CBAW is proud to Spotlight Veteran Artist Martin Cervantez ahead of his March 9th workshop event.

Just ahead of his Professional Development Workshop for CBAW, we shine our spotlight on Veteran and Artist, Martin Cervantez for the month of March!

Martin J. Cervantez enlisted in the Army Signal Corps in July 1986 as an Illustrator. His most prestigious assignment was Artist in Residence at the U.S. Army Center of Military History where he was responsible for capturing the Army’s history through art. He deployed to Afghanistan in support of OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM 2008, and 2011. During these deployments he produced artwork that visually recorded Soldiers’ experiences the Army’s achievements. Two of his oil paintings were recently featured in the National Constitution Center’s public exhibition “Art of the American Soldier” in Philadelphia.

Martin is a self-taught artist who has created art since he was a child. He’s used art as his own therapy during recovery from his recent six surgeries. Martin also advocates for veteran’s art programs, and was involved at the USO Ft Belvoir, and Walter Reed; Warrior Writers from Philadelphia, and Combat Paper New Jersey, and George Mason University. Cervantez is also known for turning the Workhouse guard towers into static kaleidoscopes by using colored films on the windows of the towers, creating a dynamic piece of art that changes with time of day, and position of view. The towers were featured in the L.A. Times; From Wrongs, Rights, Los Angeles Times, L1, Travel Section, November 2, 2017. He is the 2017 recipient of the Prince William County Kathleen Seefeldt Award for Outstanding Artist.

Martin’s art gained international acclaim for his Berlin Airlift mural/assemblage in Wiesbaden, Germany, 2018, which was commissioned by the United States Army Europe. Cervantez currently resides in San Diego, where he creates art, and gives workshops to veterans.

Read on for a CBAW Q&A session with Martin, and to take in some of the beautiful selections from his portfolio.

Immersed by Martin Cervantez

Immersed, acrylic on canvas, Diptych

CBAW: What medium (or form) did you start with and how has it evolved over the years?

Martin Cervantez: I started with drawing, and evolved into painting, and assemblage. The canvases keep getting larger, as I pursue large scale work.

We're All Connected by Martin Cervantez

We’re All Connected, acrylic on canvas

CBAW: Why have you gravitated toward each medium?

MC: Each medium lends itself to certain kinds of work. When I was an Army artist, I worked in pencil, oil paints, and watercolors. The traditional mediums worked great for capturing the mood and feel of various scenes.

CBAW: What medium or imagery is most exciting for you right now?

MC: I love working on abstracts with acrylic paint because of the thick textures and effects I can create, giving my work some presence when the light casts shadows across the textures.

Underwater by Martin Cervantez

Underwater, acrylic on canvas

Underwater by Martin Cervantez

Underwater Sunset, acrylic on canvas

CBAW: What is your favorite quote about art, creativity, or about life in general?

MC: Picasso- “Good artists copy, great artists steal”. Paint at your own pace, it’s not a race.

CBAW: What experiences have led you to making art?

MC: I’ve always made art, and I enjoy it most when I tune everything else out and really connect with just making art.

X Marks The Spot by Martin Cervantez

X Marks the Spot, acrylic on canvas

CBAW: What do you love about making art?

MC: The exploration and processes that I have developed over a lifetime, and the endless possibilities to pursue.

CBAW: What do you think about when you’re creating?

MC: I honestly try not to think of anything, and I allow thoughts to come and go, and I eventually can turn them off. My only decisions rest in which colors are next, and which sections I will work next. Being in the moment requires focus, and freedom.

Happy Trails by Martin Cervantez

Happy Trails, acrylic on canvas

CBAW: What do you hope someone gets from looking at your artwork?

MC: I make paintings to elevate the mind away from any thoughts, pain, and emotion, giving calm to the total being. When I immerse myself, I can disconnect physically and be engrossed in the painting visually to the extent that all I feel is the art, and the wonderful feeling of weightlessness. I hope my art provides a happy place, and a good disconnect from everything else.

Vortex by Martin Cervantez

Vortex, acrylic on wood panel

We thank Martin for spending the time to share his thoughts with us! All of the works above (and so many more!) can be viewed on Martin’s website, and you can keep up with his latest on Instagram at @cervantez_art.

Don’t forget, join us on Thursday, March 9th at 7 pm ET for Martin’s workshop, where he will guide participants through the practices of scouting, applying to, showing in galleries, and how to make the most from social media, and the internet. Registration is free for veterans, service members, and healthcare workers, and a recording will be available for those who register through our Eventbrite page, here.


Success as an Artist with Veteran & Artist, Martin Cervantez