Carroll artist paints her 'Surroundings'

May 06, 1994|By Lisa Respers | Lisa Respers,Contributing Writer

Many Carroll County residents will recognize the scenes in Laurie Martinson's paintings.

Mrs. Martinson, 37, is a Taneytown artist whose watercolors reflect her love of the Carroll County landscape.

Her one-woman show, "Surroundings," is on exhibit through May 27 at the Carroll County Arts Council Gallery, 15 E. Main Street in Westminster.

Painting is one of her passions, but Mrs. Martinson also has a full-time job as a staff nurse with HomeCall Inc.

"I get a lot of my [artistic] ideas from my job," she said. "I travel all around Carroll County."

She received her degree in nursing in 1983 from Montgomery College in Rockville. She said she switched her major early in college from commercial art to nursing when she realized what it took to be a commercial artist.

"I'm not an aggressive type person," she said. "I like to take my time when painting."

"I love painting but I enjoy nursing too," she said. "It's hard to depend on an income from being an artist."

Mrs. Martinson has been painting seriously for 19 years. She is mostly self-taught.

"It's been a lot of practice through the years," she said. "That, in addition to looking at other artists and looking at books."

As a teen-ager, she won first place in a pen-and-ink drawing contest that was judged by the late actor Vincent Price.

Her medium now is strictly watercolors. "At this point I'm comfortable with working with it," she said. "I'm not, right now, at a point where I'd feel comfortable with learning a new medium."

Mrs. Martinson shares her home in Taneytown with her husband John, 40, and sons Brady, 10, Harris, 8, and Nolan, 3.

She paints in a room in her home that she has converted into her studio.

Mrs. Martinson has to juggle painting with the rigors of being a working mother.

"I paint in the evening and sometimes I get up early to paint," she said. "My painting time is limited."

She spends some of her free time taking photographs of scenes that attract her, then draws a scene from a photo and paints it.

Her painting, "Spring," won a juried watercolor contest sponsored by the Frederick Art Association.

The work shows a large white house with the owner in the back

yard hanging up laundry. It might look familiar to the Taneytown resident who was her subject.

"It's a house on Route 84 outside Taneytown," Mrs. Martinson said. "I'm sure that if the person whose house it is saw it, they would recognize it as their house."

Mrs. Martinson already has sold three pieces from her exhibit. She said the show was geared toward scenes in Carroll County.

"I think people enjoy seeing familiar places," she said. "With this gallery here, we are trying to expose people in the county to the arts."

The gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, and from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturdays. Admission is free.

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