Martina Shapiro - Biography

  • born in Czech Republic
  • lives and paints in Vancouver, Canada
  • art school in Czech Republic, then mainly self taught
  • Bachelor and Master's degrees (University of Manitoba and the University of British Columbia)
  • active member of the Federation of Canadian Artists


Martina Shapiro - Artist Statement


My paintings are influenced mostly by Fauvism and Expressionism, but also by Art Deco, Pop-Art and the old masters.

I love to create art and like to use expressive, vibrant color, abstraction and distortions to portray human emotions and passions.

My favourite artists are Picasso, Matisse, Chagall, Egon Schiele, Mark Rothko, Peter Max, Rubens and El Greco, among others.

I can be inspired by almost anything – the shape of a tree branch, the curve of a moving human body, a cloud, a melody or a story.

I then carry this inspiration with me as I keep sketching and experimenting until I arrive at an image that is my artistic

response to that inspiration. I then begin painting, but do not look at the sketch any more – as that is too limiting.

Painting is like a dance, it has to flow effortlessly and naturally, and it does, provided I can lose myself

and connect to the creative flow. When I do that, my hand paints as if by itself. I am merely an observer.

It is only when I paint in this manner that creation happens - the painting acquires a soul - through me, not from me.

I think this is why my original paintings radiate so much energy and life and are a source of joy and inspiration to

those who acquire them.
I believe the reason we are interested in art is that our spirit longs to perceive and understand more than it currently

does and it instinctually feels that original works of art not only radiate the artist's energy but also reflect some of what's hidden.

To become sensitive as an artist or even to recognize and appreciate art takes time and effort, like any other endevour.

I believe that an artist transfers some of his/her life energy as well as some element of ‘universal energy’ into a painting

and it is this that makes the original work of art so valuable. When you stand in front of a great original work of art,

for example a major work by Picasso, you can feel his energy vibrating from it – as if he was alive inside the painting

- the painting is alive. The impact on the viewer is commensurate with his/her sensitivity to art.


List of recent exhibitions


  • ("Stepping Stones for an International Perspective"), published by the  Osaka University of Arts in Japan 2014.

  • June 10th - June 29th and July 1st to August 17th: Federation Gallery, Vancouver, Canada
  • June 25 - August 11 2013 Federation Gallery, Vancouver, Canada
  • 2010, 2011, 2012 Summer Gallery art exhibition, Federation Gallery, Vancouver, Canada
  • May 2009, Abstract Show art exhibition, Federation Gallery, Vancouver, Canada
  • April 2009, Still Life art exhibition, Federation Gallery, Vancouver, Canada
  • March 2009, Human Figure art exhibition, Federation Gallery, Vancouver, Canada
  • Nov/Dec. 2008, group show, Federation Gallery, Vancouver, Canada
  • Jan/Feb. 2008, Red and Gold Show, Federation Gallery, Vancouver, Canada
  • October 2007, Allison Corey Fine Arts, Long Island, New York
  • Featured artist on Canadian TV documentary Accent on Art, January 2007
  • Federation Gallery, Vancouver, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 (Award of Excellence - Semi-Abstract Show, May 2007)
  • Ferry Building Gallery, West Vancouver, Canada - February 2005
  • Showroom Elena Miro, Milan, Italy - October 2004
  • Gallery at the West Vancouver Memorial Library - April 2004
  • Ayden Gallery, Vancouver - April 2004
  • "Building New Perspectives" June/August 2003, Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site, Vancouver
  • "ArtsPacific" Juried Show, April/May 2003, Center for the Arts, North Delta, B.C.
  • “Human Figure” March 2003, Federation Gallery, Granville Island, Vancouver
  • “Essence of the Sea” group exhibition Jan/Feb 2003, Martin Bachelor Gallery, Victoria
  • Federation Gallery group exhibition December 2002, Granville Island, Vancouver
  • “Essence of the Sea” group exhibition October 2002, Alma Mater Society Art Gallery,
  • University of British Columbia, Vancouver
  • “Essence of the Sea” group exhibition, October/November, 2002, Tidemark Theatre, Campbell River
  • FANS Visual Arts Exhibition (September 2002), North Vancouver
  • “Beaux Arts Exhibition” (March/April 2001), Zack Gallery, Vancouver



In the Collection of & Commissioned Work:


  • 2004 Miroglio S.p.a. (Alba, Italy)
  • 2003 Shapiro Hankinson & Knutson (Vancouver, Canada)
  • 2000 The Galt Collection (Vancouver, Canada)


Feedback from the buyers of my art and others:

(Thank you all very much for your interest and your support, I really appreciate it.)

  • Just a quick e mail to let you know that we already received your painting and we were stunned by it s beauty…
  • both our reactions were:" Oh My God! "  It is even more beautiful in person.. thank you so much!
  • I just received your "Abstract Nude with Pink Lips"...BREATHTAKING. I am a FAN FOR LIFE.
  • Your use of color inspires me and looking at your painting not only pleases me, it reminds me that life is about positively
  • affecting lives and making a difference. You've certainly affected mine. THANK YOU!
  • I received the paintings today, I'm sooo in love with them.. i just keep looking at them!! Thanks :)
  • I love your art, it really gives me this feeling I never get when I look at any other artist's work :)
  • I cried when I opened her last night! I've never experienced such emotion from art before! She is just incredible.
  • I don't think I would have enjoyed anything more than Expression on Blue.
  • I cannot express to you in words how much I LOVE the paintings!! As nice as they appeared on my computer screen
  • they are even more incredible to really see and feel. The colours are so alive.
  • Iam absolutely crazy about the painting. I couldn't believe it! I love it! It is so beautiful, and the colors are fabulous
  • in our bedroom. We already hung it in the perfect spot and it has an art light shining on it. It's gorgeous!!!!!
  • Your subjects convey their inner identity through your bold and decisive artistic style.
  • Your work conveys a dynamic passion that transcends even the cold medium of the internet. Bravo!
  • refreshing, brilliant and dynamic art work
  • Oh My God!!! i just received your painting and it is so much more than i could have hoped for!!! i wanted
  • you to "get" the emotion that i am feeling as a result of your creation, so i am writing this without editing...
  • fresh from unwrapping the package.
  • I just wanted to send you a big thank you! The painting surpassed my expectations...I absolutely love it.
  • I live in Italy and get the Elena Mirò mails (being a good customer of theirs!!) I have just seen the paintings
  • in their competition and LOVED yours! I'm glad you won a prize for it
  • Reclining Nude looks absolutely gorgeous in her new home. she took over the room the moment she went up....
  • definitely the centerpiece of the sitting area and fireplace.
  • It's magnificent; I love it!! The color, the energy, the magnitude.... I could go on-and-on.
  • The bright and cloud-free sky today was perfect for receiving the painting. This evening the painting looks just as wonderful with a spotlight on it.
  • I am thoroughly enjoying my painting and find myself often standing in front of it taking more and more in.
  • I have had numerous compliments on it, which comes of no surprise
  • Your work is wonderful and inspiring. I love the energy and movement!
  • you are an artist with unique perception and a wonderful sense of form and color.
  • dear martina, they are more beautiful than i ever imagined…what a wonderful experience...
  • You have wonderfully expressive brushwork and color reminiscent of the postimpressionists Gaughin and Van Gogh.
  • Do I also see a hint/influence of the 17th Century Dutch masters? Rembrandt, Vermeer.
  • You have successfully combined these influences with your talent to come up with unique style. Keep up the good work!
  • a very special and sensitive work
  • beautiful colorful paintings. there is so much energy and sensibility in your work. i like it very much.
  • aussergewöhnlich gute Arbeiten, die mich ansprechen
  • Wow, I´m absolutely impressed, I do adore your paintings!!!
  • Kindest greetings ever from Vienna,
  • Great work seems to just dance with color and imagination
  • Ciao Martina,le tue opere sono molto belle e la gioia dei tuoi colori riscalda i cuori.
  • I love your use of color and form! Truly brilliant.
  • Love your work!!!I just love your paintings! They are fresh, vibrant and they do make you relax and let your mind float.
  • I received the painting this morning. It was packaged/protected very well and when I opened it,
  • I was so delighted. I LOVE the painting!!! There are so many beautiful shades of blue, purple and green.
  • This afternoon I received The Red Tulips. It is beautiful piece of art!!! The Red Tulips is my favorite artwork in our home.
  • It makes me so happy to look at it!!!
  • I absolutely love the paintings. You did an awesome job. I appreciate it so much. You are such a good artist. Thank you so much. I received them on Wednesday. Keep on painting,
  • I received the painting on Friday of last week and I want to thank you very much, it's gorgeous!!
  • As a lover of the early stages of expressionism I felt like I was walking into a Die Brücke exhibition when I stumbled into your website. Absolutely magnificent works stemming from the inner self. Congratulations.
  • Oh my- I have received the painting today and it is one of my favorite pieces…a big thank you!
  • I received the painting FAUVE BLONDE yesterday. I LOVE IT You are blessed to be soooo talented. Thanks again.
  • Thank you so very much for an incredible painting, can't stop looking at it!
  • Received the painting yesterday. It is amazing. Amazingly quick delivery also. I love it!!