“My paintings are like portals to worlds familiar and strange, mysterious, intriguing and sublime. Poetic and metaphorical, my work invokes the visual truth of perception, capturing not just the quality of light or the tonal harmonies of a particular scene but also its mood and the wonder of vision itself."
In my recent work I have returned to some familiar locations - in some cases looking closer at the variety of plant life inhabiting the field where I paint in Maine. The intimate and transient nature of tents is reconsidered, as they take on new meaning as protected outdoor spaces. I have also returned to the coastal rocks and the shoreline that continue to hold strong against the tides and storms, adapting, changing, but still there.
When I’m in the studio, I think about how fields, rocks on a shore, the drama of an oncoming storm, and man-made structures like a fabric tent could be used to spark a dialogue about the impermanence and resilience of objects within the natural world. With all the turmoil and challenges of the last year, these themes speak to me directly.”
- Douglas Martenson
Douglas Martenson paints observationally in various locations in Maine and Pennsylvania. He meticulously documents the light, atmosphere and environment of each view through a variety of painting techniques. While the painted objects appear with local color firmly established, a sensitive eye will begin to perceive deep reds, light purples, golds, chromatic grays and a spectrum of ever-present blues. Martenson’s careful handling of paint opens up worlds within each object, giving way to a conceptual interpretation over time.
Martenson is a Professor at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and teaches Drawing at the University of Pennsylvania. He has been exhibiting in Philadelphia with Gross McCleaf Gallery for over two decades and has shown his work regionally and nationally throughout the United States.