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Light, Shadow, and Texture: Art by Arantzazu Martinez

A painting of a woman in a white dress by Arantzazu MartinezVedma, oil on wood

Arantzazu Martinez is a painter originally from Vitoria, Spain and currently residing in New York. The artist is known for her photo-realistic figurative paintings that play with light, shadow, and texture to create sumptuously deep images.


A painting of a tree growing out of a rocky outcroppingHideout, oil on linen


I’m quite amazed by not only the artist’s skill in painting the fine details of an image, but also with her range in subject matter. Martinez’s subjects range from relatively simple portraits to expansive scenes expressing mythological figures in narratives that seem to spring directly from the artist’s mind.


The artist often uses light as a tool in her paintings, creating darkness, drama, and intrigue in images, adding an extra layer of emotional investment for the viewer. Each of her works fills me with a sense of curiosity, of wanting to understand the full narrative behind it. This sense of mystery in realistic painting also reminds me of works by Hannah Yata.

A painting of Dracula by Arantzazu MartinezDracula, oil on linen

About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. They hold a degree in Critical and Cultural Practices from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, as well as a certificate in Technical Writing from BCIT. Dallas has a passion for speaking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In their studio practice they are an illustrator and budding tattoo artist, but they consider themselves a writer foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises or their art on Instagram.

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