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  • Writer's pictureShea Stanfield

Inspired by Change

"To create one's world takes courage." Georgia O’Keeffe. Artist Cindy Green Martin of Tucson, Arizona, knows about courage, change, adaptation, and creative expression, beginning with her birth at Kirkland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, New Mexico. As a result, she was a military family member and moved a lot through the years. Cindy states, "I lived in a wide variety of places from White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, to Spangdahiem, Germany, by the time I was in first grade." In Germany, her creativity began to establish the roots that would nourish her in her creative life quest.

"I was in first grade when I won a coloring contest and received an award from the base commander." That established a focus on entering every art contest she could find in the paper after that. By fifth grade, the family was stationed in Honolulu, Hawaii, where Cindy picked up first and second prizes in a painting contest shown in an event brochure. Cindy was hooked; she signed up for every art class she could take in school to build her knowledge and skill level in multiple mediums. By 1975, the family moved to Tucson, Arizona, where Cindy's dad retired from active duty. By this time, in her twenties, she had the moving bug; Cindy headed off to Houston, Texas, in 1985 to spend time with other family members, returning to Tucson in 1990. However, she was off to Ontario, California, shortly after returning, this time staying away for eighteen years, only returning after her dad passed away to be closer to her mother.

During all this traveling and moving, Cindy had creative influencers that kept her moving forward on various projects. Her grandmother, a rag rug expert, taught her embroidery and sewing, which came in handy throughout her life. Her dad's hobby was working and building model airplanes and ships, which introduced her to the three-dimensional process of creativity. Today, she credits her three daughters with their creative expression. Cindy professes to be a self-taught painter, considering she is not formally trained in the medium.

However, Cindy, ever the curious mind, did add to her portfolio of experience with architecture, photography, drawing, and even horticulture classes, thinking she might want to become a florist. What is a random selection of skills comes together in an extraordinarily beautiful way today in her hand-painted wooden furniture.

Cindy's success is primarily due to her willingness to explore the possibilities. "My inspiration is learning from other artists and their techniques; each is so individual, and I can collect the ideas to use them as a foundation to spin off my ideas." She explains, "My furniture painting is a mixture of chalk paint and acrylic paint. I love peacocks, owls, and sea turtles; these are my favorite subjects to paint." Cindy is also known to take her painted images to cotton canvas surfaces and paint rocks, stating, "My art can go just about anywhere from the home to the garden to establish that unique conversation piece." In Cindy's world, artist Robert Henri would say, "All real works of art look as though they are done in joy." That's precisely what Artist Cindy Green Martin's gorgeous painted furniture brings to their environments: joy, laughter, fun, and a sense of awe.


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