Chas Martin Art

sculpture - painting - mentorship

A Spirit Guide for the New Year

Chas Martin

This is the time we start thinking about what we will accomplish in the New Year. Resolutions, however, are often short lived. One obstacle for following through is a lack of support. You may have an exercise buddy to remind you when it’s time to work out. But what about your more personal goals?


Several years ago, I started creating characters from different materials around my studio. My inspiration was a series of petroglyphs I had sketched near Sedona. They intrigued me. Their gestures were subtle, but expressive. As I studied them, I began to appreciate the power of their forms. I don’t claim to understand their specific names or meaning. But they touched something deeper, something universal in my soul. Like actors in a play, each is an archetype for a specific quality.

I felt if I could capture those gestures and remake them into my own characters, I could invoke the power of those archetypes. I have always believed that the images we hold in our mind are what shape our lives. Creating these images is a form of meditation. Focusing on specific images leads you toward that quality. Kindness, strength, compassion, these are examples of qualities that can be transformed into your own personal kachina.

Whether I’m creating a complete figure or only a mask, the time and energy spent bring my full attention to the spirit of that character. What I have discovered is worth sharing.

January 18-20, I’ll be leading “Meet and Make Your Spirit Guide,” a workshop/playshop at The Lowe House in Tubac, Arizona. It’s a playful, but thoughtful series of discussions and hands-on character making. We will each identify a quality to manifest in the New Year. By sketching and creating a figure or mask to represents that quality, you begin to focus your attention and decisions toward that reality.

My teaching style is playful, highly interactive and full of imagination. No previous experience necessary. All you need is curiosity and a willingness to explore. The group will be small. Register early.

Chas Martin is a sculptor/painter from Portland, Oregon where he mentors other artists and leads classes on watercolor, acrylic and sculpture. He is a former creative director whose career has focused on nurturing the creativity of those around him. He is a former instructor at Boston Art Institute, San Francisco Academy of Art, Pacific Northwest College of Art, Northwest Academy and Sitka Center for Art and Ecology.