• Julie Ahmad

Meet Michelle Martinez : Our Next Collector Series Feature!

Updated: Jul 26

We talk extensively about supporting local businesses and #buyingsmall, but when do we ever thank customers for their patronage? This series of posts is meant to honor the unsung heroes who recognize the hard work, passion and dedication we put into our craft and shine the light back onto them. Without them we couldn't continue to do the work that we love and for that I am so grateful.

Next up, we have Michelle Martinez : the proud owner of 'Me-Shell My Belle' !
Michelle Martinez is a Texas native and has lived in Austin since 2009. She has worked in the pharmaceutical/biotech industry for about 25 years and most recently was a national director which allowed lots of travel perks. In this, she went abroad to museums and art galleries in Europe as well as within the US. It wasn’t until she discovered San Antonio’s First Fridays and Blue Star Arts in which she truly came to appreciate art and supporting local artists. Here is where she was inspired to take several oil painting classes at a local art school.

“I know I don't have Julie’s talent but I did come to realize the hours it takes to bring a piece of art from start to finish within the layers of oil, acrylic, and other mediums. I was amazed by the amount of time that goes into even just one piece- the edits and mistakes which are corrected or the direction the artist may change midway…We will never know as they are hidden in the layers.” - Martinez
Abstract Art Painting by Julie Ahmad
How did you discover Julie Ahmad Contemporary Art?
I met Julie at a joint event that she co-hosted in November 2018 with Erica Wildman, another local Austin artist. It was a silent disco and art exhibition titled “Not So East.” Tongue & cheek, being that their gallery was on the west side during the East Austin Studio Tour.
Found Sentimental Objects incorporated into Abstract Artist Julie Ahmad's Paintings
What does this piece of art bring to your home/intimate space?
I knew that I wanted art placed specifically above my bed; something calm, soothing and to be the focal point of my bedroom. I recall visiting her studio + gallery and saw some of her work rooted in more nude, peach, and pink colors along with some blues. I was intrigued by these colors as they reminded me of the beach, which I love very much. I then hired Julie to create a large-scale painting with that same color scheme. During the first stages of creation, I had gone to Mexico and collected sea urchin shells that I wanted to be incorporated in the piece somehow. I asked Julie if she would be able to use the found objects as an additional element, this being her first time using seashells, she agreed to give it a try. She executed it so beautifully by crushing and seamlessly plastering them to the canvas.
Julie’s utilization of stencils in her paintings was one of the most alluring qualities. I specifically asked for the number sixty-nine to be stenciled onto the piece. Those numbers hold a lot of meaning to me: yin and yang, balance, but really the number stands for the year I was born. When I look at the painting I commissioned from Julie, I see why those colors attracted me: they resemble the beautiful colors of the sky when the sun is setting along the ocean water.
Abstract Artist Julie Ahmad and her happy client and friend Michelle Martinez
What was your experience like in commissioning this piece from Julie Ahmad Contemporary Art?
I absolutely love her spirit and art. She is someone I would gladly share a glass of wine with anytime. The process in purchasing from her was extremely professional as it was also my first time commissioning a piece of art. Julie was incredibly easy to work with and I am thankful for her guidance in this process.

Is there anything else that you would like to add?
So happy to have met Julie- it is my pleasure to have a piece of her work in my home. It truly is spectacular!


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