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.