BD Outdoors is excited to introduce you to a very talented artist, Courtney Marie Martin.
BD:Where do you live?
Courtney Marie Martin:I currently reside in Charlotte Harbor on the West coast of Florida. I grew up on the water in my hometown of New Smyrna Beach, Florida on the East Coast.
BD:What mediums do you work in and what is your favorite?
Courtney Marie Martin:I’m a self-taught multi-medium artist, with no formal schooling in art, so I’m always teaching myself something new. I currently work with; acrylics, watercolors, charcoal, sketch illustrations, pottery, mosaics, pyrography, stone carving, woodworking, furniture restoration. I honestly couldn’t pick a favorite, I love it all.
BD:What are your other hobbies, and are they related to your artwork?
Courtney Marie Martin:Everything I do in life draws inspiration for my art, from past to present. I enjoy working with my dogs, flyfishing, hunting, freediving, fossiling, and exploring new terrains.
BD:How did you get started and what was the evolution of your style?
Courtney Marie Martin:Art was something my parents always supported, but I was very shy about. Critiques, judging, and rejection were some of the things I feared the most, but have since outgrown. I started out as a little grom in NSB doodling on local’s surfboards and skatebords, and over time evolved to where I am now. With the support of my family, friends, and coworkers I entered my first art show in 2008. The rest is history.
BD:What goals do you have for your artwork, what does the future hold?
Courtney Marie Martin:I’d like to own my own gallery and workshop one day. That dream is slowly coming to life, but I know I’m doing it the right way. After thirteen years in the fire service as a firefighter/paramedic, I hung my helmet up in late August of last year to pursue this dream. I loved my job, I miss my coworkers, but it’s the best decision I’ve ever made. I was struggling internally more than anyone ever knew because I was able to hide it all behind a smile. It’s a decision that honestly saved my life, and for that I am grateful. I’m really excited to see what the future holds, every day that passes my work continues to grow. Along with my mind, body, and soul.
BD:Is there a message or theme behind your artwork?
Courtney Marie Martin:Of course, the message is always be yourself. I’ve been regarded as a tree hugger for my personal views on nature and conservation. If I can get one person to understand that we need mother earth as much as she needs us, then my journey is fulfilled. Compassion, respect, and conservation are what the great outdoors is all about. My art is also a rebellion of sorts, I’ve encountered some really conforming and negative people on this journey. As you can see in my work, I didn’t let it keep me down for long. I create things because it makes ME happy, it soothes MY soul, not because I’m looking for a critique or an opinion. Thank goodness every artist is different or the world would be a really boring place. I encourage everyone to create what their heart tells them and express themselves with integrity.
BD:What or who inspires you?
Courtney Marie Martin:Through the highs and the lows, art has always inspired me, healed me, and driven me. Mother nature is my number one inspiration; however, I have met some really inspirational artists along this journey both as friends and mentors. The works of Tim Borski, Ed Anderson, Steve Whitlock, Diane Pallot, Carroll Swayze, Terry Webb, and Mark Johnson are all absolutely fascinating to me. I could literally write a list a mile long of amazingly inspirational artists that I’ve met both in and out of the industry. As long as what you’re doing makes your heart and soul happy, never stop doing it. Pursuing what I love inspires me. Being passionate about mother nature, all of her creatures, and fighting to preserve her. I’ve had some really amazing experiences in the woods and on the water, just watching and listening. It’s never been about the numbers I put in the boat or on the board.
As long as what you’re doing makes your heart and soul happy, never stop doing it.
BD:What has been the hardest project, or what is the hardest aspect of your art?
Courtney Marie Martin:Everything. Every day is a new challenge, a new goal, a new accomplishment, and I hope that never changes. The hardships and challenges of being self-taught drive me to overcome them, to be a better person, to grow. Problem solving is fun to me, I love a challenge. My clients come to me sometimes with wild ideas they want me to bring to life, my response has always been, “let’s do this”.
BD:What brings you the most satisfaction or sense of accomplishment?
Courtney Marie Martin:Making the world a better place. Raising awareness and a sense of accountability to our current environmental crisis is also very important to me, if you have a moment please visit www.CaptainsForCleanWater.org to see how you can make a difference.
Live your best life; practice gratitude, be grateful, smile in the face of humility, speak with integrity, stay humble.
Family is everything.
BD:Tell us how our audience can learn more about you and your work.
Courtney Marie Martin:
For full galleries and apparel line:
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Our thanks to Courtney for sharing her talents with us.
Get more on the Art of Fishing on BD.