Artist Spotlight: Nora Martin Hall

by Dr. Jessie Voigts / Dec 30, 2020 /
Dr. Jessie Voigts's picture

Nora Martin Hall is a contemporary representational painter working primarily in oil paintings, and utilizes a wide range of techniques, from classical painting methods to photorealism, creating trippy, large-scale portraits and installations. Requiring thousands of hours of focused training and dedication to execute, she blends the innate need to be spontaneous and reckless, too. 

Artist Spotlight: Nora Martin Hall

Coming from familial artist roots, Nora is a fourth generation artist (her grandmother painted landscapes in Mexico) and grew up in a lower-middle-class family in the inland empire. She was raised amongst 8 siblings, 4 dogs, and an unspecified number of cats. She is a classically trained figurative painter and sculptor, and has spent time working as a professional artist and muralist for companies such as Universal Studios, Adidas, Buick, and Angel City Brewery. She couldn't afford art training and was self taught, dropping out of art school four times and tattooing when she was sixteen. Nora painted all of the murals on the Harry Potter Ride at Universal Studios Hollywood when she was 26, and then started painting big oil paintings and creating installations.

Nora has thrived as an oil painter, exhibiting large works at prominent art fairs and exhibitions in Los Angeles, Miami, Las Vegas, San Francisco, and Palm Springs, with works in private collections in the United States, Japan, Sweden, Canada, England, and Turkey. 

Nora currently lives and works out of her home studio in Los Angeles, CA.

Artist Spotlight: Nora Martin Hall

How long have you been an artist? 
True story, I made a really sick drawing of a cow when I was 5 and that was the day I decided I was going to do this forever.

Where is your studio located?  
Right now, in an industrial building in Downtown Los Angeles with big windows and a terrifying fire escape that calls to me. 

Do you have favorite places you like to create?
I've learned recently that my ideal creative environment is a huge room with the loudest music my ears can manage. I have a hard time focusing and find that loud environments drown out the chatter in my head and help me work.

Artist Spotlight: Nora Martin Hall

What does a typical day look like? Is there a typical day?
On a typical day, I wake up between 6 and 7am, ride my bike 20 miles to the beach and back, head to the studio to work on whatever projects I have going. I'm a creature of habit, so I try to maintain this as much as possible. I get irritable when I veer off of my routine. 

What materials do you prefer?
I've worked in just about every material available, but have a soft spot for traditional ones: oil paints, charcoal pencils, canvas, and wood. I love simple natural materials and the challenge of making something complex with them. 

Artist Spotlight: Nora Martin Hall

Where/How are you inspired?
Inspiration for me comes from working. I love when I don't have any projects going or any good ideas I want to jump on and get to sit down with an empty sketchbook and solve that problem. 

How do you know when your piece is done?
When it's saying what I need it to say and putting more work into it won't take it any further in the direction that I need it to go. 

Artist Spotlight: Nora Martin Hall

Do you work on one or more pieces at a time?
I always have a number of projects going at once, but usually one that is getting most of my attention. I don't like to feel like I'm putting myself in a box, so even when I'm working on a big oil painting, I'll have side illustration or grafitti projects going to keep my brain entertained. 

Artist Spotlight: Nora Martin Hall

If you were not an artist, what would you do?
I'd be working in either science, politics, or AI. If there was ever a way I could cross art over into one of those fields, I'd be so fulfilled. I had a moment where I was certain I was going to run for Mayor of Los Angeles, but realized the day to day of that job would probably be quite boring compared to the way I work now.

Artist Spotlight: Nora Martin Hall

How can our readers find and purchase your art?
You can see some of my finished works on my website: noramartinhall.com, or instagram @noramaha
For any sales inquiries or commissions, you can reach me at noramartinhall[at]gmail.com

 

 

All photos courtesy and copyright Nora Martin Hall, except where noted.