Saratoga Springs NY artist Nick Martinez, a native of Trinidad, Colo., was introduced to horses at a young age by his grandfather. He started his jockey career in 1976 at Centennial Race track in Colorado. In 1983, Martinez' career came to a halt when he shattered several bones in his leg in a riding accident. Nick endured a year and a half of physical therapy and in his spare time took drawing classes at a local art college in Phoenix, Ariz. After his leg was fully rehabilitated, he returned to riding for another six years. When he officially retired from race riding in 1991, Martinez continued work as an exercise rider while pursuing his art career on the side.
Martinez came to Saratoga, NY where he had his first art show. Due to his success at the upstate New York track, Martinez decided to make regular visits there to sell his equine art, and eventually decided to make Saratoga Springs, NY his permanent home. Martinez has been working as a full-time artist since 1991. In addition to portraits of various horsemen, jockeys, and horses, he also paints landscapes and other animals and was commissioned to travel to Africa and paint wildlife last winter.
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