Karl Martens - Art Southampton, New York

7 - 11 July 2016

–When we paint from our heart,we all paint

something beautiful.


Shih-t’ao (Chinese, 1642-1707) maintained that the artist needs to trust his or her own ability. Being receptive to impressions is more important than knowledge. In other words, the artist needs to be in touch with intuition. Karl does not aspire to depict the birds in perfect detail.On the contrary, it’s the feeling of non-control, allowing for the unexpected to happen which gives him the greatest satisfaction.– The less I can control the more fun I have, which is why I mostly use large Chinese or Japanese calligraphy brushes.They make the brush strokes much more difficult.


Karl has been painting birds as long as he can remember. In the beginning they were exact,very detailed depictions. However, as a result of Karl’s starting to work actively with his ownself-development, which has given him a more accepting attitude towards himself and to his every day life, his painting has become freer.The Japanese Zen-master Nantembo andDr.Chao Shao-an, professor of Chinese painting and calligraphy,have been his main sourcesof inspiration lately.– I look at a bird to find a specific expression or posture, which particularly expresses the personality of the bird.This image sticks in my mind.When the image has left my mind, Ipaint . . .Karl uses watercolour and charcoal, often on hand-made paper.