“Awareness is a beginning place for art making. Consciousness of the environment, the landscape, figure, interiors etc. can start an investigation of visual possibilities."
price range:$795- $14,000
ABOUT THE ARTIST: Martin Blundell
The landscape paintings of Martin Blundell, inspired by grand vistas, plateaus, and the vast sky unique to Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico, are executed with impasto brushwork and pallet knife application of oil paint. It was his training in printmaking that focused Blundell’s expertise with textures, allowing his painting to create a rich surface quality supported by saturated color.
Blundell’s studies in art begin early, winning him recognition as a Utah High School Sterling Scholar in art. He went on to graduate with honors from the University of Utah where he received a BFA in printmaking and drawing before beginning a career in design. When he began showing his fine art, awards in local and national competitions brought him continuing acclaim.
“Landscape paintings have dominated my work recently,” notes Blundell. “The western landscape is a fascinating opportunity to paint expressive landforms and expansive sky.” Capturing moments of unique light and shadow is a dominate theme of Blundell’s paintings. “I’ve experienced moments of awe-inspiring light at sunrise and sunset, and sensational atmospheric changes during storms. I’m also mesmerized by the commonplace: a field, a farm, or a structure. Capturing those moments inspire my images and paintings. The calm transitions of the seasons motivate me to explore the relationships of color, while I rely heavily on intuition to guide the outcome of my paintings.”
Blundell enjoys seeing traces of drawing, finding new color through over-painting, and achieving simplification by brush stroke or pallet knife application in his final layers of paint. Ultimately, his paintings take on their own identity through his interaction of processes as they are recorded on the canvas.
Blundell works from a loft studio in his home, a bright space with clerestory windows, angled ceilings, and white walls. “It has a sculptural volume, that is interesting to work in.” he notes. Working from drawings, photographs and comp studies, Blundell generally has two paintings in process at any time and his studio provides ample room to view his works in their various stages of completion. Though Blundell begins work in the mornings, painting through the afternoon and allowing time for the necessary business tasks of being a working artist, he also may paint well into the night. “Many times, creative moments cannot be forced, so it is nice to have my studio close by.”
Martin Blundell has received acknowledgments and awards from the Utah Watercolor Society, the University of Utah, Bountiful Davis Art Center, Utah Arts Council, the Springville Museum of Art, and the Dixie University Sears Museum. He was included in the University of Utah Marriott Library Notable Utah Artist Project and has completed various commissions, including a recent pro bono mural for the University of Utah Primary Children’s Hospital Forever Young Zone. Martin Blundell’s paintings are included in private and corporate collections around the U.S.
“Awareness is a beginning place for art making. Consciousness of the environment, the landscape, figure, interiors etc. can start an investigation of visual possibilities. Through observation, and a careful analysis of our surroundings we stack and organize our responses. It may be the rise of a desert thundercloud over red rock and sagebrush. The vertical uplift of the cumulous cloud against the horizontal landforms and the evening light saturating the atmosphere with pink, orange, and purple, highlighting grey narrow clouds like battleships in the sunset. It may be the complementary color of yellow cottonwoods staged against the azure blue of the sky that awakens our sense of wonder. It may be the empathy we share with a figure or place.
“Our senses record the stimulus of light, shadow, color, temperature, wind, rain, smell, and feel. We process the input and sublimate it all with our logic, and emotion, our sense of balance verses the intrigue of asymmetry. We add to our awareness, observation, and memory the filter of our intuition. It is a subconscious organizing sense that synthesizes all of our memories and feelings both rational and oblique. Through this myriad of input and translation we experience moments of creativity that are unique, recorded by the physical events of paint and brush. We compose, we organize, we recapitulate, we find the line, and reach the color and value in successive applications until we resign to a completion.
“Finally, we hope to achieve a visually poetic and autonomous result.”
̶ Martin Blundell