Christy Martin remembers riding around in the back seat of her parents’ car as a child and looking out the windows. She said she would see something interesting and think, “That would make a good picture.”
“That’s just how I’ve always thought,” Martin said. “As I get older, that has intensified and there are times that I see pictures everywhere.”
Martin, an O’Fallon resident, artist and photographer, currently has her work on display at the O’Fallon Cultural Arts Center Gallery at the Renaud Spirit Center (RSC). The exhibit launched on Nov. 4 and will end Dec. 30.
Martin said that art enthusiasts can expect variety from her exhibit. She said that while a lot of the exhibit is focused on landscapes of the local area, she has also included some abstracts and portraits.
“I’ve recently had one of my regular clients tell me that what they love about my photography is that it transports them to another place, a peaceful place,” she said. “I had an immense amount of personal satisfaction when I heard that, because it means that I’m getting out the message I want my photography to carry.”
One piece currently shown in the O'Fallon exhibit, titled “Light on the Gloom,” won an “Award of Excellence” at the Chesterfield Arts “Sharp Shooters” exhibit, Martin said.
Meet the Artist
Martin said she has been juried into the St. Charles Spring Art Walk two years in a row, including 2010 and 2011. She is also a resident artist at Mindworks Gallery at the Chesterfield Mall.
Martin does other local art and craft shows, and she said she will be at the Treasure Chest Craft Show at the St. Charles Convention Center from Nov. 18 through Nov. 20 with her landscape photography work.
“I love to talk to people about the stories behind some of the art, so I hope visitors will come up and say hi,” she said. “It makes me happy when viewers enjoy my work, not for selfish reasons, but because I honestly hope to pass on to someone else the feeling that the beauty brought me at the time I captured it.”
Martin said she is a natural light photographer. She doesn’t have a studio, but prefers to use local parks and sometimes her clients’ homes for backdrops. She said that home sessions are especially appreciated by families with newborns.
“One of the things I like most about this is that these settings seem to put people at ease and I’m able to capture them in a more natural state instead of the common backgrounds used in traditional studios,” she said.
She said her art is inspired by the “beauty that surrounds us daily.” From her perspective, people tend to get so busy that they forget what’s important. She said the “busy-ness” of everyday life, including day-to-day responsibilities and the technology most people depend on has removed many from nature and even from reality a bit.
“We look around us, but we have forgotten to really see things,” Martin said. “I hope to remind people to take a minute and be still and see for yourself the beauty in our area.”
She said that’s when she feels most alive. She said she is also hoping to combine her photography with her love of writing in some way.
“Whether it’s dew drops on a dandelion, a barn out in the field, a mother with her baby or an original view of our cityscape, I like to capture ordinary things around us in a special way and bring that picture to the viewer,” Martin said.
Martin said her husband George is very patient with her passion for photography and how often it keeps her on the go.
The couple has four adult children. Martin said her two daughters are in college, and her two step-daughters each have two children, who Martin said she loves to spoil when she gets the chance.
She said that balancing her work and family life is a lot easier now that her girls are older.
“When they are home, I’m lucky enough that they love to go on little road trips with me to find places to shoot, not to mention it makes for great bonding time together,” she said. “As far as my portrait photography goes, they were and are often the subjects I use for testing out new poses or new locations for shooting portraiture.”