Artist Watch: Linda Martin

Next in line, good pal Linda Martin who I had the pleasure of meeting in Sue Gianotti’s class at SAMA. It was a huge (but silent) wave and YAAAAAY!!!!! 😉 We hit it off immediately – but I think she has a way with people and hits it off with everyone she meets. Really a very special person – warm and generous.

Linda has always been creative. Always. In high school she carried around a sketch book with her everywhere she went. Whilst living in Hawaii, she sat on the beach crocheting bathing suit tops she sold for “gas money”. She came across mosaics while perusing a craft store with her then 8 year old son: “He always got inspired on a trip to the craft store with mom so I picked up a little mosaic garden plaque for him to do. We started to do it together but I think he lost interest, or I took over, or maybe he lost interest because I took over, in any case I caught a mosaic fever.” 🙂

After that venture, Linda borrowed books from the library and studied them, researched the internet and spent hours studying other artists’ work. “I began to play around with breaking glass, dishes, and tile, ordering supplies and tools from the web, experimenting with everything I could get my hands on.” One of her first projects was covering a lava lamp with broken dishes which she called Shab-a-delic. “At the time I was quite pleased with myself, but looking at it now…. Ahhhhhhh!” LOL!!! Don’t we all have a million of them somewhere?!

Linda also made lots of picture frames, and a license plate cover for her car, all of which she says fell apart as she was using the wrong materials. “These early projects took me forever to complete and were not very good, but I was having fun and learning.” I always say there’s no better way of learning than by doing… Her “coming-out” was with a mannequin titled “Courting Laura” which Linda entered into a fundraiser for breast cancer.

After moving back to her native California, she was conveniently located an hour or so from the Institute of Mosaic Art, in Oakland. “I started taking classes there… lots of classes. That’s how it all began…”

Her future direction is in therapeutic mosaics. Linda has been an Occupational Therapist for a good portion of her life and has done a few projects combining both – mosaics with her patients: “I have the license as an occupational therapist, the skills as a mosaic artist, and the time and resources to go further”. Producing community murals is big on her list of to-dos. I love that. I’m such a fan of art-with-meaning, as opposed to art-for-the-sake-of-art. Not that I don’t appreciate that either…

Linda says, “I want to focus on mural projects with parents and their children, bonding, communication skills, and improvement of quality of life. Now, when I say parent/child relationship, parents of younger children comes to mind. But I want to work with the older population, the elderly parents and their adult children. That’s the bond I want to facilitate with the murals.”

Linda reminisces, “I remember once when working in a skilled nursing facility, aka nursing home, I was doing water colour paintings with the patients. This one female patients’ daughter loved her mother’s picture so much she had it framed and it looked stunning! Two months later the mother died. Her daughter came up to me and thanked me for the work I did and especially for the painting, a final memento of her beloved mother. It’s bonds like this I want to continue.”

Linda’s mosaics can be seen this summer in the juried show “Art on the Wharf”, July 19th at the Santa Cruz Pier. A show consisting of only 30 artists.


Reef(er) Madness


Courting Laura



And finally, the artiste herself, sitting atop her community arts project she led also as an occupational therapist.

Linda Martin with community arts project she led




Filed under Architectural Installations, Art, Artist Watch Series, Artists, Community Projects, Emerging, Female, Flickr, Garden Mosaics, Hospital, Inspiration, Linda Martin, Mosaic, Public Art, Uncategorized

16 responses to “Artist Watch: Linda Martin

  1. Janet Althoff

    Enjoyed reading and getting to know you! Your mosaics are spectacular.Congratulations!!

  2. Kim – Linda was a great choice – wonderful writeup!!

    Linda – I admire your mosaics and have enjoyed being your Flickr-pal! It was great to learn a little more about you.

  3. I enjoyed this so much. Linda, I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again…you have a great gift! Thanks Kim! This is great!

  4. Thanks another thoroughly entertaining blog bit about a thoroughly awesome and entertaining person. yay!

  5. artpaw

    Linda I fell in love with your work on Flickr ages ago when I stumbled across that handsome boxer. Thanks Kim for letting us know this talented artist better. Very inspirational post.

  6. That just sums up what a wonderful person and artist Linda is, Kim! You really know how to showcase Linda showing her sincere and true heart. ~Carol

  7. Crystal

    Yay, Linda! Wonderful feature. Love you!!

  8. Annie

    Bravo Kim and Linda!!

  9. Linda Vaden-Martin

    ahhhh Kim, thanks! You do such a great job with your blogs and I am proud to be a part of it. All of my mosaic buds mean so much to me. Couldn’t have ever gotten past the shab-a-dellic lava lamp with out you all!

  10. Susan Walden

    One of my favorite artists!!

  11. Fresca

    Lovely to hear more about you, Linda! How wonderful that you can combine your love for mosaics with your training to help others. And thanks Kim for this series – I always enjoy learning more about my many mosaic muses!

  12. Candace Clough

    Hi Linda, you are an inspiration! thanks Kim

  13. Yay Linda! Thanks for showcasing her, Kimbo!! Big hugs and kisses to you both!

  14. very nice works!!! congrats!!!!

  15. somayeh

    i’m somayeh,i’m Iranian
    I like mosaic very much,please help me,can you learn me mosaic?

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