Thursday, March 3, 2011

Momentum Artist: Traci Martin

Traci Martin, Ardmore
Traci  Martin, St. Francis of Assisi, Charcoal and Gold Leaf on Archival Paper, 24x20"
Q: What was the concept behind your Momentum artwork?
Traci Martin: The piece is part of a series on the Saints and Mystics. I became fascinated with these historical religious figures and their role in the different artistic movements throughout history. I had been working in charcoal portraiture and looking to take it in a specific direction. This idea of using a contemporary figure with the period clothing and gold leaf allowed me to explore multiple angles of the subject matter.

Q: Explain the technique and/or process you used to create your Momentum work.
Martin: The process begins with extensive research on the saint. Detail is important to me, and the more I have access to, the more authentic the piece feels. I then find a model to fit the look, and I shoot reference photos for the drawing process. I focus on lighting and costuming to get as much of a foundation for the realism as possible. Once the sketch is drawn, I paint the halo with gold leaf and proceed to apply the charcoal. This is by far the most detail-oriented I have ever been with a project, but it has been a fantastic stretch for me and such a fun process.

Momentum OKC opens March 4& 5 with live music, performance and visual art by 97 young Oklahomans.  The exhibition remains on display until March 8 at 311 S Klein, OKC. Learn more or buy tickets here.

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