Spent the last couple of days sketching, hoping for an idea for an etching which I can use in an upcoming  exhibition with The Red House Group, an artists group I am a member of. I actually think I have possibilities for a linoprint print (with a bit more thought), an couple of etchings and some monoprints. It’s amazing how you can start with an image and begin playing with it, trying to keep an essence of the subject but experimenting with lines and marks to suit your own preferences, and end up with  images quite different but still somewhat the same. One of the joys of being an artist.


First series (a couple of early drawings missing) of the landscape near Port Pirie, north of Adelaide. The horizontalness of the place intrigued me.


 The second series based on part of the coast at Second Valley in South Australia.
If you are interested in seeing more of my work, both prints and drawings, visit and follow links to  them.

Bamboo on paper.

As I have no impending exhibitions to work towards I am continuing my experimentation with various monoprinting techniques. Over the last couple of days I have again worked with using watercolour and non waterproof ink on cardboard plates that I then print onto damp paper using my etching press. I am enjoying the freedom of experimentation. I have been especially exploring the results of using varying degrees of paper dampness as well as how much or how little watercolor and ink affect the result. Some of the results have been pleasingly surprising, the chancy result adding a level of enjoyment to the process. The following are some of the results from the last couple of days. The plate is on the left the printed image on the right.


See more of my drawings and prints at

Waxing lyrical.

As part of my recent COAST exhibition of lino prints and etchings I was interested not only in creating images of the coast as it is today but also images that were based on memories of my surfing days. I wanted to come up with a way of creating a sort of direct link with surfing  and my wife suggested I use a block of surfboard wax as a relief printing block. Some of my best ideas come from my wife!! This little film  records the printing of one of the two wax relief blocks I printed editions from. They and the other prints can be seen on my online gallery at


Monoprinting trial and error

Have spent most of today experimenting with a way of printing monoprints or even possibly variable editions. I have been painting, pressing, drawing on cardboard ‘plates’ using water colours and non waterproof drawing inks which when dry I run thru my press using damp paper. The image is transfered to the paper and although still a bit much a drawing  it takes on a different quality by being printed. Have had some success and a couple of failures but the more I do the more ideas for processes I get. Could be busy for the next few days. Here are three of the better results from today.


More of my work can be seen at

Tales from the crypt.

A few years ago my son Pirie and I held a joint exhibition at a local gallery in Adelaide. I created  etchings and lino prints, he paintings. The works were based on a visit we made to The Flinders Ranges in South Australia. My son is a film maker (who dabbles in painting) and the visit was initially for him to source some locations for one of his film projects. WE were both blown away by the landscape and desided then to put together the exhibition. It was a real thrill to be able to exhibit work with my son. Below are some examples of our work. More can be seen on my website
Click HERE

John Martin Untitled . Sugarlift aquatint

John Martin Razorback Ridge Reduction lino print

Pirie Martin Lonely Sunset Oil on masonite

Pirie Martin Rocky Outcrop Oil on masonite

Still life of likes.

This is a recent lino print I have been working on – Still Life With Ink Blot. It is a six colour reduction lino print expressing some of my favourite things and artistic influences.


The red pot was purchased in Arles on a recent overseas trip my wife and I took. I always wanted to visit Arles because of it’s connection with my favourite artist, Van Gogh. This pot was the only real souvenir we bought on our trip and is a constant reminder if the good time we had there. The brush and ink stick represent my enjoyment and awe of Chinese and Japanese brush painting. The ink blot represents the result when I try to work in that style 🙂
The print, in an edition of 4, is printied on Stonehenge Rising paper and is 12 x 22 cms in size. It is now available for purchase in the Martinart shop. Click HERE.

I wonder what the rich people are doing?

Great spring day in Adelaide today. Took the chance and spent sometime out on the decking next to my studio and doing a bit if doodling. Not drawing with any real aim in mind, just letting things wander along to find their own outcome. Very pleasant, very relaxing.


Really does make you wonder what the rich people are doing don’t it.