The works of Martin Lubner

A large crowd gathered at the Emeritus College on Second Street in Santa Monica for an intimate evening to appreciate the paintings of Martin Lubner. With a main focus on the objects in his art studio, Martin Lubner created the "More Still Other Lives" exhibition, an art exhibition that had its viewers look closer at the simple details of Lubner's work. Lubner studied art at UCLA where he graduated with a B.A. in painting in 1951 and an M.A. in art history in 1953. The 80-year-old artist had always had a passion for drawing but he became obsessed with it as he produced more art.

The world around him and his art studio was his major inspiration for the exhibition. "Paint is the most marvelous thing. It can express everything from heaven to hell," Lubner said.

Most paintings in the exhibit were drawn with oil on canvas, a technique used by the classic painters and artists like Leonardo da Vinci, who practiced the technique during the Renaissance period in Europe.

Lubner has embraced this traditional approach. His paintings are simple to look at, but they are full of expression and through their simplicity, great detail can be found.

Lubner prefers to use layers when he paints. "If something is not good, you can simply paint over it," he said. The exhibition has been an ongoing process for Lubner over the past seven years, as he worked on revisions and changes on his paintings.

One painting sets itself apart from all the rest: a self-portrait of Lubner standing next to his wife Lorraine. Lubner started working on the portrait in 1983 and only recently finished it. The self-portrait is a full body painting of Lubner and his wife. It is a representation of heaven and hell that can be found in the world around us, said Lubner.

In the portrait, dirty rats are seen crawling around Lubner's feet, while a colorful rainbow drapes down next to his wife's feet. "The rainbow falling on her feet represents the gold found at the end of the rainbow," Lubner said. "I just love the colors and the dimensions," said visitor Roberta Saraceno about the portrait.

Aside from creating art, Lubner also teaches how to draw. He has his own private art studio in Marina Del Rey where classes and workshops are being taught.

Students of Lubner's who visited the gallery opening were all impressed by the work of their teacher. "He has an edge that I like very much," said student Kate Brownie.

Brownie prefers Lubner's teaching style. "He is very specific and he doesn't force his style on anyone," said Brownie. Fellow student Andrea Whittenberg agreed with Brownie. "He is strictly individual and he will help you develop your ideas," said Whittenberg.

Many of Lubner's students showed up to show their support and appreciation for his artwork. Nora Chapkis had previously taken drawing classes with Lubner and came to the exhibit to enjoy the art. "It's just wonderful. Look at all that texture," she said as she admired a painting of a bathroom sink.

Lubner's exhibit runs Mon. – Fri. until May 7 at the SMC Emeritus Art Gallery located on 1227 Second Street in Santa Monica.