Steven Martin Art Transformations at the Blue Ridge Arts Center, Steven Martin

growing down




Mythology quote


Steven Martin: my search as an artist.
When, in 2000, I moved to our log
cabin in the north Georgia mountains,
I found myself a little closer to the
ground, a little closer to the seasons.
Snowy winter woods, hellebores
in spring (a favorite), roses and beans
and pumpkins arriving from out of that
ground—I am amazed by it all. The
wonder and mystery of life in its ten
thousand forms.

The biology diagrams in National
Geographic showing the parts of a
flower, or the underground energies of
a forest, have always inspired me. It’s
an easy jump to go from the radiance
of a luna moth to the mythology of its
role in the deep woods. Joseph Camp-
bell says “I think of mythology as a


function of biology.” As science contin-
ues to amaze us, our stories, parables
and metaphors evolve along with it.

Our longing for meaning is tied to the
spirituality of the earth, the sacred in
life itself—all of life. And that sacred
is within us. Our dreams and creative
imaginations live in that place where
words and thoughts do not reach—
the underworld, the fertile darkness
that is home to our souls.

A transcendent energy consciousness
informs that which is alive in nature,
and is alive in my deepest center as
a human being. “We are the mystery
which we are seeking to know,” says
Campbell. Painting is my way of living
the mystery, my longing to know.
Joseph Campbell was the
author of The Hero With a
Thousand Faces
, a multi-
cultural exploration of the
myths of the hero. He was
the authority of our time
on comparitive mythology. Campbell taught that
all cultures share the same
essential story: the hero’s
journey, in the world’s
many culture-specific myths.

Another powerful book,
Myths To Live By, is based
on a set of lectures he
gave, exploring the endur-
ing power of the universal
myths that influence our
modern, daily lives—
highlighting the source
from which all mythology
springs: our creative
imaginations.
Goddess Awakens by Steven Martin Art, in private collection.

Chakra One, Kundilini Rises, 2006
1
Outside & Inside
5
Amado's Koi, 2004
9
Sacrifice, 2001
2
Supplicant
6
Snake
10
luna moth
3
Growning Down, 2006
7
Gooseberries, 2009
11
orchid stem
4
Fire Pit, Underworld, 2004
8

12
contact @ steven martin art
Memory Paintings
Our dear friend Gerry Conroy died in
2004, and my shock and grief distilled
into a need to hold him with a painting.
It was my first experience with a “grief
painting” and proved to be a valuable
process, honoring his unique role as a
profound influence in my life. The
metaphor of a sand dollar is rich with
personal meanings—“of his bones are
coral made.”
When I experienced the death of both
my parents and my partner’s sister,
Maria Cristina, in the span of fourteen
months, I found myself transforming
my grief into my own mythology. The
metaphors and symbols repre-
senting my love and relationships in
each of these paintings often took me
by surprise—I’m so very grateful for
the experience.
“...[C.G.] Jung asked
himself by what mythology
he was living and he found
he didn’t know. And so he
said, ‘I made it the task
of tasks of my life to find
by what mythology I
was living.’”


—Joseph Campbell
Gerry Conroy painting
Transformation: Back into the Ocean 2004
Oil on canvas 36" x 36"
Maria Cristina Memorial Painting
Transformation: Ashes into Stars 2013
Oil on Canvas 36" x 36"
Into the Sky; memorial painting for Beatrice Martin
I Want To Go Into The Sky ( A painting for Mom) 2014
Oil on Canvas 36" x 36"
Becoming my Father
Becoming My Father 2012
Oil on Canvas 36" x 36"

recent work of Steven Martin

Red Soltice by Steven Martin Art, in private collection.