Marti Franks began to explore her interest in art after her daughters entered high school. She took watercolor classes with Ellie Cox. The color possibilities and transparency effects hooked Marti on the medium. Color is fundamentally important to everything she creates, including cityscapes, village scenes, landscapes, flowers, and still life compositions.
Marti continues to challenge herself with workshops that explore the many facets of watercolor painting, including workshops with renowned watercolorists Mary Whyte, John Salminen, Alvaro Castenet, and Frank Webb. The enthusiasm she gained from these workshops inspired her to explore painting en plein air in her travels abroad and in Richmond. She has visited Europe several times to paint the cities and villages, including a three-week trip to eastern Europe (Czech Republic, Hungary, Croatia, Romania, and Bulgaria), and a month in Bonnieux (a hilltop village in the Luberon area of Provence, France) where she captured the exquisite beauty of hilltop villages in watercolor. Her favorites areas include Roussillon, Lourmarin, Gordes, Gault, Aix, Arles, Saignon, and, of course, Bonnieux.
Marti’s portfolio also includes paintings of historical sites of Richmond, particularly in the Shockoe Bottom area. She is attracted to local history and architectural charm and uses her paintbrush to enhance the visions of the places she explores.