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Karlene Gonzales-Martinez


My art is solely inspired by a way of life that few are fortunate to experience. Other influences come from the rodeo aspect of that way of life. I am particularly fascinated with the anatomy of the horse and other four-legged livestock types. I am also drawn to the human face and form. I love value, contrast and texture which stands to reason why the pencil might be my favorite medium. I am also fond of scratchboard and pen and ink. I like color and it has been simmering in my psyche for some time and I feel that it will come to surface soon.


I was born and raised in Las Vegas, NM. My family worked a small cow calf operation at Corazon, NM. My sisters and I were the crew. I now carry the torch in honor of my late father; my very best friend and teacher. I was young enough to still have enough love and energy to continue, those resources for my sisters were long ago tapped because they worked like men.


Duke Sundt is a prominent art influence for me since as a teenager I would go visit his studio where, with his art and stories, he inspired my desire to create. Because of Duke I was able to study for one week with Robert “Shoofly” Shufelt, an artist whose skill and technique I highly value. Talk about hanging out with a rock star! Gary Morton has more recently become another influence with his attention to detail and his insights to the art world. My bucket list included owning a piece of these artists’ creations and I can say that I have marked each one off my list.

I graduated from Robertson High School and worked for several local veterinarians. I figured I’d better get an education and my interest casually switched from veterinary medicine to art. I studied art at Eastern New Mexico University and got a degree in Graphic Design. I also obtained my teaching credentials at New Mexico Highlands University. I taught Special Education in Espanola, ran barrels, rodeoed, hauled my daughter and the Mathews girls to rodeos and had a ball.

I’ve worked many different places but the longest was teaching art at Robertson High, my alma mater. I recently took on a new endeavor at NMHU as administrative and gallery assistant. I also serve as an art director for the Western Art rodeo Association.

I have not taken the time to create as much as I would like to over the years, but my sights and focus are moving back towards my personal aspiration for art. Right now, I am blessed to work in an environment saturated with art.

Contact information

Karlene Gonzales-Martinez on Facebook

P.O. Box 562

Las Vegas, New Mexico 87701

Phone: 505-429-1599 (leave message)

Artwork by Don Weller

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