August 2016

by Sara Lee Burd

Art Consultant, Artist Representative, Writer
Photograph by Buddy Jackson

Artist Bio: Julia Martin


Julia Martin, Have your cake…, 2015, Oil on papered panel, 20″x 15″

Nashville-based painter Julia Martin works primarily in figurative art with an emphasis on color. She studied art at the School of Visual Arts before beginning her own studio practice. Her work has been exhibited around the United States, including La Luz de la Cruz Gallery in Los Angeles, POP Gallery in Santa Fe, Hunter Museum in Chattanooga, and the Customs House Museum in Clarksville. In addition to making art, Martin owns Julia Martin Gallery in Nashville’s Wedgewood/Houston arts district. She curates monthly exhibitions that feature artists from around the country. For more information about Julia Martin, visit

I bought my favorite painting after seeing it for ten minutes. My husband and I were rushing to meet friends but stopped by Julia Martin Gallery for a quick hello and a browse of Julia’s solo exhibition. I saw the painting and stopped my husband to show it to him. My heart rate quickened, and I was beginning to get what I call art sweats. I knew I wanted to live with this painting of a quirky girl wearing a funky fascinator. The color palette, the brushstrokes, the paper it was painted on all entertained my eye and my imagination. Upon closer examination, what seemed like a rather straightforward representational painting was actually quite abstract. Julia’s skilled juxtaposition of colors applied in thick, sometimes blotchy strokes formed a pleasing composition that is a perfect example of how our brains affect our perception by filling in the blanks to create order. When it is done well, I truly love that kind of visual tension.

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Sara Lee Burd; Photograph by Buddy Jackson

While I knew immediately that I wanted to see this work every day, I didn’t feel like I could afford it. We left the gallery and I couldn’t stop thinking of and talking about it. I began to worry that someone else would buy it, and this unique image would be gone. My husband looked me in the eyes and said don’t get upset, just buy it if it means that much. I realized this artwork was worth whatever fiscal sacrifice I’d make in my daily life. I stepped outside, called the gallery, and with great relief secured my Julia Martin painting.

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