An image of a still life painting I produced in college using oil pastels
A still life painting in oil pastels from my college days

Hello and welcome to the first GMartin Artist Blog. I’m excited by this opportunity to babble on randomly to new friends and strangers — my current friends (and strangers!) are getting a little fed up with it 🙂

A bit about me

The quickest introduction ever. I’m Gary, an Artist and Illustrator living in Cheshire, UK. Read all about me on my aptly named About page and then return back to here. There’s some other things you may want to know:

  • As a child when I concentrated I would stick my tongue out - it got very dry.
  • I had a recurring dream where Aliens would take me and try to make my ears pointy and then Charlie’s Angels would come and save me. I think you can work out what TV I watched in the evening with my sister and dad.
  • I think the drawing of the donkey looked something like this:
Donkey drawing recreation
A bad recreation of the donkey drawing my mum made

(If this has gone surreal then a quick question - you did go back and read about me didn’t you?)

I’m not saying my mum wasn’t talented - I haven’t ever drawn a donkey to compare skills. Well I have now but it’s from memory of a drawing from a long time ago so I’m not sure it counts.

Overall my childhood was great, growing up in a large village with countryside all around and city life a bus ride away. No drama worthy of a film. I was quiet, had a small group of close friends, and got on with most people. 

Fast Forward

When I was 17 and studying at art college, my Dad was diagnosed with cancer and it was too far gone to do anything about. He was amazing and spent the next few months pulling toilets apart to show me how to fix them and how to change taps, do basic car maintenance and put up shelves etc. He died on his birthday. I went very introverted and everyone got used to that. 

Fast Fast Forward

I’m skipping a lot of details here but I went to University, remembered my less introverted side and ended up on a safe career path of Graphic Design. I still did some drawing but mainly forgot about ‘art’ art and then my Mum became ill. Now a quick summary as I don’t want to get too emotional on my first blog post. She had stage four cancer, we moved her into our house (oh yes, I forgot to mention I got married to someone amazing who I love with every nerve ending, organ and skin flake) and we cared for her. The last few weeks were bad and left me suffering with occasional anxiety, stress, insomnia and bouts of mild depression. 

Then I became a dad.

An image of our crying baby
The 'alien' baby demanding something unknown

Art, Being a Parent and No Sleep

Just in case you were wondering - we did manage to tell my mum about the pregnancy. It was one of the last conversations we had and it was wonderful. 

The first few months of parenthood was like being a slave to a demanding alien that didn’t speak our language and got mad quickly. Luckily, this alien didn’t want to make my ears pointy. It slowly improved over the next year and a half and the alien became human, smiling and giggling in between the crying. I’ll update you on the rest as it happens. 

With little time available, and still reeling after events with my mum, I looked hard at everything I wanted to do in life and threw most of it out. Art is where it has always been for me and it took a lot of life events to learn that. So now I am back where I belong getting messy with paints and loving it. I would love you to grab a mug of tea and come and be messy along with me.

Thank you so much for taking the time to come here and read this. It means a lot and I would love to hear from you – probably 🙂