Painting Method: Mouth painter
Joseph Martins was born in La Charité-sur-Loire on 28th September 1972, and came into the world without arms and legs. “When I was a small child, my mother took me to many doctors, but nevertheless I grew neither arms nor legs.”
He spent his early childhood with his two brothers, the eldest of whom often carried him during their children’s games. At the age of 5, he was admitted to the rehabilitation centre “Centre National de Rééducation” of St. Maurice. He has few memories of that time, but he does remember his parents’ meeting with Denise Legrix.
In 1999, Joseph moved into the Résidence du Mai in Chinon (Indre et Loire), where he attended the training centre “Centre de Formation à l’Autonomie et à l’Insertion”. With great delight, he learned to draw and to paint holding the brush in his mouth.
“In the beginning,” relates Joseph, “I was clumsy and the difficulties discouraged me. My pictures took a long time and I had to be pushed constantly.”
Later on, his disability did not prevent him from occupying himself with other favourite hobbies nor from enjoying a fulfilled family life. In 2001 he and his wife and three children moved to Tours. “Family life,” he says, “is a life-size canvas. There’s a beautiful harmony of colours, and sometimes more sombre colours too, like in an artist’s paintings.”
Joseph continues to regularly take drawing and painting lessons with a professional painter, to improve his technique and develop his talent.
“My capacity to see and my eyes make me the master of what I can’t touch because I have no legs. Through drawing, I can take possession of what I see and share it with others.” Joseph is a sensitive person, and he became aware of this philosophy while taking part in the seminar led by Serge Maudet, whom he regards as his role model. He also renders all his gratitude to Serge Maudet and Denise Legrix for their support and encouragement. Joseph exhibits his pictures at exhibitions of works by mouth and foot painting artists throughout France. We wish him a fruitful artistic career and much happiness in his creative work.