Friday, December 21, 2012


Mixed Media
30 x 22

Since yesterday slipped by without having a chance to blog, I will post the last two finished paintings of my Road Map Series. These are mixed media on 300 lb cold press paper, 30 x 22. Unfortunately the small photographs hinder you from seeing parts of the road map collaged on. As always, I find it is better to see the actual painting.

That fact was reinforced this past weekend when I saw the Winslow Homer exhibit at the Portland Museum of Art (Maine). His paintings are more powerful then the countless reprints I have seen. I spent a longer time with his work - actually seeing those surprise subtle color marks that are lost in a reprint. The show runs until December 30th and I would highly recommend seeing it.

More paintings of my Road Map Series are in process and I am heading to the studio shortly to work on these.

Mixed Media
30 x 22

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


This is my third painting in my Road Map Series.  Like # 2 this started out as a much larger painting.  Now it measures 30 x 22 and is mixed media on 300 lb cold press paper.  I have yet to titled the paintings in this series.  There are five that are finished and more in progress.  I will post the others in the next two days.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


Mixed Media on Paper
30 x 22

This is the second painting of my road map series.  It started out as the other half of the painting I posted about the other day.  As I worked on each, I decided these would be stronger as two separate paintings.
Here they are on my VSC studio wall with my third painting in the series.

Saturday, December 15, 2012


Yesterday, I delivered some paintings to a viewing for a possible acquisition.  It is reaffirming to have someone interested in my work. 

Afterwards I went to the studio to clean and organize for an upcoming studio visit next week.  My studio mate, Wendy Young, will be happy to see the new look.  And I will spend less time searching for tools and more time painting

Friday, December 14, 2012


The light was just perfect this morning on these aging peonies.

Thursday, December 13, 2012


My road map painting initially started out as two sheets of 300 lb., 22 x 30 cold press paper.  A couple of old road maps were torn up and glued in place.  I was thinking of starting my own global view of the world. 

Once I started painting I decided to just work on one sheet.  This is the under painting.  I built up the layers of blue, obscuring the maps, and added more spots of reds & orange. 

Using my new favorite brush, a four-inch speedball foam roller, I built up layers of opaque, semi-transparent and transparent paints using some of my favorite colors from American Journey.  American Journey is Cheap Joe’s brand of watercolors.  It is a top rated brand and comes in 37 ml and 15 ml tubes. 

For this process my favorite colors are Getz Grey, Coastal Fog, Sag Harbor Blue, and Payne’s Grey. I would let each layer dry. I worked on this and the other half of the original collaged map. These paintings spent a lot of time just hanging on the walls. And that became an important part of the process.

It was a week before I added more Payne’s Grey and hid the bit of map on the left.  Then after more studying, I flipped this painting 180 degrees. 

American Journey is my favorite brand of watercolor paints but I am not paid to endorse this brand nor a representative of Cheap Joe's.  I just like to share this information and the fact this brand offers 37 ml tubes.  For my way of painting it is a very good thing. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


mixed media on paper
30 x 22

Here is my one of my Road Map series paintings I started my second week at Vermont Studio Center.  This starts with old road maps collaged on 300 lb cold press paper then painted with watercolors.  Today this series will be professionally photographed.  Tomorrow I can show the transition of this work.  Allowing time for transitions was one of the benefits of VSC.... having the luxury to just work.  One can paint, study, push further, study, paint, push further and leave it for awhile and then paint (repeating the process).  I am not sure I would have arrived at this painting if working on it at home.   But I am happy to have pushed it to where I am content with the results. 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


Gesso & India Ink on Brown Paper

My circle finished on the day before I left Vermont Studio Center.   I thought I had photographed my circle each day.  But looks like I was not so diligent.  

Here it is on my VSC studio wall ready for the last open studio that evening on Wednesday, November 21st. 

Monday, December 10, 2012


My first week at Vermont Studio Center I worked on these paintings.  Each square is handmade paper I get from Taos, New Mexico.  It is a dream to work with.  My new series has to do with memory.  I am still in the exploring stages of this subject. 

For this series of 12 paintings, each about 9 x 9 inches and mixed media, I collaged pieces of old road maps and then applied watercolors and acrylics.  Some areas of a map are clear like the focused recall  of a past event while other areas are obscured like those vague recollections that might haunt one by their elusive nature.  The road is what binds them, linking them like photographs and journals help us to remember.

This image I took with my small digital camera.  Better images will be taken.  I did not continue to work in this size but I did used the road map in some larger works still exploring memory.  These will posted this week.

Friday, December 7, 2012


Cutting the Strings
watercolor, India ink, graphite
I am happy to announce that "back by popular demand," I will be teaching a six week class again at Concord Art Association! My class is on creating a meaningful series in watermedia.  It will start March 8th, 2013 and run for six weeks.  The title is Working it Out: Painting A Meaningful Series and the class description is below.

Cutting through the Fog

"Develop your graphic language by creating a series. In this class you will learn how to create a comprehensive body of work that explores an idea, form, visual sensation or feeling. The goal is to explore and expand on a concept through variation on a theme allowing you to develop a more personal expression and signature style. Students will do painting exercises to support the process of creating a series. The class will also study examples of series painted by the great artists. Each session will end with a critique and class discussion. To see Martha’s work go to"

Oliveira's Scissors II

Details: 6 Week Class
Starting Friday, March 8 – April 19, 2013
(no class on April 5)
10:00AM – 2:00PM with time for lunch!

Costs: $250 Members  $300 Non-members

To register please call 978 369 2578, or email, or online at  And if you have any questions please feel free to contact me at .  I hope you will join me!

Thursday, December 6, 2012


Gesso on brown paper  - Monday, November 12th, 2012

While I was out with friends last night talking about art, I told them about my daily circle painting done at Vermont Studio Center.  What I hadn't made clear on my blog was the size.  This measures 5 ft x 5 ft 9 inches.  Each day I would alternate using black or white gesso.  I stand in the middle of the painting and either dripped, splashed or painted a circle moving clockwise.  It was then hung on the wall, still wet.  This was a daily ritual for fun and about experimenting to see what would develop.  By the end of my month at VSC I had a unique record of my studio time.

Gesso on brown paper - Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


Everyday in my VSC studio I did warm up paintings.  I divide a full sheet of 300 lb cold press paper into 9 sections with tape.  With watercolors and my 1 inch Skipper brush I play with shapes and colors.  After painting a few sections the house image emerged so I explored that theme further. 

When this sheet of paper is finished I cut the 9 images and pin those I like to one of my studio walls.

By the end of the month my wall looked like this. 

This is a exercise I do daily.  Sometimes it maybe the only painting I accomplish in the studio, but it is rewarding in many ways.  This allows me to experiment freely with colors, shapes, line and composition.  In the end I always discover something I want to explore further.

I use American Journey Watercolors from Cheap Joe's.  This is a high quality paint available in 15 & 37 ml tubes. My painting style uses a lot of paint so I love the fact this brand offers large tubes. I promote this brand only because I like it - there is no monetary reward.   

Monday, December 3, 2012


My Circle, day 4.  I alternated white gesso with black gesso or India ink each day.  This is on 2 sheets of heavy brown paper taped together.  Painting this was one of my two daily studio rituals at Vermont Studio Center.  I hung it on the wall by my studio door in the Wolf Kahn building as some of the other artists were interested in seeing this circle on their way to their studios. Warm-up painting exercises are great way for me to get working in my studio.  I will show you my other practice tomorrow.

Friday, November 30, 2012


Yesterday I picked up my paintings from the recent show at Gallery at 206.  This was my first Pop-Up group show in excellent company with artists: Stephen Martin, Paula Estey, Nella Lush, Sorin Bica and Jeff Grassie.  The 2 day exhibit, held November 10th & 11th, was curated by ZsuZsanna Donnell.  We had two exceptional nights of art parties and 2 days of viewing - attracting an art loving crowd from all over New England to Amesbury, Massachusetts.   

L-R: Artists Stephen Martin, Paula Estey & Curator ZsuZsanna Donnell

My paintings featured are my Scissor and Slip series.  If you would like to see more of my work please visit my website.  Also on this wall  above is work (L-R) by Paula Estey, my Slips, Stephen Martin and Nella Lush. 

Slip Series

Mixed Media by Stephen Martin

paintings by Sorin Bica & Nella Lush

L-R: Two mixed media works by Paula Estey, Painting by Sorin Bica and sculpture by Jeff Grassie.
This was a fun 2 day event with wonderful people!

A special thank you to Kay Bice for taking these photographs.

Thursday, November 29, 2012


This is my circle painting started the first Saturday at the Vermont Studio Center.  I was inspired after taking a wonderful yoga class there taught by Pippa - one she had developed called Sacred Hoop.  The VSC yoga studio is a godsend.  I took advantage of the many classes held there with the excellent instructors: Fletcher, Pat and Pippa.  My circle painting became a daily studio ritual.  Watch it grow in the days ahead.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


My initial intent for working at Vermont Studio Center was to paint really large.  Instead during the first week I found myself working small on 9 x 9 squares of handmade paper. 

I am interested in creating a series concerning memory.  The used road maps I collected from family and friends are the basis for this series.  What was also interesting for me was meeting other artists there using maps in their work. 

You can see it didn't take me long to spread out.  I took advantage of the space and used all sides of the studio's walls and floor to work.        

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


 I was very fortunate to spend the month of November at the Vermont Studio Center. My very large white wall studio was in the Wolf Kahn building - 1st door on the right. My residence, a short walk away, was in the comfortable Kowalsky House (you can see the building through the windows in the photo below).

I started a new series while there and will be posting in the days to come. This is a picture of my studio on the first day - just figuring out where all my art stuff will go. The table was moved three times before it felt right to me for working in this grand space

Saturday, November 10, 2012


Art lovers attending the art party last night

I drove back from Vermont Studio Center yesterday to attend one of our two receptions at Gallery at 206.  The gallery for this pop up show features the exciting work of six artists: Paula Estey, Sorin Bica, Nella Lush, Jeff Grassi, Stephen Martin and myself.  We had a great turnout last night of friends, new fans, other artists, and families.  Tonight is another art party from 6-10 PM that unfortunately I will miss as I am now back at VSC.  And tomorrow the show continues from 12- 6 PM with a unique event starting at 1PM.

This event (Sunday, November 11th) features guest speaker Robert Bohlen who is a world renowned art collector, author and popular speaker. Bohlen also chairs the University Of Michigan Museum Of Art Advisory Board. He has published 2 books on his wood art collections with a third book in the works and a show at the Peabody Essex Museum of Salem, MA, scheduled for 2015. He will share his fascinating & knowledgeable stories of acquiring the best art.  Don't miss this talk starting at 1 PM. 

Many thanks to curator ZsuZsanna Donnell for organizing this fantastic event. 

The gallery features 2 rooms of exciting art

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


I am at Vermont Studio Center for the month.  The day after arrival (sunday) I spent organizing my studio space and walking around the town of Johnson.  I feel very fortuante to be here in Vermont with a wonderful group of artists from around the world.

Thursday, October 25, 2012



My painting, Rocks & Pilings II, has been selected for an upcoming show at Belmont Gallery of Art.  This is oil on canvas 12 x 12 and was painted this summer plein air while in Stonington, Maine.  The new exhibit is titled Memories and opens November 1st.  This is my first time showing at this gallery - a wonderful exhibit space with a very supportive staff.   

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


oil on panel
Summer Road I painted this past July while spending a week in Stonington, Maine, a favorite place of mine.  It is by the lily pond, a magical spot of ever changing moods and colors as the lily pads open and close, and where the road bends around the water to eventually disappear into the woods of  pointed pines.

In August I delivered this painting and others to Hope Gallery in Bristol, Rhode Island.  Hope Gallery has represented me for three years now.  Saturday, Anita Trezvant, the owner, call with the good news of this selling.  It is sweet to know one's work has found a new home. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


My class on working in series starts next week at Concord Art Association in Concord, MA.  Here are the details below from the Concord Art Association class bulletin.  I hope you can join me!

All Levels

6 Week Class:
Wednesday, September 19 – October 24
10:00AM – 2:00PM

Develop your graphic language by creating a series. In this class you will learn how to create a comprehensive body of work that explores an idea, form, visual sensation or feeling. The goal is to explore and expand on a concept through variation on a theme allowing you to develop a more personal expression and signature style.

Students will do painting exercises to support the process of creating a series. The class will also study examples of series painted by the great artists. Each session will end with a critique and class discussion. To see Martha’s work go to

$250 M $300 NM

To register please call 978-369-2578, or email, or online at

Concord Art Association 37 Lexington Road Concord, MA

Monday, August 20, 2012


Slip # 7
18 x 18

My painting, Slip # 7, just returned from the 15th Annual International Society of Acrylic Painters Exhibition in Paso Robles, California.  I was unpacking the box today and open the envelope to discover that this painting had won a prize in the show.  This was awarded the ISEA Exchange Award for "Most Experimental!"  Needless to say...I am estactic over this wonderful surprise.  And very grateful to ISEA who sponsored this award  and to the Juror Katherine Chang Lui. 

Thursday, August 16, 2012


30 x 22

This is my last slip painting I did while in Maine  It is one I do not like, it needs to be re worked, and yet I may just leave it.  Since painting this slip I started moving in a new direction.  That transition produced some bad paintings but I think making some bad paintings is worthwhile if they present ideas for a new series. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


watercolor, graphite
30 x 22

I am very excited to report that I will be teaching a class this fall at Concord Art Association.    This class will be on painting in series - my favorite way to work now.  I have done a series of paintings on houses, scissors and slips and am starting a new series inspired by painting in Maine this summer. 

My Concord Art Association class will be for 6 weeks starting Wednesday, September 19th until October 24th.  It will run from 10 AM - 2 PM with time for lunch of course!  Here is the class description from Concord Art Association's website:

30 x 22

Working It Out . . . Painting a Meaningful Series
Martha Wakefield
All Levels

Develop your graphic language by creating a series. In this class you will learn how to create a comprehensive body of work that explores an idea, form, visual sensation or feeling. The goal is to explore and expand on a concept through variation on a theme allowing you to develop a more personal expression and signature style. Students will do painting exercises to support the process of creating a series. The class will also study examples of series painted by the great artists. Each session will end with a critique and class discussion. To see Martha’s work go to

watercolor, india ink
30 x 22

If you are interested you can register online at Concord Art Association.  I hope you can join me for 6 weeks of painting a series.