This weekend (and this weekend only), artist Andy St. Martin is showing a collection of new works at Prizer Arts & Letters. "The last year or two, I've decided to try and focus on working on paper," St. Martin says. "And I don't have to prepare that so much -- it's almost like making watercolors. You get the paper out [and] if you have the paint, you can go to work."
The decision to work more on paper rather than on wooden panels, along with one other change in his usual painting habits resulted in his current body of work. "I made what seems like a ridiculously non-dramatic decision, which was to work with the substrate horizontally instead than vertically," he says. "When I did that, I felt like I immediately fell into a group of landscapes, to a certain degree." St. Martin is quick to point out that the works aren't exactly scapes (his work is more abstract than representational), but are "more landscape-oriented" than much of his previous work.
"I changed some of my methods -- I stopped using so much hard-edged things like tape... they have more of a handmade feel," he says of his new works. "And at a certain point, the collage elements came back into them... but they're these strong, plainer, very expressive-brushwork kind of work. And I don't think they're particularly dissimilar to my work in general, but they're a new step forward."
The name of the exhibit (Parallel Notes [from the big picture]) came about after St. Martin started arranging the new works together. "When I hung that grid on the wall, they... became like parallel notes," he says. "And I like the idea of them being 'notes' in that a note is something that has essential information on it and it's raw and it's meant to remind and kind of instigate thoughts and to initiate thoughts, but it doesn't have all the information there. All the details aren't filled in. And 'the big picture' is just that they come from a place that's sort of beyond. I decided one day when I was getting ready for this that I hope that they come from a place that's sort of beyond and above all the riffraff and the hubbub of our daily lives. That there's something in art and the important parts of life that are together. That part might be unnamable -- I don't know if I can put my name on it. But I just called it 'the big picture.'"
Andy St. Martin's 'Parallel Notes (from the big picture) is on display this Friday - Sunday at Prizer Arts & Letters