“It’s an acknowledgment of what every artist lives for,” Fast said about the news of her published works. “It is a beautifully designed and crafted publication. I feel like I won the sweepstakes!”
After seeing some of Fast’s artwork published in the “Strokes of Genius: the Best of Drawing” books, Quatro Publishing of London invited her to submit works for its Reader’s Digest publication. “People featured in the [Genius] books are the best artists from everywhere in the world,” Fast said. “That’s what truly makes this an honor to be invited.”
“Drawing & Sketching Secrets” is an artfully-illustrated book of know-how and stimulating projects and includes more than 200 tips and step-by-step learning and developmental techniques for artists. Fast’s “Boxy Back” drawing of a reclining form appears in a section explaining the use of whites, illumination, light values, and highlights, while “Sitting Dancer” and “Jumping Through Hoops” appear in the brush drawing section. The latter was also featured on the cover of the 2012-2013 Allan Hancock College Catalog, which included several of Fast’s life drawing pieces. Her medium was brush and ink wash.
“In relatively few strokes, Marti Fast has shown the very best of this medium – fine lines, heavy marks, no edges, dark shadows, soft mid-tones, and a freedom of motion particularly characteristic of brushwork,” described Krizek of Fast’s “Jumping…” piece.
Of her own work, Fast said she becomes completely absorbed in the interactions of eyes, hands, medium, and the paper. “My work almost always begins with quick gesture strokes, which capture the energy of the subject…then working rapidly, looking more at the subject than at the paper.”
Her first figure drawing class was taught by her father, local artist and educator Nat Fast. “I was a class artist in fourth grade,” Marti recalled.
“A lot of my inspiration, my desire to draw, came from my parents who exposed our family to art materials and music,” she said of her formative years. “They fostered a love for it from the beginning.”
It has now become her lifelong passion to capture on paper what she describes as “the dynamics of balance, mood, expression, and individuality of another human being.”
“Drawing human form is always captivating – a challenge and very dynamic – to use my eyes and brain and see [that person’s] energy and life go on to the page. You are in that moment – I took to it right away. It is a conversation and response when you have the life model; it sets the stage for the class.”
Like her father, Fast’s pursuit of drawing has translated into a career of teaching students what she loves. A graduate of San Jose State University, Fast has more than 35 years of experience creating, designing, curating, and teaching art at Allan Hancock College. She has been the college’s art gallery director since 1997 and teaches watercolor, drawing, and design. Both she and her father continue to teach for the Community Education department, where she also facilitates educational bus trips to area museums and other showcases of fine art.
“How marvelous it is to be able to teach what I love, sharing my enthusiasm for the process of drawing,” she commented.
Fast’s drawings have been included in two volumes of “Strokes of Genius: The Best of Drawing” published by North Light Books. “Drawing & Sketching Secrets: Over 200 Tips and Techniques for Doing it the Easy Way” is available online at amazon.com and other bookseller outlets.