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Of Interest to this Artist.

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Quick wash
Add a little color
Define shapes
Just a bid more detail
Some lights and darks.War by

B. Martin (c) 2008


War is not a unique thing. There is always a war going and there are always faces that show universal despair.

This is not a poliical statement but war is just dumb.


Written by Bob Martin

August 13, 2008 at 4:45 pm

A Conversation with Roberta Hancock

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Roberta was one of the first artists I met in Arizona and what impressed me about her was her affirmative and knowing way of speaking. “Do you know so and so, have you met them, well then we have to get you to meet them, this is what we are going to do”. Spoken in a rapid fire manor that is reminiscent of Katz’s Deli , “you’ll have the Brisket, it will be good for you, you’ll enjoy”. Another great thing about Roberta is that whenever possible, her kids are always with her and welcomed.

At the end of a Perfect day (c) 2003 R. Hancock

At the end of a Perfect day (c) 2003 R. Hancock

As an Artist Activist, Artist and Mom, do you feel that your kids have gotten a balanced school curriculum, one that has them participate in creative arts programs as well as academics?

What an interesting and ironic question! Yes, but primarily because we have personally ensured that for our children. Do I believe their classmates share that experience? No. Unfortunately, Arizona offers substandard education and cultural programming in the primary grades. I only wish we could somehow rapidly inspire our legislative leadership to understand the need to adequately fund education, thereby insuring a quality future for all of us. I deeply respect the educators I have come to know because most are unbelievably dedicated and creative in imparting their skills and knowledge despite underwhelming political and financial support.

I have personally never worried about the level of artistic interaction my children have experienced. The most challenging thing for us has been maintaining the breadth of those experiences and not being tunnel-visioned on [my own area of interest] the visual arts. Both of my children are incredibly creative, however, I think they have been exposed to so much(artistically and civically) that they do not yet know how different they are!

Why do you think it is that with the use of case studies and research data that indicate arts education is a important and critical contributor to a young persons growth, that both the Feds and local governments seem to ignore this.

There are a variety of very weak excuses for this, but I believe the primary reason comes down to the homogenization of our educational and subsequent cultural experiences. It is difficult to be enthused about that which you are not familiar or experienced with. We have witnessed a quiet cultural decline (in our country, but not limited to), dating back at least three generations, from when the Arts were intrinsically woven through the educational experience of the intellectual community and were equally used as a means of cultural preservation through folk experience in the general populous.

In America, our efforts to give everyone the same level of elementary education have actually created a unique homogeneous climate. Cultural differences, traditions and practices (the roots of artistic expression) have been slowly eliminated to encompass only the most common of community experiences. Interestingly, following the Arts in their slow disappearance from our schools’ curriculum’s, Sports and Physical Education are likewise being relegated to after-school care providers to institute.

It is not missed, even on the youngest child, that these after-school activities, albeit entertaining, are not considered as important as what occupies the greatest amount of their time during the day. Joy is being left outside the door of our educational system and I am gravely concerned by the consequences of this short-sightedness.

The last couple of years has seen a lot of enthusiasm about the growing Phoenix art district. With the economy hitting a wall, are you still hearing the same enthusiasm as in 2006.

I am certain that no one, in any business, is enthusiastic about our current economic climate. I believe we can safely predict that we will see a pause in the Arts District enthusiasm, however, it will ultimately recover as the economy does.

In addition to funding, what else does this art’s community need.

Maturity and responsibility. Part of the underlying dysfunction of our own arts community is our response to the community, as a larger whole, which still does not perceive the Arts as an integral part of its health and vitality. Changing that perception requires patience, commitment and taking responsibility for how we behave, both as artists and community members.

Atomic-martini (c) R. Hancock

We have an Election coming up and neither one of the candidates seem to be talking education. Do you find this odd and what do you think we need to do in order to have this be a focal point during their campaigning.

No, I don’t find it odd – disappointing perhaps – but with issues like our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; continued Middle Eastern tensions; our failing health care system and our current economic decline, I believe most Americans are overwhelmed with issues deemed larger than educational concerns.

Whether we can engage the presidential candidates in a national discussion on education or not, we should definitely take this opportunity to send a clear message to our local representatives that we insist on higher standards of education for our children. Governor Napolitano campaigned with education as one of her highest priorities. I have been both impressed by the dogged follow-through of her promises, and dismayed by the lack of support from the State Legislature. If we want to see change nationally – we need to start locally.

Do you have any exhibits planned, if so is their a theme.

I’m afraid I don’t have any upcoming exhibits planned yet! I took some time off from my career(s) to support my youngest child through a very difficult educational time. Now that he has successfully regained his confidence and independence, I am looking forward to returning to my studio and catching up on all the beautiful sights, smells and tactile sensations from producing art. I hope to be back in circulation in a year or so. Look for my art again sometime toward 2010!

Written by Bob Martin

July 29, 2008 at 8:01 pm

Posted in Art, Artists, Painting, Teaching

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Falling off the face of the Earth

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I’ve missed not posted, been busy doing other stuff. There no story associated with this small painting, I just needed to do something.


Written by Bob Martin

July 10, 2008 at 10:15 pm

Posted in Art, Artists, Painting

Painting what you Know

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Mothers day

Here are three artist who have inspired and influence me. I occasionally will see something in my paintings that reminds me of the many artist that I admire.

Reginald Marsh
Jacob Lawrence

Written by Bob Martin

May 19, 2008 at 6:38 am

Re-visiting Older Works

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There is some value in looking at the past. There maybe something that you forgot about and would like to revisit, a theme or approach to resolving your work. One thing that becomes clear is that no matter what you felt about your work in the past, you see how your views about what you do has changed. It would make sense that this would be a good lesson to remember but I never do.

I’ve had this feeling since the beginning of the new year that I’ve been trying to prove something. Today I decided to take some time off and just look at my old drawings and let them speak to me. They were not as great as I thought they were, but there was a sensitivity in how I approached drawing that I would like to get to. So I am at this moment off to a friends house to study and draw two models. See if I can capture what I looking for.

Written by Bob Martin

February 15, 2008 at 12:14 pm

Welcome to the Desert

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Tempe Center for the Arts

Tempe Center for the Arts

The City of Tempe Arizona has been under going a change to its skyline. The new Tempe Center for the Arts’s structure is a eye catcher as you drive east or west on the state highway 202.

Inside the center there is a combination of the elegance of natural wood, glass, steel and concrete and reminds me of the lofts and galleries of New York’s Chelsea and Soho.

One of the features at the new building will be a 3,500 foot gallery, featuring the works of local artist.


Written by Bob Martin

August 6, 2007 at 7:53 pm

Posted in Art, Artists, Galleries, Museums

Pace, Timing, Rhythm and the magic of Creativity

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When something is just right the first time you see or hear it, can it be attributed to formula or technique? Usually not. It is obviously something that can’t be learned just by taking classes or mingling with masters.

Recently I watched for the third or fourth time Gorillaz: Demon Days Live in Harlem and think a certain type of magic had to take place in order Albarn to pull this off. I know it is well produced and staged, but so are so many things that don’t work and are far from being magical. How does the magic happen. For something to be important and seen as a contribution it has to not be before or after its’ time.

It has to have an enduring beat, something that time can’t dull, like “Little Rooty Tooty”

So it is for me with the Paintings of Hopper. There is Poetry in his paintings. Old style rap, you can see and feel the “Rhythm”

Written by Bob Martin

May 17, 2007 at 10:42 am