16 Jan Larisa Martino

With a degree in fashion and art from the University of Textile Industry (Tashkent, Uzbekistan) , Larisa Martino, creates artwork that describes a woman’s feelings, expressing her inner views and sensuality.

Larisa’s unique style of feminine mixed media paintings radiate color, texture, and character. We decided to go ahead and ask Larisa some questions to learn more of her artistic process.

Behind The Artist: Larisa Martino

Medium: Paint, Mixed Media

Location: Cranston, RI


What inspires you To paint?
Short answer: Women. I think nothing can be more beautiful, graceful, complex and mysterious than a woman. Although I don’t use live models, I am a people-watcher, collecting images from real observation. I also like to scan fashion magazines for ideas and stylistic trends. The works of other artists also inspire me. My artistic influences include the work of Gustav Klimt, vintage and modern fashion sketches, and Art Nouveau.


Where do you paint?
I have my own studio which is a part of my home. Overlooking my backyard, I have a beautiful working space soaked with natural light where I can express my creativity. My cat Goldie is usually at my side watching me paint. The scene is a chaotic scatter of paint, brushes, palette knives, canvas, papers and other materials that make sense only to me. Friends, family, and patrons gather there amid laughter and many a glass of wine!

How do you prep your station/ things you must do before you start painting?
The night before my painting day I make sure my brushes are clean, paints are organized, and the clutter reduced. I then tape my sketches, inspirational images, and proportional calculations to a glass door close to my easel for reference when I work. In the morning, well caffeinated and in my painting clothes, hair pulled back, I tune into my favorite Pandora music station to start the creative flow.

What materials do you use (paint, canvas, etc.)?
For a painting surface I use stretched canvas, wood panels, canvas boards or thick mat boards. I primarily work in mixed media on canvas, but originally I began with ink on paper. Acrylic paints, fabrics, crystals, glues, glitter, spray paints, cheese cloth, glazes, and varnishes are some of the materials I use to create my art. Sometimes I begin my piece as a pen and ink drawing layering with watercolor-like acrylic paint and topping with varnish. For very fine detail I turn to liquid acrylic medium using a long thin brush to perfect eyelashes, wisps of hair, details on garments, and jewels.


How do you choose the colors?
I paint primarily with a jewel-toned palette: sparkling rubies, mysterious amethysts, caressing amber, along with stunning emeralds and seductive sapphires. For an unexpected “color punch”, I do use lime greens, bright yellows, pinks and other colors. My “Girls Night Out” collection is a perfect example of my color palette. I am excited about the recently announced Color of the Year for 2017–Greenery. I will definitely incorporate this color in future work.

What music do you listen to?
Music is an essential element in my studio. I believe that music has a strong influence on what and how I paint. To accomplish a spirit of playfulness in creating my series of Ladies, I listen to so-called Trip Hop which has influences of Soul, Funk Jazz, and some New Age tunes. My husband, Michael, set up a great speaker system to assist my creative moments.

How long does it take to complete your painting?
I’ve been asked this question a lot. It depends on the specific type of piece. On average, I spend 25-40 hours on one medium-sized (24×36) canvas over the course of a few weeks. Because I paint in layers, I must evaluate my painting at each painting session. I do a kind of “tango” with my canvas, stepping forward then back to observe and plan my next move. Most of my pieces begin as abstract backgrounds and then I build the images layer by layer as my women come to life!

Do you always have any special snack/drink available while in the studio?
When I work, I engage all my senses;  so I play music, enjoy fragrant candles, and sip on herbal tea or water. All this helps to submerge myself into a creative trance. I spend my lunch break eating before the easel to plan my next step.


Give us a few adjectives that invoke your art aesthetic
Feminine, playful, sensual, textural, mysterious, and passionate!

About Larisa Martino:
Larisa Martino is an ethnically Russian artist, primarily working on easel paintings. Her passion for art dates back to her early school years, where she participated in drawing classes in after school programs. She developed a fusion of art styles growing up in a multicultural environment. After graduating from the University of Textile Industry with a BA in Design & Art, Larisa moved to the United States where she would work in the business world for several years before deciding to return to her true passion: art. Today, her art style focuses on fantasy themes, illustrative ideas, and fashion sketches in acrylics, ink pens, oil pastels, color pencils, fabrics, and faux finishes. Many of her pieces are representations of women – the feminine forms of emotions. moods, and characters.

Studio photographs courtesy of Kimberli Photo


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