“Gardens are places of refuge, personal spaces as individual as the people who tend them. My garden is a shady untamed space with trees and wild roses, hydrangeas and ferns. Part park, part forest, there are no neat and tidy rows of veggies or flower beds with plants organized by size and season. Birds as often as not plant seeds as they fly by. Sometimes their additions are welcome – the choke cherry tree I see out my kitchen window is a lovely gift I cherish. The poison ivy not so much.
I try to encourage and cultivate the wildness because it is the inspiration for my paintings. The slightest breeze sets in motion a symphony of movement. Rain saturates the leaves and bark of the trees, intensifying color and form. Rocks and tree limbs punctuate the space, providing an armature for the color and movement.
Often when we work or play on our computers and phones, we forget there is a powerful world alive in the soil beneath our feet and the air that surrounds us. A garden reminds us we are part of a greater whole that never stops evolving.
This is what I love, the constant motion of life, the ever changing palette of color that nature and my garden provide. My paintings and my garden are unmannered, unapologetic and entirely my idea of solace.”
Paula Martiesian is a painter, a freelance arts writer and the exhibitions curator for the BankRI Galleries. She is one of the founding members and former board chairman of Gallery Night Providence. Her paintings can be seen on her website www.paulamartiesian.com.
Martiesian has been painting and exhibiting for over forty years. Her work explores the uncultivated, wild stretches of nature that still exist in the urban landscape. She started painting at an early age, attending art classes at the Rhode Island School of Design when she was six. She continued her education at RISD as an undergraduate and after graduation, studied with Rhode Island painter and retired RISD professor the late Gordon Peers (1909-1988).
Martiesian and her husband Ken Carpenter created and published Quix Art Magazine from 1991 until 1998. She continues to write freelance articles about the arts. Her articles have appeared in Destination Providence, East Side Monthly, The Providence Eagle, The Providence Journal and the RISD alumni magazine, RISD XYZ
Martiesian has curated hundreds of exhibits at area galleries, including the Sarah Doyle Gallery, Centercity Contemporary Arts and the Providence Art Club. She is now the exhibitions curator for the BankRI Galleries. Martiesian has garnered area awards in the arts and is one of the featured artists in Networks 2013.
Her paintings are in private and public collections throughout the United States, including the Newport Art Museum and Women and Infants Hospital.
Top Left: Asha’s Gift 36″x50″ oil on linen 2020
Top Middle: Roots 36″x50″ oil on linen 2020
Top Right: Cedar of Lebanon 36″x50″ oil on linen 2020
Bottom Left: I Miss My Garden 36″x50″ oil on linen 2020
Bottom Middle: Big 36″x50″ oil on linen 2020
Bottom Right: Trees Cast Long Shadows 36″x50″ oil on linen 2020