Laura Bianco-Martinez

Laura Bianco-Martinez

I am a landscape painter living in the Hudson Valley of New York working primarily in pastels and encaustics. After a career as an art educator I know focus on creating while I travel. I have outfitted a small van to accommodate my supplies, my sleeping space and room for my dog. My studio is the outdoors.

The Mid-Hudson Valley is flanked by the Hudson River on the east and the Shawangunk Mountains on the west. Outdoor activities abound: rock climbing, kayaking hiking to name a few.  This marsh is one of my favorite spots…while painting I am surrounded by marsh birds and eagle above. I am drawn to landscape, the depth, the atmosphere, the light all inspire me; but oh the color. I am drawn to color and I embrace it. Pastels allow me to apply pure pigment in quick strokes. The colors are layered and marks are made that represent the shapes and lines surrounding me.

Pictured: Orange Flash—included in Main Street Arts, Small Works 2023.

This small painting was completed the last morning of a week long painting adventure at the Colorado National Monument in Fruita, Colorado.  After studying the colors of red rocks and the sharp edges the mountains this vignette just sang to me. The view was from my campsite and the painting was done while making my morning coffee. The complimentary colors and the dramatic morning light. I could not resist this western muse.

Painting is my equivalent to journaling- instead of writing about my experiences I record them through visually.  My travels may take me to a quiet place that speaks to me or to a grand vistas that attracts many-either way my goal is to capture my authentic experience.

I found this small chapel was on a quiet dirt road outside of Santa Fe. I was attracted to the play of light on the stucco and the brilliant color in the hillside-when an elderly woman came up and spoke to me about how much she loved this sanctuary I knew it was a painting)

When I am not traveling I am painting at home in my studio space, a barn dating back to the 1850’s, here I work in encaustics. Whether I am working in encaustic or pastel I focus on color -layering, manipulating marking with color.  Many times my pastels become the base for my encaustic. It may be a painting that I didn’t complete or one that never met my goal.  I may use a pastel for inspiration but I enjoy applying the molten wax and pigment directly to the pastel painting.  My pastel is now the underpainting for my encaustic.  Each encaustic becomes a sealed image of my outdoor experience.

Pictured: Violet Sky – Encaustic over pastel of the Shawangunk Ridge at Dusk…

Pictured: Springtime – The Shawangunk Ridge is a motif I have painted over and over-and I never tire of.

You can follow my work at www.laurambianco.com and @laura.m.bianco14 on instagram.

Small Works 2023 includes 219 works of art by 204 artists from 29 states and runs through Friday, December 22, 2023.

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Closed 7/28 through 8/3:

We will be closed to the public Friday, July 28 through Thursday, August 4 as we install our next exhibition, Inspired By Nature. Please join us for the opening reception on Friday, August 4 from 5 to 8pm!