Martin was born in Everett, Washington in 1928. With a BA in creative writing from the University of Washington, Martin has always been interested in narrative. Since 1955 Martin has maintained a well-loved cast of characters whose burlesque escapades have captivated the imaginations of Northwest viewers. William Shakespeare, Andy Warhol, Mona Lisa, Vincent Van Gogh, the Lion, and the Monkey are all frequent players in Martin’s brown paper theater. Martin was influenced early in his career by Morris Graves, Kenneth Callahan, Mark Tobey, Mark Chagall, and Paul Klee and his paintings often swung from one style to the next. By the 1980s Martin came into his own, blending influence with personal experience. “James Martin: Art Rustler at the Rivoli” a monograph by Shelia Farr was published in 2001 and pays tribute to Martin’s distinct brand of humor, prodigious output, and distinctive style.