ABOUT



ARTIST STATEMENT

For me, art and design have always played integral roles in my life. As a graphic designer, portrait artist and muralist, the work is necessarily outcome driven. In my personal creative practice however, I'm drawn to an exploration purely of process. I seek to access a place of unknowing, giving visual form to an emotional experience beyond words.  

During the making, the work transforms many times from one state to another: from considered processes to those more extemporaneous and instinctive, and often back again. Ultimately, each piece is an exploration of the space between the deliberate and the unintentional. Layers are applied and alternately buried and unearthed, in a way mirroring the processes at work in the human soul.

By exploring a variety of media and responding intuitively as each layer reacts with those before it, I coax out effects both subtle and overt in the color, texture and composition of a piece. Oil and cold wax (and sometimes metal leaf, resin, nails and burnt paper) coalesce and interact to yield fortuitous outcomes. Not confining myself to one medium enables me to experiment, explore and evolve – invariably refining my craft.

T.S. Eliot once said of Dante that "genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood." As such, I endeavor to create work that elicits emotions not immediately recognized or inferred.
BIOGRAPHY

Martha Carroll McCowin was raised in Michigan and received her BFA in Painting and 
a BA in French from Albion College. In addition, she has studied at L'école supérieure
d'art et design de Grenoble, France and the Art Students League of Denver. She holds an associates degree in graphic arts from the Colorado Institute of Art and has been in the graphic design industry for over three decades specializing in branding, identity develop-ment and marketing.

Over the years, Martha has continued to pursue her fine art and has attended classes and workshops in abstract painting with Judy Anderson, Amy Guion Clay and most recently, utilizing the medium of cold wax and oil, with Janice Mason Steeves. In the past 15 years she has also been a portrait and mural artist. During that time she has studied portraiture, figure drawing and plein air painting with Anthony Ryder, Burton Silverman, and Doug Dawson. Her portraits and figurative paintings have been exhibited at the former R.L. Foster Gallery and Art Students League of Denver, and hang in private collections in the U.S. and South America. She currently resides in Salt Lake City, Utah.
CURRICULUM VITAE

Selected Exhibitions
2018   Bold Boho: Circa + Omforme, Circa Gallery, Minneapolis, MN
2017   Winter Salon Group Show, Circa Gallery, Minneapolis, MN
2017   Summer Salon I, Circa Gallery, Minneapolis, MN
2017   Twisted Tryst: Circa + Omforme, Circa Gallery, Minneapolis, MN
2016   Winter Salon Group Show, Circa Gallery, Minneapolis, MN
2004   Figure Painting, Juried Exhibition, Art Students League of Denver, Denver, CO
2002   The Painted Portrait, R.L. Foster Gallery, Denver, CO

Private and Public Collections
Dawn Fleming Jackson, Salt Lake City, UT (abstract - four pieces)
Bruce Broadhead, Salt Lake City, UT (abstract - four pieces)
Michele Dunker Interior Design, Logan, UT (abstract)
Julie Stephenson Botten, Gaithersburg, MD (abstract)
Lucy and Gary Nichols, Aspen, CO (portrait)
Yarumal Institute for Foreign Missions, Medellín, Colombia (portrait)
Private collection, Albion, MI (figurative nude)

Continuing Education
2015   Oil and Cold Wax workshop with Janice Mason Steeves, Dunedin, Ontario, Canada
2004  Portrait Painting workshop with Anthony Ryder, Santa Fe, NM
2001 - 2004  Portraiture, Figure Drawing, and Plein Air Painting workshops,
            Art Students League of Denver, Denver, CO 
2002  Abstract Painting workshop with Amy Guion Clay, Ghost Ranch, Abiquiu, NM
2000 and 2001 Abstract Painting workshops with Joan Anderson, Boulder, CO

Education
1985   Associates degree: Graphic Design, Art Institute of Colorado, Denver, CO
1983   Bachelor of Fine Arts degree: Painting, Albion College, Albion, MI
1983   Bachelor of Arts degree: French, Albion College, Albion, MI
            and Université de Grenoble, Grenoble, France
Back to Top