You Can Purchase The Sketchbook of Gregory Martens

 

 

 

100 full color pages of drawings, comics, wit, wisdom, high and low art, and classic interpretations of the masters. Beautifully published in a handy pocket-sized book, perfect for holiday gifts.

See the complete book by clicking on the PDF here.

Price $20 + $4 postage each through PayPal

Size: 5-1/2 x 4 inches

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Great Tribulation Brass Band

Have you ever actually read the Book of Revelation in the Bible? After the letters to the churches, John’s apocalyptic vision begins. The symbol-rich narrative can be seen in two parts: the Great Tribulation and the triumphal return of Christ. I grew up in an Evangelical Christian world and the Tribulation was heavily emphasized in the “fire and Brimstone” that potential converts could avoid. We had a famous book by Clarence Larkin written in 1917 called “Dispensational Truth” which many nicely drawn charts of all the wacky characters in the Book of Revelation. I always wanted to see all the characters jammed into one single drawing, and I just had to draw it myself; all I could fit was the Tribulation. I”l save the Return of Christ for the next one.

 

Potato King

The Potato King, 2017, Ink on found book page, 9 x 6″

The All-seeing Potato King, like Zarathustra’s Ass, never complains, never speaks out against the people; he just sees all. The royal voyeur is the Warhol of Idaho, will you accept him into your heart?

 

The Distractions

(click image to enlarge)

There are things in my studio that call out to me, they desire my attention. I play the drums and have a makeshift kit set up; I jam along to 13000 random songs. There are also stringed instruments and an old accordion that hope I’ll learn to play them. There are also visions, apparitions, and demons vying for some place in my psyche, longing for center stage in the next picture I make. And all those books. I think an artist needs a hobby that isn’t art related, like making music.

Cowboys, Sausage, and Wounds

(CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE)

I have one pair of cowboy boots which I wear when I want to feel like a cowboy. A little taller, a little pointier, a little cooler. No hat or dinner-plate sized belt buckle or creased jeans, just those badass black pointy toes sticking out. When I was a cobbler, I repaired many hundreds of pairs of cowboy boots; before we commenced work we often found unusual things inside them. Guns, knives, flasks, money, even a little bag of cocaine, but more than anything else we found women’s panties. The Lost Cowboy may just find himself yet, in a house of temptation. But, who is tempting whom?

The Wound Man is a Medieval character inflicted with every kind of traumatic and potentially lethal puncture and incision, beautiful colored etchings depict his sorry lot. In the late 19th century The Magnetic Belt was advertised as a cure for nearly every ailment – even blunt-force trauma and stapling.

I love Wisconsin, I love to love it and I love to complain about it. That is the right of every state native. A wise 1990’s chat room host once said, “Wisconsin has beer cheese, cheese beer, sausage cheese, cheese sausage, and beer sausage. But not Sausage Beer. Perhaps that’s a good thing. These are Old-Bavarian comfort foods enjoyed best while watching a ball game (of your choice).

Put Your Demon in a Cage

(Click image to enlarge)

There is an ancient Jewish saying that we all have both an angel and a demon inside us; the task is to beat down the demon. It sure is nice to have a little help from Olive, Nancy, Betty, and Lulu, even with their “working class” stubble.
This picture will be offered for silent auction at the WMSE Art & Music fundraiser event May 19, 2017. Get your tickets and help keep WMSE Frontier Radio alive and well.

Gallery Update

 

(Click image to enlarge)
I will be exhibiting a solo show at the beautiful Grove Gallery. The opening reception is during Milwaukee’s Fall Gallery Night, Friday Oct. 20, 5-9 PM, There will be cold beer and live music from the blues/folk duet Graveyard Shift (my son is in the band). There will be a gallery talk at 2 PM the following Saturday Oct. 21. where you can get to know me a little better.

The show is entitled, “Out From the Darkness” and that refers to letting go of the influence and pressures of academic training and practice and just trying to channel the teenaged kid back in the 1970’s who loved drawing for endless hours and listening to the best music ever made on the 8-track. There is also a certain “Darkness” in the drawings of demons, comics, snakes, skeletons, monsters, bad boys, and cool cars. The exhibition is primarily black ink drawings, acrylic paintings, and screen prints all of which can be viewed on this website. The screen prints (pictured above) will be for sale $80 and under.

We have also published the “Sketchbook of Gregory Martens” which is a compilation facsimile of my sketchbooks, also very reasonably priced at $20. Published by the great Brett Waterhouse at Waterhouse Press, the sketchbook has become my life’s blood for ideas, practicing my drawing chops, copying old masters, and recording bits of wisdom picked up over the last year or so. It is a personal glimpse I believe you will find fascinating. I’ll be honored to sign books on both Friday and Saturday.

There has been some wonderful publicity for the exhibition. Kat Kneevers wrote a great review in the Shepherd-Express. She also promoted the article and exhibition on Radio 88.9 FM. Jim Higgins wrote another great preview for Gallery Night listing our show as a top pick in the Sunday Milwaukee Journal. And finally, I had a really fun interview with Tom Crawford on Radio WMSE 91.7.

Get an early sneak preview of the the show during Doors Open Milwaukee Sept. 23-24 Noon – 5 PM, at The Grove Gallery, again live music provided by Graveyard Shift. Stop by and get a behind-the-scenes look at the fantastic Lamers Building which houses The Grove Gallery, Team Nerd Press letterpress printing operated by Adam Beadel, and the amazing studio of Celine Farrell who also owns the building.

GROVE GALLERY
832 S. 5th ST. Walkers PT.
Milwaukee WI 53204
414-659-0262
Opening Reception: Oct. 20, 5:00 – 9:00 PM. Cold beer, Live Music
Artist Talk Oct. 21, 2:00 PM

I will be available for private tours, interviews, etc. by appointment: gmartens@mindspring.com

Lucky 13

(Click image to enlarge)

When the Lumberman Demon has blocked your way, you must wait it out. Or perhaps you are already in Hell with a fantastic race car but you can’t get out of the parking lot, as the dead get new cell phones that probably don’t work. Do you feel lucky?

Mouse Fight

(Click image to enlarge)

These cartoon mice were rowdy in their day, Mighty Mouse would sing, “Here I come to save the day!” Such confidence. When Ignatz Mouse wasn’t plotting a dark scheme, or averting the policeman Offisa Pup, he was throwing a brick at his beloved/hated androgynous Krazy Kat. And Mickey Mouse had a bit of a cruel streak when it came to the lower animals and the cops. I wanted to see them fight; for Minnie and Krazy in the ’59 Caddy, and the internet gawkers – in front of an architectural ruin. Wouldn’t you?

Little Leo

(Click image to enlarge)

Old Leonardo Da Vinci had a rough day He was just trying to practice driving his little car around the yard when he was blocked by a young Generation Z girl. She had just beat the 3 Card Monte dealer and wanted to post it online. Unfortunately the angry neighbor guy had just finished shooting fish in a barrel and turned his sights on the dealer. As the the neighborhood saying goes, “If the angry neighbor doesn’t get you the firebombs will.”