Meet the Artist, Colette Martin
My name is Colette Martin, and I love to paint! As a Louisiana native, my work is heavily inspired by the beautiful landscape and culture around me. The people, the swamps, the lake, the funny looking birds, the trees, and the food – it all speaks to me! I create my art with lots of texture and/or resin. It allows me to create layers that bring depth and dimension to my art. As a self-taught artist, I developed my own technique through good old trial and error, and it’s been so much fun to watch it evolve over time!
I was born in New Orleans, and currently live in Covington, LA. I first discovered my passion for painting in a high school art class (Thanks, Mrs. Reece!). In college, I painted as a hobby and sold my art in a local coffee shop. Over the years, I consistently found myself creating artwork to adorn the walls of my home, and to give away as gifts to family and friends. Then one day, as the troubles of life, health challenges, and my nursing career were hitting me hard, I turned to painting as therapy. Creating art was my “happy place.” I painted so much that I ran out of room in my house! I sold my ever-expanding collection of paintings in a local boutique owned by a dear friend, who further encouraged me to start my own business. I didn’t think I had any extra time for a business. However, that thought wouldn’t leave me. I later came across a quote that hit me like a ton of bricks: “There is never a good time to do it, so just do it now.”
In August of 2018, Colesian Art was born. My passion for painting only grew from there. All, I wanted to do was paint. After some really challenging years with my job and grappling with the idea of leaving a career I once loved, I took yet another leap of faith and left my nursing career. It was the best decision I could’ve ever made for myself and my family. Creating art that brings others joy is what brings me the most joy.
I am a wife to the most amazing, supportive man, Jesse Martin, and a mother to two incredible kids, who I homeschool. Being able to stay at home with them, teach them and simultaneously pursue my passion for art is a dream come true. My husband is a contractor who built me a beautiful studio above our garage. It is in that space where my mind can go free. When I paint, it is like a dream to me. I put so much of myself into my art. I turn my music on and just go! It is my time to process the world around me. So when you have a piece of my art, you have all of me.
My painting is also a time of deep worship to my savior, Jesus Christ. One of my favorite things to do when I paint is to pray, particularly for those whose homes my artwork will adorn! I pray God’s blessings and favor over them and their families. Even though I don’t get to meet every single customer, God does. Whether it’s a large or small piece, God knows exactly where my art will go. I love creating my custom pieces most of all, because I know exactly who I am praying for.
One of my all-time favorite things to paint – and one of my best-selling themes – is oysters! When you look at the meaning behind oysters, they’re a lot like life! Each of my oyster paintings has a pearl in it. It is part of my signature. I don’t think I will ever paint an oyster without a pearl in it. Think of it this way…When an oyster makes a pearl, it is because it was wounded in some way, usually by a grain of sand or a parasite. The oyster was hurting. The healing process that had to take place was no doubt painful, but without it, you would not have the beautiful pearl.
I have personally seen – and cared for – a lot of wounds in my days on this earth. Working as an oncology nurse, I became very familiar with death – not just in the physical sense, but mentally and emotionally. I’ve seen many people lose their will to live. After 20 years in healthcare, those experiences started to create wounds in my own life. Witnessing the many failings of our medical system – and the oftentimes needless pain and death associated with them – drained my passion for nursing. Leaving my career was difficult and painful, but art has brought such beautiful healing into my life. Colesian Art is like my pearl.
We all have wounds. But I have come to believe that those wounds serve a purpose. We can choose to live with our pain, or we can make pearls. I pray God leads you to your pearl. In the meantime, I hope my art brings you as much joy as it does for me!