Jane Martin is a West Australian painter of still-lifes, portraits, interiors, landscapes.
to quote George Haynes - “Still-life is all about painting, it is at the more cerebral end of what painting is…....composition….... this goes here, that goes there, this dark shape, this light shape repeated, this one not, and so on.Then the colour, talk about subtle. .......hot, cold, contrasting edges, harmonies, discords…..”
“Stil Life by Jane Martin” - an article written by George Haynes 20 Aug 2011
- an article written by George Haynes for the catalogue of their joint exhibition in 2009.
"The gentle modesty of the still-life painter, setting up two bottles and a jug, and then making a picture of them. So simple, so direct, but watch out, for to succeed our painter must be sophisticated and subtle - otherwise one could end up with just two bottles and a jug.
Still-life is all about painting, it is at the more cerebral end of what painting is. Look only at Chardin's palpable patinas and Morandi's monumental work on his modest ( there is that word again ) little canvases, while Cezanne, the greatest master of the still-life, turns simple motifs such as his apples into masterpieces of formal organisation. Thanks to his influence the still-life became the chosen demonstration ground of new movements from Fauvism to Cubism and beyond. Still life became not just a visual anecdote or reproduction of something in nature, but also a new formal disposition of shapes and appearences.
Which sort of brings us to the work of Jane. What is going on here? Well, first of all, the composition. The directness is quite apparent. This goes here, that goes there, this dark shape, this light shape repeated, this one not, and so on. Then the colour, talk about subtle. Look at those variations, seen in what is usually a subdued light, transparencies, reflections, opacities, hot, cold, contrasting edges, harmonies, discords, all at the service of two bottles and a jug. And then there is the attack. The loaded brush placed on exactly the right place on the canvas and put down unhesitatingly - and there you have it, the light on the edge of the bottle - keeping the process direct clear and simple. The accurate eye, deft hand, and focussed attention come together to make something greater than their parts.
In making these notes, it seems the word direct keeps coming up. In Jane's work it means truth, a truth to the two bottles and a jug, a truth to painting as an Art form. John Ruskin said "The whole technical power of painting depends on our recovery of 'the innocent eye', that is to say, a sort of childish perception of shapes and colours, merely as such, without conciousness of what they signify - as a blind man would see if suddenly gifted with sight."
Shakespeare was obviously talking of Jane's painting in The Phoenix and the Turtle when he said,
"Beauty, truth and rarity, grace in all simlicity"
and you can't say better than that."
South Beach Painting 19 Aug 2011
A painting of South Beach in Western Australia…