Swan, Martin (1951-) UK (14)

Category: PAINTERS

SwanMV Martin Swan was born in 1951 in the Isle of Wight. On leaving university Martin concentrated on becoming a professional artist. Having originally established a strong reputation as a landscape painter he is increasingly recognised as a marine artist. He has a particular interest in the Solent between the wars and the great yachts that sailed there during that time.

Martin has exhibited extensively in the island, along the South Coast and in London, in 1987 he was featured in the BBC2 Arts Programme "Painters". In 2002 and 2003, Martin has exhibited in Auckland, New Zealand to coincide with the America's Cup.

Method of Working

Formerly a watercolour artist, Matin now paints mostly in oils.

Some paintings are painted in situ. These direct, somewhat sketchy paintings are usually tidied up in the studio later on. But sometimes not.

Other, more studio bound paintings, begin with doodles, using drawings, colour sketches and photographs as source material. If the subject is historical, he uses other artists’ drawings and paintings (perhaps of similar boats), deckplans, old photographs, verbal descriptions, anything that gives him an idea of what the thing looked like. Marin also draw on my photographic archive of seas and skies.

With the doodles Martin tries out various compositions, looking for different ways to use the material. When he has got something he likes, Martin produces a half-size drawing, which finalises the composition and establishes correct proportions. This is copied full-size onto the canvas and painting begins.

My painting is a fairly direct and simple process. I block in the drawing with colour in a loose, sketchy way, eliminating the white of the canvas so I can better judge how the colours work against one another. When this is dry I go over it more carefully, adjusting colour if necessary, bringing the painting to a point of near completion. Finally there is touching up and highlighting.

Sometimes, I like to underpaint with opposite or complementary colours. When dry, I overpaint using a trowel to apply a layer of thick paint, but leaving gaps through which the underpainting shows. The effect is to heighten the colour and produce interesting textures. That, anyway, is the hope.

And if I like it, I sign it.


Martin Swan - 14 TABLEAUX
Martin Swan
America cuts inside the Nab light
1851-08-22 11:40:00
Martin Swan
Fleet slips its moorings in upper New York bay
1870-08-08 06:00:00
Martin Swan
Columbia leading Livonia to the line
1871-10-18 15:05:00
Martin Swan
vigilant rounds mark ahead of valkyrie 2
1893-00-00 00:00:00
Martin Swan
Britannia and Vigilant Racing in The Solent
1894-00-00 00:00:00
Martin Swan
Columbia chases Shamrock II towards finish
1901-10-04 15:20:00
Martin Swan
Big Class Boats off the Needles
1923-00-00 00:00:00
Martin Swan
Lulworth and Shamrock racing off the Needles. August 1929
1929-08-00 00:00:00
Martin Swan
shamrock v racing enterprise rhode island
1930-00-00 00:00:00
Martin Swan
The Foredeck of Shamrock
1930-00-00 00:00:00
Martin Swan
Rainbow leading Endeavour
1934-00-00 00:00:00
Martin Swan
Velsheda and Endeavour Coming Down the Solent
1934-00-00 00:00:00
Martin Swan
Endeavour and Velsheda off Ryde Pier
1934-00-00 00:00:00
Martin Swan
Endeavour and Velsheda Leaving Cowes 1934
1934-00-00 00:00:00