May 10, 1941 – January 30, 2022
Martin Lloyd Brown, “The Painting Barber” of Comox, whose spirit of wonder poured from his artistic and creative hands all through his life, went Home to the Ultimate Creator, his Saviour and Lord of his life, January 30 at the age of 80.
Born May 10, 1941, in Victoria, Marty was predeceased by his parents, his brother Howard and his stepdaughter, Cindy. Left to miss him every day are his wife Lynne (married 44 years), daughter Jennifer, son Ross and his stepdaughters, Cheryl (Lee), and Shelly. He also leaves many grandchildren and great-grandchildren, whom he loved dearly.
Marty grew up in Vancouver where he graduated from high school with honours in art.
After high school, Marty worked as a hairdresser for some time. Then he set off travelling, all the way to Goose Bay in Labrador where he worked as a hairdresser for the military. He also had a passion and amazing coordination for skiing and left the North to travel across the U.S.A., ending up in Utah at a ski resort where he skied and cooked for them.
Marty came back to BC, married, and had two children, Jennifer, and Ross. In 1975 he moved his young family to the Comox Valley where he used his carpentry skills and artistic flair to build his first home. Later this marriage dissolved.
Marty met Lynne, her strawberry blond curls framing a radiant smile; their spirits connected, and they married in 1978. Marty became stepfather to Lynne’s three beautiful daughters, Cheryl, Shelly, and Cindy. They found a “garden of Eden” spot in Royston just above the Trent River. Here they joined their energies building a home they dreamed up together in special times enjoying food at their favorite restaurants.
Their home was a place of lovely gardens, a favorite feeding spot for countless birds, a retreat in a set-apart place protected by cedar hedges and stately trees. During this time Marty began his career as a barber at Bob’s Barbershop in Courtenay.
Marty became the owner of Marty’s Barber Shop & Art Studio in Comox in 1989. Here he trimmed hair, made amiable conversation, and hung the walls with his watercolours and acrylics of Valley landscapes. He put a sign outside his shop, “You don’t have to get your hair cut to look at the paintings.”
Marty’s shop was an oasis of refreshment where the relaxing conversation and Marty’s skill with the clippers had clients both looking and feeling good as they left. And then Marty would get back to his brushes and paints in a corner of the shop, creating beautiful scenes on canvas.
Back in his home, Browns on the Trent, Marty settled in his studio with self-made easels and painting utensils and painted and painted and painted. He once said, “I learn by observations, by experimentation and by constant practice. I have always believed in painting not only what I see, but what I feel about the subject.” His creativity didn’t stop in the art world. He loved to build and always had a project on the go of something perhaps unusual, but useful that he had dreamed up.
Marty was a proud member of the Federation of Canadian Artists, and a major highlight of his life happened in May 2000, when he was one of 210 artists chosen from 1340 entries. His painting, “Spider Lake Lilies,” was accepted into the AIM FOR ARTS international juried art competition which was held on Granville Island in Vancouver in September.
Many exhibitions of Marty’s art graced the Valley through the years at the Filberg Festival, Muir Gallery, Filberg Gallery, Pearl Ellis Gallery, Tidemark theatre (Campbell River). Marty enjoyed a kindred spirit friendship with another Valley artist, Hans Larsen. They collaborated on “The Dueling Brushes” art show and sale in 2007 and again in 2010, where both of them displayed and sold their paintings.
Marty actively sought out the beauty of nature as he camped, hiked, went out in his boat or canoe, often taking photographs, sometimes painting “plein air.” He said his inspiration was drawn from nature and his Creator, God. “I often pray while I paint. I have to lean on the Creator who has made so many beautiful things, and hope that some of His creativity rubs off on my work.”
Marty’s trademark was capturing the quality of light and reflections on water. Gazing into the calm, luminous water in many of his watercolours draws one into a spirit of gentle peace.
Marty was a loving husband to Lynne and together they enjoyed entertaining, in their uniquely beautiful home. He particularly enjoyed taking their children, grandchildren, and friends down to the river where they created many good memories.
Marty is now with the One who inspired his life work. Special thanks to the nurses on 3D in the Comox Valley Hospital, and to Judi who was always “there.”
There will be no service by Marty’s request.Obituary
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