A monthly column that keeps its finger on the pulse of Forsyth’s artists and their inspiring stories. This month’s featured artist and North Carolina native, Candice Martin, turns ordinary everyday moments into truly moving, extraordinary works of art through watercolors, acrylics, and pyrography.
Candice Martin | Modern, Stylized Landscape Artist
How would you describe your work? I create a variety of watercolor and acrylic paintings, from florals and landscapes to portraits. I love painting in ways that accentuate the importance of light. I am also a pyrographer [pyrography is decorating wood or other materials with burn marks resulting from the controlled application of a heated object]. I am a fan of all things Christmas, so I create a wooden holiday ornament line every year, and have made hundreds of pet portrait ornaments simply because I love animals.
What influences your art? My biggest influence is nature, as I’m constantly inspired by the everyday beauty around us: water, trees, flowers and the ever changing sky. I love to hike and take lots of reference photos to use in my work. Art exhibitions and museums are always inspiring because of the variety of work and creative influences on display. I had the opportunity to visit the home and studio of Gari Melchers in Virginia last summer, and it was so inspiring to see his work along with the pieces he acquired as an art collector.
How have you evolved, personally, as an artist?
I’ve tried a variety of artistic styles and techniques on my journey to find what works for me. I love abstract art, but have found the creative process and outcome aren’t always enjoyable for me. I find I am happiest in nature, and spend most of my time trying to convey that joy on canvas, paper, and wood. I’m still changing and evolving, and hope I always will, but I believe creating works inspired by nature will continue to be my main focus.
How do you carve out time to be creative?
I’m not always as successful at keeping my creative time a top priority, but I strive daily to make a conscious effort. I try to adopt the Ferris Bueller mentality, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” Life is going to churn along, with curveballs along the way, so I put reminders on my phone and in my planner, and set out projects so that I have constant reminders to stop and do the fun stuff. I am fortunate to have this opportunity, and I don’t want to be so bogged down with the chores of everyday life that I miss it.
As a member of several local arts organizations such as the Watercolor Society of North Carolina, Yadkin Arts and Ashe Arts Council, how would you say “community” plays a role for you as an artist? It’s always inspiring to see other artists’ works, and to hear their vision and perspective for their art. I love seeing other styles of art, and seeing new concepts I never imagined in my own journey. It helps artists grow when we expand our horizons, learn new perspectives and techniques, and make new connections. The art community only makes us better.
What are you working on that excites you right now? I am starting a new series that I am particularly excited about! My new project will take inspiration from nature in creating watercolor and acrylic paintings and pyrography pieces based on the same subject matter. Each medium will have a different focus – light, color and texture. I am nervous and excited to see how this huge project comes together! I also have a wide variety of commissions that are exciting and keep me on my toes.
What is one piece of advice you’d like to share with fellow artists?
It’s perfectly normal to feel like an imposter, to look at another artist’s work and feel in awe and slightly intimidated. It’s okay to have moments of fear when staring at a blank canvas, a lump of clay, a piece of wood, metal or fabric. It’s normal to have all of these feelings, but please make your art anyway. The world needs your vision and creativity. You are unique, and if you truly love making art, please don’t let those feelings of doubt and insecurity stop you. It doesn’t have to be “perfect” – it just has to be your voice and your vision.
If you are interested in learning more about this month’s artist, Candice Martin, you can find her work online at: https://www.yessy.com/stonemarstudio/} as well as follow her on Instagram @stonemar_studio. For local events you can refer to her website for dates and locations.