Marti Somers | Biography

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Marti Somers takes you into her world of whimsical canvases and playful narration as she explores the fragility of nature in contrast to modern life, the human form in balance with other living creatures, and ultimately, the magic found in an ordinary day. Her paintings offer up hope for the observer as well as raise questions of deep concern. "Will Earth survive us?" she asks.

A native Californian, Somers received a BFA at the University of Hawaii. She returned to California and worked as a graphic designer at Stanford University and was a principal at Artefact Design in Palo Alto. But it was her painting that ultimately brought a sense of purpose to her life. In 2001 she embarked on a full-time painting career and, shortly after. opened Studio Believe in San Carlos.

In 2007 Marti and her sister, Robin Somers, co-founded Somersault Studios, a non-profit publishing venture to benefit the arts of Northern California. Much of her inspiration comes from living near the coast of northern California, where she resides with her husband, Artem, and dog Mischa in San Carlos, California.

Artist Statement

Take me on a wild journey so that I might return and begin again - I wrote this in my journal 10 years ago when I decided to paint for nothing less than life itself. Filling up a blank surface with layers of ideas and miles of energy is certain to be a mind trip. A familiar and unscripted multi-cultural world emerges, layered with edits and revisions from an ordinary day - an emergence of both city life and coastal love where I divide my time with family and friends. These are the landscapes that most currently reside within my mind and that have been loosely woven into a body of work ... Good Fortune, Pear of Jacks, Polar Tales ... and bookended by West of Then and East of When.

I was driving south on Highway 17, a winding mountain road that connects the Silicon Valley to the Santa Cruz coast. A stunning landscape appeared before me - the back of an old truck. Its rusted corners and white washed walls framed a grid pattern of worn paint made of luscious creams and crusted taupes. I followed behind as it sped through life, creating a sense of stillness within. I took mental notes of the details: a small blue rectangle in the left hand corner, a red circular light below, some writing going up the side, and the number 2 in Helvetica Bold. A delicate relationship of shape, color, and texture. A peeling off of time caught in perfect balance.

These are the ordinary experiences I record when I return to my studio, Believe. The painting to the right is a result of my drive over hwy 17 in search of the coast, only to find my soul deliciously stolen by the back of an old truck. An interpretation of nature juxtaposed against modern day life. My paintings always find their way back to the subject of nature. The search for peace and beauty, the questions of modern life, my encapsulated small little life and the message I bear: One of hope in the face of a foreboding landscape. Whimsical drawings appear like icing on a cake... I shift back and forth.

As a visual artist, I hope to bring you into my world for just a moment. Thank you for browsing through my new site and new work, and remember that without your participation, my paintings feel unfinished.



2011 Spring, Addington Fine Art, Chicago, IL
2009 AWAKEN, I.Wolk Gallery, St. Helena, CA
2008 BELIEVE Pamela Skinner|Gwenna Howard Contemporary Art, Sacramento, CA
2007 WISE COINCIDENCE, Bryant Street Gallery, Palo Alto, CA
2006 RECREATIONS, Bryant Street Gallery, Palo Alto, CA
2005 FAN, Bryant Street Gallery, Palo Alto, CA
2004 BREATHE, Bryant Street Gallery, Palo Alto, CA
2003 UPON THIS EARTH, Bryant Street Gallery, Palo Alto, CA
2002 COUNTING+BLESSINGS, Bryant Street Gallery, Palo Alto, CA
2001 EARTHLY GOODS, Bryant Street Gallery, Palo Alto, CA

2013 April, Caldwell Snyder, St. Helena, CA
2012 March, Caldwell Snyder, San Francisco, CA
2011 August, Caldwell Snyder, ArtAspen
2011 Fall, NEW WORK Morpeth Contemporary, Hopewell, NJ
2011, Summer, Santa Fe Art Fair, Linda Fairchild
2011 Spring, San Francisco Art Fair, Linda Fairchild
2010 WAX ON WAX OFF, September, Visions West, Denver, CO
2010 NEW WORK, October, Sequoia Santa Fe. Santa Fe, NM
2010 SFFAF, May, San Francisco Contemporary Art Fair, Linda Fairchild Contemporary, San Francisco, CA
2010 NEW WORK, March, Addington Gallery, Chicago, IL
2010 SICA Monotype Marathon, San Jose, CA, Benefiting the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art.
2010 REVISITED, February, Pamela Skinner|Gwenna Howard Contemporary Art, Sacramento, CA 2009 Monotype Marathon
2008 NEW WORK, Ruth Morpeth Contemporary Art, Hopewell, NJ
2008 NEW WORK, Visions West Galleries, Livingston, MO
2005 SICA Monotype Marathon, San Jose, CA
2004 SICA Monotype Marathon, San Jose, CA
2003 NEW WORK, Bryant Street Gallery
2002 NEW WORK, Bryant Street Gallery
2001 NEW WORK, Bryant Streeet Gallery
2000 STRONG WOMEN, Central Sierra Arts Council, Sonora, CA
1999 PAINTED POEMS, Central Sierra Arts Council, Sonora, CA Poems by Robin Somers

2008 Somersault Studios formed
1994-2001 Artefact Design, Principal and Partner, Palo Alto, CA
1985-1993 Graphic Designer/Illustrator, Stanford University
1975 Stanford University Summer Program, University of Florence, Italy
1975 BFA, University of Hawaii, Manoa Campus

2001 Society of Illustration Annual and Exhibition
STRONG WOMEN series, New York, NY 2000 Communication Arts Illustration Annual
STRONG WOMEN series 1998 Communication Arts Illustration Annual
MISCELLANEA Series 1996, 97, 98, 99, 2000 Print Magazine
1996, 97, 98, 99, 2000 Western Art Directors Club