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Blog: Blog2

Artist's Blog: Painting the Past by Martyn Dymott

This is the first of a series of blogs from Living from Art members, sharing more about their work. These are equally of interest to other artists and also to the growing numbers of Art Supporters who visit the Loving from Art website and our exhibitions. Thank you, Martyn, for being the first to share your blog here.


Painting the Past by Martyn Dymott

I’ve recently been painting a series I have dubbed as ‘my art heroes’.

Many of my personal art heroes lived from the mid 19th century to the early 20th century which fortunately means that black & white photography was quite well developed and accessible, so I have something to work with.

I will not usually know the colour of their eyes, hair or their exact skin tones and I definitely don’t know the colour of the clothes they were photographed in. But I can guess a bit; from where they were born, where they spent much of their life and information about the fashions of that time. So, when I create a portrait of one of my art heroes, I try to absorb the environment at that time in their life, their heritage and I translate this information and the original image into my interpretation using modern colours.

Here is an example of my art hero August Macke the German expressionist who was born in 1887 and was killed in September 1914. I have painted his portrait as a young man whilst he still lived with his family in Cologne and where he started to study art and before he met other German Expressionists.

So why is August one of my art heroes? Like many of that time (and now) he admired impressionism and this influence can be seen in his early paintings but he quickly developed his own style absorbing from those around him and before the end of his life he painted scenes incorporating nature and people, placing people in colourful but everyday environments; the park, the street or perhaps shopping. This is what I like about his work, the use of colour to portray everyday scenes and people. Sadly, as the first world war approached his paintings became darker, more frantic and it seems his output increased rapidly, perhaps in anticipation that he would not be coming home to his young family, which of course he did not. I wonder what heights he could have reached if he had only survived.

You will find Martyn's work for sale on and more about Martyn on his website or on his members' page


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