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STEVE MARTINEZ

Born in Spanish Harlem in New York City, this Puerto Rican/Venezuelan American was surrounded by creative people. Growing up for a time in the 'hood, one uncle was a chef who also loved the timbales, a cousin played trumpet, grandma played guitar, momma painted and acted, dad directed and drank. Music was always playing. Levittown drew us out to Long Island and the suburbia of the 1950' and 60's. Mid sixties saw us moving down the coast to the Washington DC area where High School Band was the order of the day. I joined the US Army in 1971, left in 1978 with an Honorable Discharge. Those were strange times. Many who could not afford to go to college were drafted by the US Selective Service System through a lottery system based upon your 19th birthday. When I was eligible, my number was 40. I was certain to be drafted. Most draftees became infantry which usually meant the front lines of the Vietnam Jungles were to be your destination. I enlisted, chose a long training program in the Signal School which delayed my first assignment until late 1972. Yes, I lost a friend or more to the war. And it did change me even though I did not serve in any active campaigns. Today, I am a 33 years married, unemployed, Vietnam Era US Army Veteran, a York-a-rican Texan, a triple bypass survivor, Republican, Christian. I celebrate my 62nd birthday in December(...)I draw doodles. I sketch. I paint. I remember that in 7th grade, I took a mechanical drawing class. I remember drawing the basic shapes with and without templates. It fascinated me. I was already creative, a musician, playing the trumpet in the school band. My recent painting began at Houston Community College in Spring 2007. My job had been outsourced. I knew that I needed to get more credits towards a Bachelor's degree so I enrolled. I wanted to do something besides the business courses so I signed up for Painting 101. Michael Golden, my art teacher, was so supportive. He had a way of finding the good in any piece, person, and situation. This allowed me the freedom to express myself on canvas and learn techniques. (...)

Houston, Texas

Blue Coral
Acrylic on canvas
Out of Chaos
Acrylic on paper
Gospel Choir
Acrylic on paper
Love x5
Watercolor on antique sheet music
Molehill Mountain
Acrylic on paper
Portrait in grey
Acrylic on cardboard
Rainy Day on Red Fields
Acrylic on paper
Why Am I Here?
Polyptyque (tétraptique) - Acrylic and watercolor on paper