Martine Jardel

In my paintings, drawings, or monotypes, I attempt to represent through gestures, marks, texture, and colors a "place" with no defined identity. A place with a soul, inhabited by shifting memories which come and go in the process of the making. And I like to think that the onlookers of my work have their own interpretation of what it represents.

I was born in Paris then raised in the historic city of Poitiers, in west-central France, amid numerous roman and gothic churches and near one of oldest Universities of Europe.

From an early age, I imagined that I would be an explorer discovering unknown countries.

After finishing high school, I left the familiar environment in Poitiers for Paris where I studied Arabic at the School of Oriental Languages. During the summer holidays, my student friends and I explored various countries around the Mediterranean Sea.

After several years of working at the library of that school, I moved to Sana'a in Yemen where I worked five years for the French Government. I then spent two years working in Bogota, Columbia, followed by five in Rangoon, Burma. In Burma I met Thierry Rosset who later became my husband. Together we moved to Vancouver B.C., where I attended art classes at Emily Carr College and planned to study painting. However, when Thierry was posted in la Reunion, a French department located in the Indian Ocean, we moved yet again.

The disappointment of not to being able to enroll in the Bachelor program at EEC in Vancouver was compensated for by my reunion with Francois, a dear friend, architect and watercolorist, whom I had met in Yemen. For three years, Thierry and I followed him on the paths of this very rugged island. François was doing beautiful watercolors of old colonial houses. I was drawing with soft pastels soon turning my back to the 'Case Créole' to draw landscapes, waterfalls, or seascapes. As for Thierry, he was holding a pencil for the first time trying everything with a lot of concentration and enthusiasm.

In 1992 we moved to San Francisco for Thierry's last assignment. I enrolled at the San Francisco Art Institute in the BFA program in painting. Thierry was attending evening art classes at SFAI extension and City College. In 1998 I obtained my MFA from San Francisco State University. I have been painting in my studio at Soma Artists Studios since 1994.

In 1994 Thierry retired and now could devote his time to attend a variety of art classes. After a few semesters, he discovered printmaking and became a professional printmaker, creating bold linocuts. For twenty years we enjoyed art making and our new life as artists. Over the years we had several two person shows. Thierry passed away in December 2012.