Sweets for the Sweet by Martica Griffin

Art of the Week

An observation frequently made as a result of the isolation and stop to human activity imposed by the spread of the novel coronavirus is that “nature is healing.” Indeed, it’s hard to ignore that as spring blooms, natural splendor appears to be thriving despite — or because of — this global uncertainty.

Even more powerful is the fact that as the world’s natural elements flourish, they can bring some much needed positivity and optimism to us, even in hard times. Visual artists like Nashville’s Martica Griffin cannot help but be inspired by the world they see around them and, by interpreting it into their work, help us all see that the places we inhabit remain beautiful.

Despite the area’s recommended lockdown, Griffin has been regularly working on a series of paintings that capture the season’s blooms in her signature abstract style. They are each a standardized 18×24″, created with graphite, crayon, marker, oil and acrylic paints.

“Since early March I’ve created over 30 of these abstract botanicals inspired by trees, shrubs, grasses and flowers,” she told Art of Nashville. “I had a dozen or so out on my studio floor drying and they reminded me of a wide-open field filled with color.”

Griffin’s abstract approach lends itself well to the bright, energetic and untamed blooms of spring and Sweets for the Sweet is a particularly potent example from the series. Its balance of chaotic movement and controlled form, color palette and mix of media bring the explosion of life seen around us at this time of year onto the canvas. In addition to the technique, Griffin’s general approach to her work and goals for this series almost certainly added to these effects.

“I feel compelled to be working in the studio daily,” she said. “Finding ways to connect with others, now remotely, drives me. Bringing a smile, sense of peace or something new to the everyday is my motivation.”

Griffin is based in Nashville and focuses on non-representational and figurative work. She holds a bachelor’s degree in fine art from East Carolina University and studied postgraduate painting at the School of Visual Arts in New York. Her work has been exhibited throughout Nashville for more than a decade.

More of Griffin’s work, including pieces from this series, can be found on her website and Instagram page.

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