Artist Gil Martin staging Smaller Works display at Carson City Community Center |

Artist Gil Martin staging Smaller Works display at Carson City Community Center

Nevada Appeal staff report
Gil Martin talks with Cherie Turner in his outdoor studio. Martin’s art, made from natural pigments found in the West, is on display at the Carson City Community Center.
Courtesy |

When Gil Martin started studying painting, an artist friend gave him a box of art materials and assorted tools. In that box was a book on how to make paint from earth pigments. It sat around his studio for years until one day he picked it up and started reading. His interest piqued, he started driving around looking for colored dirt from road cuts.

For more than 20 years, Martin has made his own paint from natural pigments he digs up from various sources in the West. He uses a starch paste made from corn meal as a binder and adds water to create a more or less viscous paint.

“I like to work my pieces outside, both on the ground and tacked to a wall. The paint pools up in the small depressions and flows over uneven surfaces of canvas and paper laid on the ground or drips down in furrows on the pinned pieces,” Martin said. “There is always an element of chance to the painting process. The material speaks and I then react to the needs of the painting.”

Martin, who teaches art at Western Nevada College in Fallon, said his Western landscapes mainly come about by working horizontal bands of color against one another until the painting unifies.

Smaller Works, a collection of his latest art, opened Wednesday at the Carson City Community Center and can be seen through July 6.

The display is in the Sierra Room, which is open during all public meetings and most weekdays from 5 to 8 p.m.

Additionally, CCAI has a companion exhibition of Martin’s work, From the Ground Up, in the Courthouse Gallery, 885 E. Musser St., where it can be seen from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays through May 24.

For information, visit For Sierra Room access, call 775-283-7421, or check meeting schedules at

To see examples of Martin’s art, go to