watercolor, ink & colored pencil works on paper by Courtney Autumn Martin
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ABOUT THE PAINTINGS
Courtney's colorful abstract circle "doodle paintings" evoke both vast alien landscapes and intimate spaces teeming with microscopic life.
From start to finish, each piece evolves spontaneously, an exercise in visual improvisation. Beginning with watercolor or gouache, she first explores loosely with color to establish the palette of the piece. Emergent circular brush strokes, organic marks and anomalies made by the washes of paint itself inspire the ink drawing that lays over top. Every drawn form informs the next. The images aren’t envisioned so much as they emerge, bit by bit, in several hours over several days. Once the ink drawing phase is complete, light touches of colored pencil bring the painting to finish.
Although each piece begins entirely unplanned, as she begins to draw Courtney inevitably becomes more aware of the balance of light and dark and the sensation of movement through the emerging composition. Still, she challenges herself to maintain the original spontaneity and to give the painting space come to life without letting each mark become overly precious. Staying open to impulse enables her to enter a state of deep, meditative flow while she creates. It is this state of flow that brings her joy and contemplation, which is reflected in the mood of the work itself.
Mini Doodle Petris, 3.5", watercolor, ink, colored pencil, 2018