James Martin: Inspired By the Old Masters & Kingston’s New MAD Creatives

Your Name: James Martin

Your Studio/Business Name: Cornbroom Studio

Address: 165 Cornell Street #203 Kingston, NY 12401

Phone: 347-387-6874

Email Address: tcfishingcompany@aol.com

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100008461890230

When did you first know you were an artist?
I knew at a very early age (7-8 years old) when drawing and copying became a passionate pastime.

Favorite medium(s) you use to make art?
Lately I’ve been working mostly in charcoal, graphite, and watercolors.

What are the most interesting new trends in your field? Is your work changing as a result?
I don’t really follow trends. I tend to still be inspired by the old masters of different periods. Carravagio, Degas and Bellows are favorites of mine.

Talk about your creative process – where/when do you get most of your ideas and how do you know a piece is ‘finished’?
I work several jobs so that I can have my time in my studio, so I can’t waste much time. Setting up a still life or working from nature is the quickest way to get something down on a surface. The ideas usually come about in the process. I can’t tell when a piece of mine is finished, but I can tell when it’s overworked.

Do you also teach or are you strictly a creative artist? Who was your most influential mentor and why? How do you see the role of being a mentor and why?
I do teach drawing and when I’m not teaching I’m a good sounding board to my artist friends. My mentor was Frank Herbert Mason, and I studied with him for close to 12 years at the Art Students League of New York. His approach dated back to Rubens and involved not only drawing and oil painting techniques, but a knowledge of medium mixtures from that time as well. As for being a mentor, I don’t really take on that role, but it makes me happy when I pass on a technical approach, and a student grasps it for the first time and runs with it.

What are you working on now?
I’m doing a series of watercolor still life and landscape paintings on postcard size paper. I’ve got 11 done so far, not counting two I mailed to some very nice people.

How has being in Kingston enhanced/inspired your work? What do you like best about living in Kingston/being involved with MAD? How long have you been here?
Kingston is a very happening town for artists. I’m surrounded by great painters, musicians, performers and writers. I look forward to the 1st Saturday of every month and gallery hop from places like The Storefront, ASK, ArtBar, and the Lace Mill Galleries. People come in from all over and are generous with sharing their ideas. It’s a great time for an artist right now to be in Kingston.

I am curating a show of works by five of the most distinguished and prolific artists in the Hudson Valley for the first MAVERICKS AT LACE MILL event. It will open on July 1 (5-8 p.m.) and run through July 26. Works by Kate McGloughlin, John A. Varriano, Eric Angeloch, Staats Fasoldt and Marsha Massih will be on display at The Lace Mill’s Main and West Galleries, 165 Cornell Street, Kingston.

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