Category Archives: My artwork


I have been asked why I used a woman in the artwork I created inspired by the song “COME DANCING”. Well, there is a reason. 

The seemingly happy catchy song was written by Ray Davies in 1982 and recorded in 1983. His sister’s  visit to  England (she had emigrated to Canada) happened to coincide with Ray Davie’s 13 birthday. He had begged his parents for a Spanish guitar, to no avail. Rene stepped in and got it for him (his first guitar!). 

Then she did what she always did when she was in town – she called her friends to go dancing that night. So – off she went to the Lyceum ballroom. But, she suffered a fatal heart attack, as a result of a childhood bout of rheumatic fever.

“Rene had died dancing in a ballroom in London in the arms of a stranger….Coming back from Canada, where she’d emigrated, to die.   Really, and again, being a source of inspiration…She gave me my first guitar, which was quite a great parting gift.” Ray Davies

Finding stories like this are one of the reasons I love working on this series “CAN YOU SEE WHAT I HEAR?”. I also learn to play each song on the piano.

COME DANCING ©2022 Vickie Martin, 8×10 collage on paper

I usually do a collage using research materials I collected for the painting. Look closely at this collage. You can see where I hand wrote the beats for the tricky timing in the opening!

You can read more about the series and my quest for the series “CAN YOU SEE WHAT I HEAR?” series HERE. Each piece I create is inspired by a song that I also learn to play. Why? to bring awareness to dementia, because music is the last memory, the one thing you will keep.

They put a parking lot on a piece of land
When the supermarket used to stand.
Before that they put up a bowling alley
On the site that used to be the local palais.
That’s where the big bands used to come and play.
My sister went there on a Saturday.Come dancing,
All her boyfriends used to come and call.
Why not come dancing, it’s only natural?

Another Saturday, another date.
She would be ready but she’s always make him wait.
In the hallway, in anticipation,
He didn’t know the night would end up in frustration.
He’d end up blowing all his wages for the week
All for a cuddle and a peck on the cheek.

Come dancing,
That’s how they did it when I was just a kid,
And when they said come dancing,
My sister always did.

My sister should have come in at midnight,
And my mum would always sit up and wait.
It always ended up in a big row
When my sister used to get home late.

Out of my window I can see them in the moonlight,
Two silhouettes saying goodnight by the garden gate.

The day they knocked down the palais
My sister stood and cried.
The day they knocked down the palais
Part of my childhood died, just died.

Now I’m grown up and playing in a band,
And there’s a car park where the palais used to stand.
My sister’s married and she lives on an estate.
Her daughters go out, now it’s her turn to wait.
She knows they get away with things she never could,
But if I asked her I wonder if she would,

Come dancing,
Come on sister, have yourself a ball.
Don’t be afraid to come dancing,
It’s only natural.

Come dancing,
Just like the palais on a Saturday.
And all her friends will come dancing
Where the big bands used to play.

If you have a favorite song you’d like to see represented, I’d love to know.


I just completed the IGNITE class with C4 in Atlanta. This is a class designed to “ignite” your art career and move you forward.  In participating in this, I created a marketing plan, which I have included below.  This is my initial version.  In presenting to some very knowledgeable people, I realized I need to change the following to really be successful:

  • Personalize my vision statement
  • Focus – it was felt to focus on the coolage party, when that takes off, the rest will come.
  • Target women in the 25-40 range. They not only have children for birthday parties, but friends getting married and many are in the corporate or non-profit world to eventually incorporate team-building and performance art.
  • Don’t ignore the suburbs
  • Snag the domain name of CoolageParty immediately
  • Once it gets going, re-assess my costs, they are low

I realized alot about myself – it was very eye-opening. I want to be part of a bigger art community that is well-respected. I’m not that interested in personal fame.  This was a big first baby-step for me.


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I have felt a little blocked lately.  Maybe it is because my studio looked lik this!



So, I rolled up my sleeves and went to work on it.  When I was finished, it looked like this:



So, the inspiration came!  After a day in my studio, I had accomplished the following.

A day's Work

A day’s Work

I worked on 4 large paintings, two are almost complete, and six small pieces. All in all, a Good Day!  After this, I took a brisk walk and I found this on the side of the road – a nice weather beaten newspaper that will perfect for a collage someday.

collage material

collage material

What did you accomplish this weekend that you are proud of? By the way, when I finished working in my studio, I cleaned it up to start again.








I have been posting my artwork on my facebook art page off an on for awhile.  In fact, I’ve been doing it a little haphazardly.  So, I have decided to keep a file of quotes I find inspiring, amusing, or just worth sharing. Here are some of my most recent posts.

picasso quote775725912_n



This was something a yoga instructor said in class about paying attention to yourself and your body. I liked the thought.


quote, jpg



I just decided to live by these words one day



163346_10152386749110524_1515152214_nWhat are some of your favorite quotes?


Aphrodite, 36×48 on canvas

There is a language of clothing and every dress tells a story. Working with layer upon layer, I expose things hidden by scraping top layers off, or melt layers together by using fire.  Even though the dress is disembodied, it seems to move in a space of it’s own. A dress is worn not only to protect the wearer from the universe, but it often defines individuality.  The many layers are symbolic of both the psychological and the physical layers today’s women carry with them.


I have a deadline – I was given around 4-5 weeks to complete 40 paintings in various sizes, but all in my “dress” series.  The challenge is to keep it interesting and not keep painting the same thing over and over again.   And, at the same time, to make sure they will hang well together,   
So – I have been working in groups.  Because I layer my paintings, I have some downtime.   This is one way this heat wave has helped me!   But, today it is overcast and very humid and drying time is VERY SLOW.
So, I began experimenting.   Below is  a small canvas (5×7) with a very wet red wash over several layers of paint.
Then I covered the canvas with gunpowder (rifle gunpowder BTW).
Then, I lit a match and watched it burn – of course with a spray bottle of water handy, and of course I moved anything flammable away!!!!
It easily burned with no problems, but it was exciting!
It just burned itself out – and of course, it managed to dry the canvas.   I love experimenting, but I don’t know what this experimentation with fire really says about me.  I have been kicking around some ideas about doing a series on destruction vs. beauty.   I also have a very stressful job in the advertising business, so I think this destruction and danger is a stress reliever for me.   I used to work out to relieve stress……
Well, that solved the problem of one canvas drying, but I have 14 others drying – as you can see in the next couple of photographs.
Here are 5 10×30’s that are drying  with their 2nd layer.  They have been gessoed, but now I’m adding other elements to create more texture, things such as a fondand, bubble wrap, material.   Right behind these  pieces are 10 5×7 canvases drying.
The three closest to the camera were all burned with gunpowder.   I have put medium on top of them – so they should dry quickly.   There are 7 more behind them – most of them are in their 5th or 6th layer -they are moving along.
So, now I’m waiting for the paint to dry.   I thought I’d be productive and  write this blog, but now what?   Should I clean up and run some errands, go to the grocery store and plan menus for this week, or just relax and read????   I think I’m going to relax and read, after all I am reading a book about art, so I’m not abandoning my artday totally.   Presently, I am reading STEALING REMBRANDTS: The Untold Story of Notorious Art Heists.   Few of these heists are new to me, but it is interesting  – and I’m learning alot of Rembrandt at the same time.
From this end of my table, you can see my completed pieces – yes, I stacked them up for show!   There are 4 20x24x, 12 6×6, and 12 9×12 – which I began on 7/22.   Well, actually they aren’t 100% finished, they still need the edges painted and the wires put on.   And, I want to finish everything with time to spare so I can relook at all of them and make any changes I feel necessary, and make professional looking tags for the back of them with the materials used and maybe I’ll even name them all.


What you are looking at is a sheet of Okawaru Japanese paper that I have burned using gunpowder.  I lightly spritz the paper with water  and lay the gunpowder on top of it.  For this experiment I used smokeless rifle powder.  I found gunpowder is harder to find than bullets – most gunshops don’t carry powder.   Even Walmart carries bullets.  But Joel found a guy in a gunshop that had gunpowder at home so we took it all off his hands in the name of art!
Click here to see the very short video of burning paper – and I keep water handy!!!!!


I currently have a solo show up at the Sandy Springs Library, here in Atlanta. The piece to the left, MUSIC OF THE WORLD, is one of the pieces I am showing. Because I am the daughter and the grand-daughter of piano tuners, I have always turned to music for inspiration. I have always like the way music looks on the page.

Also, the piece on the left side of the banner (above) is in the show. This piece began with a page from a book of music I found at the Goodwill Book Sale. Each page was devoted to a different composer, with the top half devoted to a short biography, and the bottom with a simplified version of a piece of music often associated with that partciular composter. This one was devoted to Bizet, and the music is from Carmen. I used the word “passion” prominently because that best describes this music.

Enjoy. Come to the show at the Sandy Spring Library on Johnson Ferry Road, through 6/31.

Let me know what you think of these pieces. If you use music in your artwork, please share!