INTERVIEW: Martha Green Doran

Interviews | May 2, 2024 |

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Image courtesy of Martha Green Doran

Interview: Martha Green Doran
Luca Curci talks to Martha Green Doran during RITUALS, first appointment of ANIMA MUNDI 2024, at Palazzo Albrizzi-Capello, Venice

I am an American artist, living and working in London. My paintings are meditative expressions that weave sensation with intuition. Drawing from my Energy Healing practices, I work in oils, sensitively gathering light from my inner world, allowing the feel of the paint across the canvas to guide my form. What comes forth may be a recognisable shape or it may be expressed in abstract form. I don’t always know, so that’s where I trust in creating space. I’m constantly surprised by what emerges in the making, as the painting finds it own way home. I began drawing and painting in 2006 at The Hampstead School of Art and subsequently at The Camden Arts Centre, The City Lit and Kingsgate Studios. My teachers have included Wynn Jones, Eva Swiderska, Eithne Healey, Ake Arnerdal, Gill Crabbe and in New York City, Diane Green. Artists in history who have supported and informed me in my work and to whom I look for their freedom of personal expression are Van Gogh, Turner, Paul Klee, Rembrandt, Nicolas de Stael, Chagall, Giacometti, Kirchner, Matisse, Redon, Helen Frankenthaler, Philip Guston, Richard Diebenkorn, and Georgia O’Keeffe.

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Image courtesy of Martha Green Doran

Luca Curci: What are your thoughts while you paint? Do you have any habits or rituals while you work?
Martha Green Doran
: I find my workflows most easily when I’m not thinking! I like to meditate and practice yoga before I arrive at the studio. This helps me to be in a calmer place. I work very spontaneously and thoughts/decisions might be; “Do I want to draw or paint today? Is there something that needs more work? What colours am I drawn to today? Is there a person/place for whom I could send healing through the artwork?” It’s totally subjective, “In this moment I choose this.” I’m working with the abstract language of colour and form. My paintings are meditative expressions that weave sensation with intuition. I will immerse myself in the process and hopefully, the only thoughts which might arise are to remind myself to step back and scan the whole artwork from time to time. If I find I’m too much in my head, I try to drop down into my heart, go for a walk or make a cup of tea!

LC: What is the trigger that leads you to paint?
I’ve been thinking about this question and I’m not really sure I have an answer…perhaps it’s curiosity. A colour, a subject, or a situation might draw my attention. I find that not knowing anything is a good place to start and acceptance of wherever I am in the present moment. Easier said than done!

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Image courtesy of Martha Green Doran

LC: Did your style change over the years? In which way?
I first began with observational drawing and painting. My work is much more impressionistic now and its purpose is for healing. Drawing from my Energy Healing practices, I work in oils gathering light from my inner world and sending it out into the world.

LC: Which art themes do you pursue? What is your preferred subject, if there is one?
My constant theme over the years has been “Home.” Where is home? What is home? How do we create a home for ourselves, both internally and externally? I began painting images of houses a number of years ago when a close family member was nearing the end of his life. He had been an architect and I wanted to “build” a house for his spirit where he would feel protected and safe. As I painted, I connected with this person and sent healing to him. I continued to use the image of a house for people who were ill. The essence of this continues in my present work, but now without the image of a house. I choose colours which I sense will resonate with them. Through the painting process, I am also creating a deep inner place of peace and calm for myself. I’m American and have lived in London for a long time. A sense of place, safety and connectedness is very important for me.

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Image courtesy of Martha Green Doran

LC: What do you think about the concept of this exhibition? How did it inspire you?
I was really drawn to Plato’s Anima Mundi and I feel it’s the perfect “home” for my work. I believe we are all interconnected and endowed with a soul and intelligence.

LC: Your last artistic production attracted us. Has the artwork presented been created for the exhibition or as a part of pre-existing works?
My three paintings were already completed before I was invited to exhibit with Itsliquid. “Counsel of Elders” came forward just after the war in Ukraine began and I felt the painting really wanted to be in Venice. “Till Now” relates to timelessness and the present moment. “After Aldeburgh” was painted after a visit to Aldeburgh, a coastal town in Suffolk. I felt a water painting would suit Venice. I felt that they would work together as a group and they are all connected through me.

LC: What are your suggestions about our services? Is there something more we can provide to artists?
I was very happy with your services. Amaride was amazing as was everyone else I’ve worked with. It was wonderful to be in Venice for the Opening. Thank you so much!

LC: What is your idea about ITSLIQUID GROUP?
Itsliqid seems like a very well-run organization for Creatives. Grazie Mille!

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Image courtesy of Martha Green Doran

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