Artist interview - Martina Furlong - flavia bernardes art blog

Martina Furlong is an Irish abstract painter based in Wexford, Ireland. I met her at the K-fest arts festival and immediately fell in love with her art. It is breathtaking and seeing it up and close is even better... She creates gorgeous abstract landscape paintings and today she's sharing a little bit of her process and inspiration in this interview. 

What inspired you to become an artist?

I don’t remember any one thing inspiring me to become an artist. I feel that I must have been born an artist as I always had a need to draw and paint since I was very young and knew nothing about art. I always got more enjoyment and more of a sense of achievement from it than any other activity I got involved in. 

As the years went on and I studied art history and visited exhibitions then the work of other artists inspired me to experiment and strive to become a better artist. Seeing the work of other artists I admire in front of me never fails to inspire me and give me the push I sometimes need to move out of my comfort zone.


What is it about creating art that you find most fulfilling?

The most fulfilling things for me are seeing an idea/sketch become a finished painting and overcoming problems with composition, colour and texture which occur during the process of creating a painting. Resolving these issues to create a finished, balanced, interesting painting which I am happy with is very fulfilling.


You paint a lot of landscape paintings, how do you get inspiration to make each one so unique and expressive?

I live in the countryside and I walk a lot so I come across different scenes all the time. I also travel around Ireland a bit and always take photos or make sketches to keep as reference material for future paintings. My paintings don’t all start the same way so that helps to make each one unique. Some will come about from sketches/studies in my sketchbook while others will start as an experiment with colour or a new tool to make marks. I don’t always stick rigidly to my initial plan and allow the painting to dictate my next move at it progresses so that results in each painting kind of taking on a life of it’s own. 


How have you seen your art evolve over the years?

Over the years I have found that my art evolved most during the periods of time when I was able to paint every day. Learning from mistakes and having the time to experiment are the major factors which allowed my work to evolve. While I see some similarities with mark making, lines and shapes in the work I do now with my work from years ago I do think/hope that my finished work now has a depth which makes it far more interesting and exciting to make and view. 


How do you know when a piece is complete?

That is a tricky one as there are still times when I think a painting is finished only to change my mind the following week and add more to it. I think that if I have to ask myself if the painting is finished then it is not finished. If I am not sure I would put it to one side for a few days and then look at it again and decide whether I am looking at a finished, balanced painting or if there are some issues which need to be resolved.


Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful art and your creative process with us, Martina. 

See more of Martina's work and process here and find her on Instagram for daily doses of creativity and all around pretty pictures.