Yasmine Martinez / Untitled 3. Bethlem Founders Award Winner 2020
Yasmine Martinez / Untitled 1. Bethlem Founders Award Winner 2020

Artist of the Month: Yas Martinez

Yas Martinez works in a variety of mediums including ink and charcoal, often working to get lost in the process, “I prefer the process to the outcome. It’s therapeutic, it calms me down” 

Recently she’s been experimenting with oil paint, explaining “I like the texture and the way it blends together; I love materials that blend. I find oil paint really forgiving and easy to manipulate.” She’s also been working with a pen and charcoal mix, working with her hands too. She likes to draw on cardboard, sitting on the floor, really taking up space as well as filling up empty space in front of her with drawing or mark marking.  

Included in the Founders Award exhibition are both works using text on canvas, and figurative drawing from life, photographs and memory in charcoal. Martinez began the works on text after developing a stutter and found putting words onto canvas a useful way to work through thoughts and feelings. Commenting on the use of only blue canvases for these works, Martinez said that blue is a really calming colour for her and that “it reminds me of the beach, one of my happy places”. 

Martinez is fascinated by the body, and takes life drawing classes online, where she draws a different model each week. She also takes inspiration from other artists including Emma Hauck (who also used text in her work), as well as bigger name artists like Tracey Emin “her works are a beautiful mess”Léon Spilliaert and Edvard Munch.    

The Gallery has been a useful resource – Martinez explained that “working with Bethlem Gallery helped me get more involved with everything, it gave me confidence to apply for more open calls, and in speaking to different people.” It’s clear that creativity plays a really big role in Martinez’s life: “making keeps me happy and excited.” 

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