CLAUDETTE MARTINEZ
Author Feature - March 2021

I am a proud self taught Canadian Artist , an advocate for Mental Health and Female Empowerment. I paint from feeling, from my heart. Blood to Canvas. I leave it all there to be seen and shared. I have been fortunate to have won International Artist of Inspiration Award twice. I have been published three times in The Perspective Project, pairing my visual work with words and poetry. I have had my piece Broken used for the promotional material for The Oxford University Concert for Mental Health Awareness. I recently won with my piece Beast of Burden, as the representative for Canada for the small works piece New York Penthouse Competition 2020. I contribute pieces annually to the Kids Help Line and Women's Shelter for their fundraising to encourage art and provide assistance to these most deserving causes. Thank you Claudette Martinez #claudettemartinezartist


As a commission Artist my goal is to feed your soul, engage you. I hope my work will be looked upon as thought provoking and moving, leaving you with something you didn't have before. Something beautiful and stirring. 

https://www.gallea.ca/en/artists/claudette-martinez

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FEATURED POETRY

BROKEN
I’ve been broken. Shattered into a billion tiny shards scattered about my feet. Panic hits me OMG, I’m broken, I have to fix this!  I grab a handful of shards, I close my eyes and work through the pain. My hands are shaking, I breath and the tears start to fall.  I try to fit them as best I can. Some are missing for sure, the edges are jagged and razor sharp. They cut as I move, the blood makes them slippery and hard to  maneuver.  Its slow going but I force them in place. I begin with the largest first, seems logical. I know where they go... don't I? I close my eyes and reach for the picture of the me before she was taken, trying to convince myself that I know who I was. I mean who knows me better than me right? Who is more qualified than me to fix me, right? Wrong.

 

I continue to build. I realize, as I carefully place pieces, my surface is no longer glossy and smooth. If you run your fingers across they will catch on the sharp peaks and valleys where the pieces meet, slicing the tips as you feel your way. Never again will I be touched without damage. There are dull spots and cracks and in some areas I can see clear through. The image is forever altered the picture slightly skewed as if under water. If you take a few steps back you can tell its supposed to be me only this is a grief stricken scarred version.

 

I will be put back together. Me only a different me, fatally flawed and way more fragile, but still me, less a few key pieces.

FOWARD
I Look out the window. The view is obstructed by two very large, very old birch trees. I've always loved birch, the contrast between the white bark textured by various shades of black scars, small upside down pear shaped leaves, thousands of them or a least I imagine that many, who could know for sure, each one a brilliant lime green beauty.

 

Today the green has been invaded by yellow…daffodil yellow, a perfect yellow for sure but still an unwelcome addition because I know what follows. When did that happen, overnight? Was there yellow yesterday?  I have to breathe, switch it up, big ins and big outs. It helps with the panic.  I do find the mix of the two, green and yellow soothing. Change isn't always bad, is it? If I tilt my head to the right and squint slightly I can get the two to melt together and become a new shade of green, I like it. It's a welcome break from the lime.  I can pretend it’s a different view from the one I have shared my mornings with for the last 60 plus days. I wonder, can the beauty of the green begin to fade if its the only color you see? Are the changes mother natures way of keeping us satisfied, keeping us from becoming bored with her?  Mothers do like to please.  

 

The trees have turned from an obstruction to distraction. Watching the leaves flutter individually and sway in groups, back and forth and back,  the sun hitting flat glossy surfaces turning yellow and lime to white, each leaf fighting for their moment in the sun, twisting and turning wildly for the opportunity to be shined on… just like the rest of us I suppose.

The distraction is good for me.  I know this because the doctor told me so "You need a distraction. Get away, find some peace." Peace? Really is that even a thing… I'm sure it is but for the life of me I can not recall what it feels like, what I wouldn’t do to be reminded.  I'm sure she meant something larger than staring out the front window

watching leaves turn but right now I will take what I can get.

 

All this adds a layer to my sadness. A heaviness like the old quilt your mom would add when you were chilly at night. I look and imagine the slow take over of the yellow and

sigh deeply sipping my coffee and try to take one moment at a time. The cold is coming. I'm not happy about it, I’m not a winter girl but like all things no matter how hard we wish on the wishiest star, pray to the goodliest god or promise the ultimate promise, we can not stop the unstoppable or change what refuses to be changed. The leaves will all be yellow, green will slowly retreat, many will fall and then brown will take over until every last one has fallen and the girl will still be gone.

 

Breathe…big ins big outs. I shake it off an start day 64.

SEEING

I watched the administrative assistant kneeled next to my mother as she lay in bed semiconscious.

 

I watched as this woman softly, lovingly, stroked her forehead whispering sweet comforting words. I watched my mother react, smiling, moving into the  caresses. 

 

I watched all this detached and envious that my touches would never bring her such a peaceful response. I'm grateful for the girl but at the same time I wish she would leave. I found myself envious. Why doesn't she look at me like that. Why can't I make her smile, what was it about me that she so openly disliked. I was not the provider of comfort for her. I never was and never would be. The girl completely innocent and unknowing of my feelings towards her.

 

They've told me she has hours or days or who knows. The not knowing is an agonizing wait. Watching for each breath is almost unbearable, in and out.

She talks and mutters as she drifts in and out of sleep. 

The room is filled with the scent of eucalyptus and a constant sound of the oxygen machine, forever pumping up and down in perfect beat.

Down the hall I can here the staff going about their business, so accustomed to death and those dying around them, not bothered by one more.

 

To me it's all too much to take in.

 

It's just me and Mom now, her eyes perpetually half open. Counting each breathe of hers, mine and the machine. I wait.

 

She's fully asleep now and as in each case I wonder if she will wake. I allow myself to fantasize that she has passed and I can move on and close this chapter of my horror novel. Then, of course guilt bores into my chest. My tumor on my soul, guilt, reminding me taunting me about all the things I shouldn't be, think or do.

 

I wish I could reach in and rip its spidery grasp and cast it into the sea.”

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