For me, art and design have always played integral roles. In my other 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.

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 (now the Art Institute of Colorado) 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 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, Quang Ho
and Doug Dawson. Her portraits and figurative paintings have been exhibited at the 
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.

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

Private collections in the U.S. and South America

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

1985   Associates degree: Graphic Design, Art Institute of Colorado 
                Denver, Colorado
1983   Bachelor of Fine Arts degree: Painting, Albion College
                Albion, Michigan
1983   Bachelor of Arts degree: French, Albion College
                Albion, Michigan, and Université de Grenoble. Grenoble, France
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