Couples Series

Vibrant, mysterious, colorful and full of surprise best describes this new series COUPLES. Images are abstract – higher contrast, lots of action and dramatic, demanding the viewer to take time and journey through the painting. Each piece tells a story.

In Fall 2001 I was continuing my “Earth” series and “Earth Rhythm” was created. This was the first large-scale dypthic (two water color sheets 22 x 30). “As I worked the paint through the initial yellow, orange and red washes I discovered two figures – abstract male and female forms. “The design stage was completed and transferred to the paper using charcoal. I added two small collages in purple to compliment the warm colored underpainting. Acrylic paint layers were applied next, finishing with prisma color sticks and pencils for details. This was the painting that fired my interest“male and female” – a topic of endless study, comment, worth and relationship. Many artists study the female form, some the male form, few study the mother/child dynamic and I have embarked upon painting the male and female in the tumult of relationship.

Many pieces in the Couples Series show chaos of emotions, passion and complexity of desires…. “Grief with Teeth”, “Fettish”, “Dance of Deception” and “Betrayal" are notable examples. Other paintings “Touch”, “Tenderness” and “Being Together is Fun” explore playful, sensual, harmonious moments in a couples’ relationship. There’s so much action and emotion to explore.

Differing technique wise from my other collages, the Couples Series combines a wider variety of tools. There are prismacolor sticks and pencils used for detailing, metallic paint used as a wash, acrylic paint layering used for texturing as well as the oriental rice and fiber papers painted and applied. Several Earth Element collages boldly combines one whole 8” x 8” Spirit of the Land” images used as a design feature. Modeling paste, gloss mediums and gels have been used to form a three dimensional relief in some paintings. This relief is shaped into stars and hearts to add texture, magic and unconscious clues to the story being told. One of a kind, monotype prints from the artist have been torn up and used as color and design elements adding interest, diversity and drama to the finished work. “Nothing is sacred. This series is very eclectic and demanding. If I see the right color or texture in another painting of mine it can easily be utilized (torn) and incorporated (pasted) within seconds. That’s the fun, power and surprise of Couples – the Series.

Kay Martin, N.A.P.A.
Revised: December 5, 2002