Martin Tielli is best known as a songwriter, vocalist and guitarist for the Rheostatics. In their 20 years from 1987 to 2007, the band released 11 studio and 4 live albums, two of which – Melville and Whale Music – have been have been cited in numerous critical and listener polls as among the best Canadian albums ever recorded. Martin has also released 4 solo albums, and 2 with the band Nick Buzz (Tielli, Hugh Marsh, Jonathan Goldsmith, Rob Piltch). He also collaborates with Jennifer Baichwal and Nick de Pencier of Mercury Films, having written music for the documentaries Act of God, Payback, and Watermark.
Martin began his art career as a scientific illustrator for the Royal Ontario Museum’s Department of Paleontology at the age of 18. He has created the cover art for over 40 albums, and was nominated for a Best Artwork JUNO Award for the Rheostatics’ The Story of Harmelodia. He has also done illustrations for the Etobicoke Guardian, Toronto Star, the Globe and Mail and several books. In addition to a number of solo shows, Martin’s paintings have been included in the Collector’s Series – Happy Mediums (guest curated by Kevin Hearn) at the Art Gallery of Ontario, June 2010, and at the McMichael Gallery’s Autumn Art Sale, October 2014. His recent work featuring landscapes, birds and plants reflect his lifelong interest as a naturalist. Volumes of field sketchbooks serve as a source for more finished paintings. He uses most mediums but as of late is focusing on Oil and Casein Tempera on wood.