ABOUT



ARTIST STATEMENT

Art and design have always played integral roles in my life. During the past thirty-plus years as a graphic designer, portrait artist, and muralist, the work has necessarily been outcome driven – conveying a message, capturing an image, or pleasing a client. In the last decade, however, I've been drawn more and more to an exploration purely of process. Now in my personal creative practice, I allow my paintings to emerge on their own without dictating what they will become. Each piece is a fundamental exploration of the space between the deliberate and the unintentional. 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. Like a personal geology, layers are applied and alternately buried and unearthed, in a way becoming a physical manifestation and investigation of the strata of my own interior landscape.

By exploring a variety of media and responding intuitively as each layer reacts with those before it, I endeavor to 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. The work invites the viewer to access a place of pure unknowing – giving graphic form to emotional experiencing beyond words.
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 (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.
CURRICULUM VITAE

Selected Exhibitions
2017   Summer Salon I, Circa Gallery
                 Minneapolis, Minnesota
2017   Twisted Tryst: Circa + Omforme, Circa Gallery
                 Minneapolis, Minnesota
2016   Winter Salon, 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

Collections
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

Education
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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