Susan Martin likes to incorporate humor and a message into her art.
“Some Dreams Do Come True” is the name of the work she created for the 2010 Arts on the Square Poster Contest.
Her image is the winner of this year’s contest and is being used to promote the arts festival, which will be held Aug. 20-21 on the city square. A limited edition art print will also be created. The original piece is on display at the Waupaca Area Public Library.
Martin describes her work as folk art that is whimsical, tongue-in-cheek and that often tells a story.
She was shocked that her artwork was chosen the winner of this year’s poster contest.
“I thought it was way too personal,” she said.
That is because Martin incorporated herself, her husband, Jeff, their son Jeff and their dog, Scooter, into it.
Before doing that she began with two floating figures – a take-off on a piece by artist Marc Chagall in which Chagall and his wife were shown flying.
“I wanted to fool around with the design,” she said. “I put my son and dog in there.”
Since then, Scooter has passed away.
In the image, Martin holds a palette. Her husband, who is always supportive of her work, has a hand on her shoulder and looks down at her with a smile.
“I gave myself gray hair in it,” Martin said smiling. “It went better with the palette.”
This was the first time she entered the poster contest, and she said that she worked on the piece over the period of a couple weeks.
She has always loved art and minored in it as a college student.
Martin was an elementary teacher for 35 years – teaching first in Menomonee Falls and then in Waupaca. She enjoyed incorporating art into her classroom and retired from teaching in 2005.
Since her retirement, she has time to be a student again, taking watercolor, acrylic and carving classes at Northeastern Technical College, Fox Valley Technical College, Jack Richeson’s, The Art Garage and Peninsula Art School. She also meets weekly with other carvers in Schreier’s woodshed.
Martin began carving in 1985, saying, “I wanted to carve my own Santa, because I couldn’t afford one in the antique store.”
About 10 years ago, she began painting.
Her folk art carvings and paintings can be seen at Cronie’s in Waupaca, Amherst Coffee Company in King, Blue Dolphin House Studio in Ephraim, Silver Coach restaurant in Stevens Point, Bohlin Gallery in Mineral Point, Center for Visual Arts in Wausau, and at Greenleaf Gallery in Bannockburn, Ill.