The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

Mixed-media fairytale

Mixed-media fairytale

Amanda Poag | Guest Writer
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What do walking teapots, blond afros and Boston terriers on the moon have in common? They have all been incorporated into some of the most extraordinary mixed-media art coming from a single source.

Katherine Martin, 20, a City College student, has a distinct style and artistic voice that explores a whimsical world in her delicate watercolors and collages, which evoke memories of make-believe seen through the eyes of a young woman who grew up without privilege or excess.

Martin is working toward her own art show for Sacramento’s Second Saturday before she transfers to San Francisco State or UC Berkeley in the fall. Juggling her responsibilities, however, with her final semester and continuing to practice and hone her artistic craft is challenging.

She is working on a painting that depicts Geryon, a monster from Dante’s “Inferno.”

“My grades are less than perfect, and I really need to work, focus on my art, especially on this one piece,” she says. “It’s a suit of armor made of multi-colored bottle caps.”

Daniel Paez, 21, Martin’s boyfriend of 2 1/2 years, fellow City College student and up-and-coming electronic musician (see Paez’s adjacent article), says: “A lot of her work is based on folklore and fairy tales. I’m definitely proud of her.”

Martin says the driving force becoming an artist was less about selling her art — though she says that would be just fine — and more about putting something beautiful into the world. She also says her attitude is connected to her childhood, growing up in a single-parent home with little money to spend. Instead, she remembers using her imagination to create her own world to retreat to. She channels it into her art.
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One of the most intriguing things about Martin’s art is her use of recycled material.

“The materials she uses are also really unusual,” Paez says. “A lot of the things she finds are tossed away by other people.”

Martin says: “If you look through my backpack, you’ll find so many things I’ve found on the street. I’m a little like a hobo, I guess. If I find something on the street I seriously have to pick it up. I must look crazy picking up little pieces of paper.”

Some of Martin’s pieces include portraits shown on the Web site she designed.

She includes watercolors she used for projects in art classes, as well as a series of Photoshoped pieces. One depicts Robert De Niro in the movie “Taxi” with his signature Mohawk, made entirely of celery.

“Once I watched her create an entire 17”-inch by 20”-inch watercolor painting in the matter of an hour,” says Katherine Vanderford, 20, a former art classmate of Martin. “She’s just effortlessly talented.”

Although Martin comes from humble beginnings, she creates a world all her own in her paintings and collages, which have no limits for the imagination.

“Kat is genuine and honest, and it’s reflected in her art,” Paez says.

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