Artist’s Statement and Biography
“I want to capture something extraordinary in the ordinary,” states realist painter, Lydia Martin, who creates technically detailed oil paintings of interiors, landscapes, cityscapes, figures, portraits and still-life that depict everyday subject matter such as: common objects displayed in wooden boxes, library shelves; cityscapes of streets with pedestrians and cars; figures in basement, attic or studio interiors full of light, rich shadows, color and texture.
The artist has traveled extensively throughout Europe: Italy, France, the Netherlands, England, as well as trips to Polynesia: Tahiti and Hawai’i. Always bringing along her paint box and sketch pad, Lydia creates art works while observing the cultures around her, “One summer, while working in Padua, Italy, I was able to study Giotto’s Arena Chapel frescoes. Across town, at St. Anthony’s basilica, I was delighted to discover another series of murals, the last works of Pietro Annigoni, completed only a few years before my arrival. The vast cultural space that separates the medieval master from the modern counterpart was everywhere evident. Giotto had set out to render a visual biblical narrative for the benefit of a devout though largely illiterate audience, while Annigoni addressed a public as skeptical as it is learned. Yet there were certain things about color, light, and expression that remained constant. Perhaps more profoundly, it struck me that both painters were out to insist, almost militantly, that the art they were creating (like the institutions they were serving) be only as vital as it was flexible. There was something about locating continuity in constant change that I found terrifically moving.”
Nationally, coast to coast, from Boston, Providence, New York, Provincetown, Philadelphia, DC, St. Lois, Omaha, Santa Monica to San Francisco, Lydia Martin’s works have been included in numerous gallery, museum and art center exhibitions, receiving awards in oil painting and pastel. Internationally, the artist’s works are also included within private and public collections in Italy, France and the Netherlands.
The artist attended the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and studied under Sidney Goodman, Will Barnet, Bruce Samuelson, Arthur DeCosta and Liz Osborne. Lydia also attended master classes in pastel drawing and painting with Janet Monafo at the Massachusetts College of Art. As a Contemporary Realist painter, Lydia’s preferred medium is oil, though she is equally at home with watercolor, acrylic, and pastel. She is a member of the Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club and is represented by Chabot Gallery in Providence, Rhode Island.
Lydia Martin is a Professor at Suffolk University, teaching classes in drawing, painting and perspective within NESAD’s Foundation department since 1989. For 2010-11, she received the Outstanding NESAD/ Suffolk University Faculty of the Year Award. In March of 2013, Lydia was awarded the prestigious Marion and Jasper Whiting Foundation Faculty Fellowship to study abroad in Paris, France.