.
What does it mean to be an artist? Marty recently gave a talk in front of a group of boy scouts, telling them all about art and his career.
What does your art mean to you?
I feel very fortunate to be able to pursue my passion for art while also building a new career as a fine artist. My many years in illustration have shown me how lucky I was to have been given this gift. The challenge these days is never to lose faith in the possibilities that are waiting out there. Art is hard work, but that makes every success all the more sweet!
“There is no must in art because art is free”
To see some of Marty’s work online, click here.You can reach Marty at 314.412.4599 or e-mail him at email@example.com. Get in touch, Marty can literally turn your family portrait into a piece of art! 🙂