I came across an artist’s website and I immediately felt drawn to her use of colors and concepts. The artist I’m talking about is America Martin, a Colombian-American fine artist based in Los Angeles. Not only does this endearing and talented woman paint, she also creates intricate sculptors as well. Martin takes inspiration from a wide range of things, including life. Find out this and much more when you continue below for our exclusive interview with the artistic lady.
Where are you from and when did you realize art was your true calling so to speak?
I am a proud native of this remarkable & culturally diverse city that is Los Angeles, CA. When I was nine years old, I fell in love with art through discovering the works of Vincent van Gogh. It was then that I realized that art was not only to be my hope and joy, but would also become my chosen language for the rest of my life.
What separates you from other artists, sculptors?
Only that my name is America Martin and I do what I do and other wonderful artists do what they do. I have found that most artists have more similarities than differences. We generally tend to be a lot that are passionate irrationals, who are driven and have a desire to know by hands-on experience. These character traits make it easy for artists to spot one another and are quick to have a short hand and kinship.
Is there anything in particular you’d like for viewers to perceive from looking at your paintings or sculptors, even if we form our own interpretations?
I feel joy, and from that joy, I create art. It stops there. My intention of that joy remains within and about that piece or sculpture, but I believe it is the duty of the artists to then surrender any and all interpretations to the viewer. When I experience art, I get great satisfaction from feeling my own natural reactions and impulses. I would never wish to step on someone else’s freedom of feeling or preserving it the way they naturally are inclined to. I’d leave all that to the wonderful art history teachers I have had.
Do you have a favorite among your work? Is there one, or two, that speaks to you more than others?
Over the years, there have been pieces that have stood out to me. They have been a marker of time, of new perspective, of fevered passion, or new discovery. These pieces remain remembered. They are pleasant and cherished, not only for the time capsules that they are, but remind me that the there are so many more things to learn.
Was there ever a time you preferred painting more than sculpting, or vice versa?
Oh, yes! It seems to me that working in different mediums is similar to the changes of the seasons. I am aware that things are shifting when I begin to see paintings in a more three-dimensional way and I know that I am to turn back to sculpture. And when sculpture begins to flatten out, that is when I know I must turn back to painting.
Tells us a bit about “Yes.”
“Yes” is a 195 page large-scale hardcover book that consists of a collection of the last three years of my work on paper & canvas. The title of the book “Yes” has been my go-to word for the last three years. Saying yes has lead me to many wonderful adventures. Snail Press, an independent L.A. fine art publishing company, published the book. It’s actually my second book with Snail Press. Zelda Nader, the founder of the indie company, has long been an admirer of my work. The first book was published three years ago and was titled “Insouciance”.
There’s a part in the book where art critic, Stacy Davies says: “It is into this world that America Martin propels herself, where she seizes, with delicate hand and bullish acumen, scraps of humanity to weave into tapestry; where she collects shadows of street musicians and card players and plucks spirits from forest pagans and fisherwomen, and transforms them through brash strokes and brilliant chroma into amplified enlightenment and blueprints of the soul.” Chilling description. Is this where you get your inspiration for every single piece?
Stacey Davies, who wrote the book’s forward, is an amazing writer and art critic. I am beyond flattered and honored by Stacey’s words and perspective of my work. She herself is a fabulously alive and passionate woman. The fact is that, I am in love with life, ravenously and endlessly. I find inspiration in every facet of life. I find inspiration in people, in the lives they lead, the way they dress, the way they carry themselves, the art they make, the personal dignity that people hold as truth and the work they do, to make dreams come true. I think Stacey really gets this source of inspiration and is then able to be so very gracious when critiquing my work.
Painter Rene Magritte once said “life obliges me to do something, so I paint.” But have you ever not wanted to paint or do anything relating to art? If you weren’t an artist, what would you be doing instead?
I like that quote. That makes me think of when William Wordsworth defined poetry “as the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings”. There is no choosing the life of being an artist. It is something that takes hold of you like a tiger in the night and never lets go. Of course there are times when you must make the living of life your art. During these times the only thing to do is to learn, look and admire other artists’ work: visiting exhibitions, discovering new authors, researching sculpture, film or music. When art becomes stale, I turn towards the wide world and find so much texture, color, substance and beauty, that I get inspired anew and run arms flapping back into the studio.
What’s next for you? Any events coming up?
I am working on a show about Los Angeles that will be multimedia, utilizing photography & film as part of the painting process. I cannot wait to begin this experience, to rediscover this favorite city of mine, and say out loud, Hello, Los Angeles- Show me all your colors!!
Thank you for taking the time. Please leave a message to aspiring artists.
Thank you for your time and interest, and wonderful questions. To aspiring artists I would say: Work. Work without reason. Without perfection. Without end point. Work, because you have to. Because you know that it will do you good and because if you call yourself an artist you must have proof. Once you have the proof, you will have more ideas. Once you have more ideas, you will feel better. The better you feel the more you will want to work. The magic is that no one can do what you do. We need people who see the world differently. But it won’t happen unless your do the work.
Find more on America Martin
Credits: America Martin