Artist Statement
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.Elliot 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.
Martha 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 – 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 development 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 Rebecca Crowell, Jerry McLaughlin, and Janice Mason Steeves. In the past 25 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. Martha's abstract and figurative works hang in private collections in the U.S. and the Yarumal Institute for Foreign Missions, Medellín, Colombia. She currently resides in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Selected Exhibitions
Choice, National Juried Exhibition, Juror: Jen Tough, Director, Jen Tough Gallery, Santa Fe, NM, 2022
Bold Boho: Circa + Omforme, Circa Gallery, Minneapolis, MN, 2018 
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, 2017 
Winter Salon Group Show, Circa Gallery, Minneapolis, MN, 2016 
Figure Painting, Juried Exhibition, Art Students League of Denver, Denver, CO, 2004 
The Painted Portrait, R.L. Foster Gallery, Denver, CO, 2002 
Continuing Education
Advanced Oil and Cold Wax online workshop with Jerry McLaughlin, 2023
Oil and Cold Wax workshop with Janice Mason Steeves, Dunedin, Ontario, Canada, 2015

Portrait Painting workshop with Anthony Ryder, Santa Fe, NM, 2004
Portraiture, Figure Drawing, and Plein Air Painting workshops, Art Students League of Denver,
                 Denver, CO, 2001 - 2004  

Abstract Painting workshop with Amy Guion Clay, Ghost Ranch, Abiquiu, NM, 2002
Abstract Painting workshops with Joan Anderson, Boulder, CO, 2000 - 2001
Associate of Arts: Graphic Design, Art Institute of Colorado, Denver, CO, 1985
Bachelor of Fine Arts: Painting, Albion College, Albion, MI, 1983
Bachelor of Arts: French, Albion College, Albion, MI and Université de Grenoble, Grenoble, France, 1983
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