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Artist Printmaker

John Martin


john martin

I fell in love with printmaking the moment I walked into the print studio at art school all those years ago.

Now in my own studio I specialise in etching and lino/block printing.

The real subjects of my prints are the lines and marks I can create through carving lino and etching into pieces of copper. These are initially drawing and painting-based marks but I may use other ways to create the lines and marks into the surface of my print blocks. The image I create is based on the charm of these marks not necessarily the subject which acts as inspiration.

Given this my images are inspired and based on nature. My vision is selective, I choose what is more important or interesting for the image. If you want the real world watch the news. When I sketch from the landscapes it is my world for that moment and that is what I hope to share with others.

I also want my work to be concerned with simplicity, harmony, joie de vivre and peacefulness. I would like my prints to have a soothing calming influence on the mind. Looking a my prints is hopefully like walking in the countryside; you don’t necessarily need to know where you are or what birds or flowers they are but to just feel the poetry of nature.

I work small. This is partly due the physical space in my studio and size of equipment I use but also because I like the viewer to be close and intimate with the image; to be absorbed into it and experience a personal moment with it.

My editions are also small, usually not more than ten. Once printed the plate is destroyed unless I change the design to improve it or enhance the mood of the work in which case an second edition will be printed but clearly marked that it is a ‘second state’ of the first edition.

I very rarely if ever assign artist statements to my individual prints. It is my view that galleries should put away artist statements; art guides best when shrouded in some mystery. My prints and drawings are made to be looked at. They do the talking.

I have had an interest in art for as long as I can remember and that interest has been a major influence through my tertiary education as an art educator and artistic career. My wife, Maryanne and I have two children.


I have travelled overseas seven times; once with a group of student teachers on an around the world tour of art galleries. As a printmaker I specialise in etching and lino printing and have exhibited my work in Adelaide in group, one-man exhibitions and in 2015 with my son, Pirie Martin and in 2021 with my son and wife maryanne. I am a member of the Print Council of Australia and have a keen interest in art history.


My heroes include Vincent Van Gogh, Hokusai, Rembrandt, Fred Williams, John Olsen and Brett Whitely while my other interests include sport, computing/multimedia and reading. I spent much of my youth surfing, drawing, surfing, drawing and surfing; I still have my favourite surfboard.

In addition to regular on-line exhibitions I have exhibited in the following:



One man exhibition of etchings, Fulham Gallery, Adelaide, South Australia



Surf – Group exhibition, Noarlunga Arts Centre, Adelaide, South Australia



Twice exhibited in Red House group exhibitions, Gallery M, Adelaide, South Australia

Relative View Points – Joint exhibition with my son Pirie Martin at Prospect Gallery, Adelaide, South Australia

2015 Bookplate Design Award exhibition, Melbourne, Victoria

Silk Cut Print Award – finalist, Melbourne, Victoria



Relative View Points – Joint exhibition with my son Pirie Martin at Port Pirie Regional Art Gallery, Port Pirie, South Australia

Laura Art Exhibition – annual group exhibition, Laura, South Australia

Drawn In  – Red House group exhibition, Gallery M, Adelaide, South Australia

Surf  – Group exhibition at Noarlunga Arts Centre, Adelaide, South Australia

It’s a Small World  – Group exhibition, Magpie Springs Winery Gallery, Adelaide, South Australia

Ink Master's 3rd Print Exhibition, Cairns, Queensland



Journey – Red House group exhibition, Gallery M, Adelaide, South Australia

As the Crow Flies – Solo exhibition, Prospect Gallery, Adelaide, South Australia

Gallery M Contemporary Art Prize – Finalist, 4–27 August, Gallery M, Adelaide, South Australia

2017 Balco Balaklava Art Prize – Balaklava Courthouse Gallery, Balaklava, South Australia

The Coast – Noarlunga Arts Centre, Adelaide, South Australia

Twenty – Group Exhibition, 10 September–17 November 2017, Coorong District Council Gallery, Tailem Bend, Adelaide, South Australia

Touch of Red – Group Exhibition, 28 September–22 October 2017, Gallery M, Adelaide, South Australia


Seagate Mini Print Exhibition – Group Exhibition, January–February 2018. Ireland

The Same but Different – Joint exhibition with two friends. June 2018, Gallery M, Adelaide, South Australia

12 x 12 Exhibition – Group exhibition. Umbrella Studio, Cairns, Queensland

Gallery M Contemporary Art Prize. Finalist. August 2018, Gallery M. Adelaide South Australia

Kangaroo Valley Art Prize. Finalist. October 2018, Kangaroo valley, New South Wales


Friday Coffee Group – Joint exhibition with three friends. June 2019, Gallery M, Adelaide South Australia

Twenty Five – Red House Group exhibition celebrating groups 25th birthday, Gallery M, October 2019


Joint exhibition with my son Pirie (paintings and prints) and my wife Maryanne (ceramics)


Memberships and Affiliations

1987–2013: Member of Australian Cartoonist Association (2004–2006 State Vice President)

2014–2018: Member of Australian Print Council

1995–present: Member of Red House Art Group

Friday morning coffee group with local artists, cartoonists and illustrators

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