"On the Porch"

Aren’t great artists always tortured?

That seems to be the case for one America Martin, a successful Los Angeles painter whose fans include such actors as Kirsten Dunst, Danny Devito, Giovanni Ribisi, Juliette Lewis, and Ted Danson. She’s coming to Koehler Winery in the Santa Ynez Valley for a gala on Saturday, October 6, from 3 to 6 p.m., which is how I stumbled upon her artist’s statement. Artists’ statements tend to be out there, but Martin’s is a real doozy.

She explains, “It is true. The artist is not born to a life of pleasure. She cannot be idle. It is only duty and discipline that make art. The artist is gluttonous, constantly devouring life in order to translate all that she sees, smells, lives, or breathes into her own language. Why, and for what? For the blistering personal joy that comes when one is doing something of and about truth. There is no choosing this life.” Right.

Good natured ribbing aside, Martin’s resume is impressive-she studied with Verna Wilson and at schools in Boston and L.A.-and her work is powerful. Her boldly colored, contemporary style lends itself well to what she calls the “landscape of the human form” and her pieces convey a brand of quirky humor we find daily in real life.

Expect to see more of her too-this is the third time that the Santa Barbara Art Company is bringing her work to town. Now if they could just help her with that artist’s statement :

America Martin comes to Koehler Winery this Saturday, October 6, from 3 to 6 p.m. See koehlerwinery.com or americamartin.com for more.


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