Wednesday, December 23, 2015


Wishing you peace, joy, love and laughter this holiday season and each day in the new year!

And many thanks for following my blog this past year.  

Best Wishes & Happy Holidays, 


Sunday, December 6, 2015



Just reorganized my stuff to make room for a new series I am beginning.  Six 36' x 36" panels, all prepped, will be here tomorrow.  


Monday, November 23, 2015


On Wednesday, December 2nd, I have been invited to give a painting demo and talk at Concord Art.

Lily Pond & Dark Woods
10" x 10"

My talk is titled Abstracting Nature:  

Wakefield is an energetic painter, abstracting the natural world with expressive color and mark-making. She works in oils on carefully prepared panels. To create luminosity, Wakefield utilizes many tools in addition to the brush, which she uses to both apply and scrape away paint on the surface. Wakefield will discuss her tools, preparing her panels, and her process—simplifying the subject to create a personal expression.

Wild Beauty
8" x 8"

The fun starts at 10:30 AM until 12:20 PM.  Please join me for an art-filled two hours.  Concord Art is located at 37 Lexington Road, in Concord with plenty of street parking available.  For more information call 978-369-2578 or

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

SMFA Art Sale

30" x 22"

It is that time of the year again - the SMFA Art sale is opening this Thursday until Sunday.  I have two paintings in the show.  Both are from my Slip series.  Barely, above, is framed in a slim frosted gold metal frame measuring 36" x 28" with archival 6 ply mat and archival backing board.  The painting is watercolor on 300 lb CP paper. Below is Intimate III, also watercolor on 300 lb CP paper.  This one is offered as a shrink-wrap.  For pricing info click here.  If you would like to view more from my Slip series please visit my website or Powers Gallery in Acton where they have a selection of my abstract slips.

Intimate III
30" x 22"

Hours for the sale are Thursday 11/19 - Saturday 11/20 @ 10 AM - 8 PM.  Sunday 11/22 from 10 AM - 5 PM. Click here for directions & for more information please click here.  Hope to see you there!

Friday, October 23, 2015


Tuesday, October 27th, our show Detangled opens at Cambridge Art Association's (CAA) Kathryn Schultz Gallery,  featuring new paintings by Joseph Fontinha, Wendy Young and myself.  Joseph, I met at CAA's exhibit Paint last winter where we were both awarded juror's choice awards by Ali Ringenburg of Boston's Sloane Merrill Gallery.  And Wendy and I share a studio in Arlington.  We realized our art is intuitively linked in the exploration of detangling the past.

Here is a segment from our exhibit's statement:

Detangled is an amalgam of the “now” fused with dreamlike memories. Feelings, non­literal portraiture, internal landscapes, and a celebration of process are common threads that bind Joseph Fontinha, Martha Wakefield and Wendy Young.  Their images share bold marks creating immediacy while maintaining an overt sense of trace.  The final surface is the culmination of the past leading to a visual present....

I will be showing all new work created this year.

Beyond Light
mixed media/paper
22" x 30"

Please join us Friday, October 30, 2015 for an artists' reception from 7-9 PM at Kathryn Schultz Gallery, 25 Lowell Street, Cambridge, MA.

Also during this Detangled show enjoy Detangle Yourself Yoga in the gallery:

Artists & yoga instructors Martha Wakefield RYT – 200 and Katie Kelley RYT – 200 will lead two 90 minute yoga session of alignment based vinyasa flow, guided meditation and pranayama to detangle you body, nurture your soul, & inspire your creative spirit. 

The sessions are Wednesday November 4th @ 6-7:30 PM & Wednesday November 11th @ 11 AM - 12:30 PM.  Registration is required as space is limited - to register click here. Please bring a yoga mat & wear comfortable loose clothing.

Detangled runs until November 13, 2015.  Gallery hours are Tuesday - Saturday 11 AM - 5 PM.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015


Last week in the studio.  Day 1 of this painting using my favorite colors: cadmiums.  
Acrylic on panel 16" x 20".

Day 2 - getting outside my "color zone."

Finished.  A keeper to remind myself to really play the colors.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015


If color is power discover your color strength on Saturday, October 17th, 2015, in an expressive color workshop at Mother Brook Arts in Dedham, MA.  This daylong workshop runs from 10 AM - 5 PM (with a break for lunch) offering plenty of time to experiment and learn about the dynamics of color.

Here is the class description:

Learn the properties and personalities of colors to make your paintings more luminous and vibrant.  As Vassily Kandinsky said, “Color is a power, which directly influences the soul.”  Color is the dominating element of strong paintings. In this workshop we will learn the language of color and color relationships through exercise, demos and examining the master artists’ of the past and contemporary artists’ paintings to further enhance your color knowledge.  Martha creates a supportive art-filled environment to assist each student in deepening his or her expressive voice.   Watermedia.  All levels.

Make your paintings more dynamic.  Find you signature palette and create a personal statement of your expressive voice.  The exploration starts on Saturday, October 17th in a fun and supportive painting environment.  Hope you can join me in this journey!

To register and for the supply list please click here

Saturday, September 26, 2015


Shift # 10
mixed media/paper
30" x 22" 2011

Where did that popular saying,  "We are not in Kansas anymore," come from?  I know I have used it over the years when finding myself in an unfamiliar places.  Thinking it is from the  Wizard of Oz, I googled it to be sure.  And, yes, Dorothy said to Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore."

Shift # 24
mixed media/paper
30" x 22" 2012

I am happy to report that these 3 paintings are not in unfamiliar territory but now hanging together in a corporate collection in Kansas.  The paintings are from my Slip series created from 2011-2013 and are mixed media on 300 lb CP paper.  Once again I am very grateful to Larry Powers and his staff at Powers Gallery for their wonderful support and for introducing my work to another client.

Intimate II
mixed media/paper
30" x 22"  2011

Powers Gallery now represents my work on paper including my Slp series, Journeys series and new works created this year.  If interested in seeing more of my paintings you can contact the gallery at 978-263-5105 or visit them at 144 Great Road in Acton, MA.  

Saturday, September 19, 2015


Shift #19

Shift # 19 now has a new home with thanks to Powers Gallery of Acton, MA.  Powers Gallery now represents my works on paper since June of this year.  This painting is from my Slip series and one of my favorites. The medium is watercolor and India ink and it measures 30" x 22", unframed, on 300 lb CP paper.  I am very excited to have this welcome into a new home and grateful for Powers Gallery for making it happen.   

Thursday, August 20, 2015


Only around birthday time or Christmas wrap presents may arrive via the mail.  The other day a rough looking packing box was on my doorstep.  The return address had the ISAP listed - The International Society of Acrylic Painters.  I was expecting an envelope.

It is always a treat to get a present!  Opening it up revealed even more boxes.  This is my award for my painting Circling Below I in the 18th Annual ISAP Open International Exhibition currently on view in Paso Robles, CA.  

The real treat is receiving 27 - 2 oz tubes of various colors of M Graham & Co acrylics!  My painting in the show only had 3 acrylic colors plus black Indian ink.  With this bonanza I am excited to play with all these rich colors.  Many thanks to the juror and to M Graham & Company for their generous award!

Friday, August 14, 2015


Small is good!  On Wednesday morning my car was loaded with the paintings for my Wild Beauty show at Gallery 53 on Rocky Neck in Gloucester.  It was sweet to be able to carry all the work into the gallery in one trip.  Tomorrow night is a reception - please join me for a cool drink, tasty treats and some new paintings.  The festivities start at 6 PM until 8.

The exhibit runs until Tuesday, September 1st.  Gallery hours are 10 AM to 6 PM - 7 days a week.  The gallery is on 53 Rocky Neck Ave.   This show is part of the gallery's Summer Artists Series and features 7 invited New England artists to exhibit throughout the summer season.

I have 10 paintings currently on view, all oil on panel.  This is an ongoing series painted plein air.  Nature challenges me to interpret its energy.  I paint that impression of its wild beauty. 

Hope you can stop in!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015


Here is a screen shot of the postcard for our upcoming three person show Detangled with Wendy Young and Joseph Fontinha that will take place late October at the Katherine Schultz Gallery in Cambridge.  Save the date: Friday, October 30 for the artists' reception from 7-9 PM.  The show opens on Tuesday, October 27th and runs until November 14, 2015.

Also please join me and Katie Kelley, certified yoga teachers, RYT-200, as we lead two 90 minute Detangle Yourself yoga classes in the gallery.  The dates are: Wednesday November 4th from 6 - 7:30 PM and Wednesday, November 11 from 11 - 12:30 PM.  These classes will calm, inspire and strengthen your body, mind and spirit!

Sunday, August 9, 2015


Before I left for Nova Scotia I received my 6 (raw) birch panels in an "awesome" new size: 36" x 36".  Just had to use that word - awesome.  As these, at first, seem super sized, but I am quickly getting acclimated.  

To get them ready I applied a layer of gesso then sanded and another layer of gesso/sanding.  My goal was to do 6 layers but I think 4 coats will suffice. Prepping them is a lot of work.

Today one panel made a trip to the studio where I borrow my studio mate Wendy Young's easel just to try it out for size.  It is a very nice easel! Anyway 36 inches square offers a lot of smooth white surface to play with... I can't wait! 

Saturday, August 8, 2015


I was away for 10 days attending my niece's wedding in Nova Scotia.  Of course the drive to and back took several days of this excursion.  Still it was fun to get away to a stunning landscape and temperamental weather.  And better yet to witness this wonderful celebration of two amazing young people and be with my family.

Wednesday I was back at the studio.  Everyday since has yielded a new painting but still not reflecting any flow or inspiring direction.

Yesterday  I reworked a failed watercolor that I had hosed down.  This can be liberating when working with watercolor.  Luckily it is on 300 lb paper so it can take the abuse.

The painting went through many transitions.  (And please note these photos are really for reference only as I like to look at my painting on my computer when I get home from the studio)

Whether or not it is finally resolved I am content that I had got the painting to this point.  It proved challenging through out the day.  But just painting each day has helped me let go of the anxiety of being away for so long.  And my direction.... soon to be revealed if I keep showing up.  So for now back to the studio!

Thursday, August 6, 2015


Wild Beauty 
new paintings by Martha Wakefield
Gallery 53
53 Rocky Neck Ave., Gloucester, MA
Opens Wednesday 8/12 - Tuesday 9/1, 2015

Opening Reception: Saturday, August 15,  6-8 pm

Wild Beauty is the title of my upcoming Summer Artist Series show at Gallery 53 on Rocky Neck in Gloucester. The show opens on Wednesday, August 12 and closes on Tuesday, September 1.   Join me and enjoy libations and light refreshments at the artist reception on Saturday, August 15 from 6-8 pm.

"Nature is a constant teacher because it is ever changing: the tide flowing, the clouds passing over the sun, the wind shifting the branches," says Wakefield. "The wildness of the place speaks to me.  I strive to capture the importance of this world, mysterious, ancient yet reborn constantly."

Nature challenges Wakefield to interpret its energy. Working with the tools of a graphic language she constructs a personal portrayal, instead of a literal depiction, of her emotional connection to this wild beauty.  She paints the impression that remains a memory for her.

Born in Maine, Wakefield studied fashion design at the University of Vermont and the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York.  After a successful career in New York City’s fashion industry, she moved to the Boston area and continued to consult to the fashion world. This business provided opportunities to return to her avocation in art before becoming fully committed to painting in 2007.
Wakefield has studied with Wolf Kahn, Jon Imber and Skip Lawrence.  Each of these artists have inspired her color perception and composition.  She also cites the Bay Area Figurative painters as important influencers especially Richard Diebenkorn for his abstraction of the landscape and luminous surfaces, Elmer Bischoff for his sophisticated palette and Nathan Oliveira for his emotional imagery and mark-making.
Wakefield is represented by Powers Gallery of Acton, Massachusetts. Her paintings have been featured in Wild Apples: A Journal of Nature, Art and Inquiry; on the book cover of Shadow and Light, A Literary Anthology on Memory; and The Palette Magazine. She is a signature member of the International Society of Acrylic Painters, The Rhode Island Watercolor Society and is a juried member of the Cambridge Art Association of Massachusetts. A staff writer for The Palette Magazine she writes about technique and professional artists.  She also teaches art workshops in the Boston area.  Wakefield’s paintings have won many awards and are in private and corporate collections in United States and Canada. She is a member of the Rocky Neck Art Colony and a past member of Gallery 53 (formerly the Rocky Neck Gallery).

Gallery 53 on Rocky Neck is a juried co-operative gallery located in a historic 19th century building, which features an original and distinctive collection of fine arts by Rocky Neck Art Colony members. Previously known as the Rocky Neck Gallery, the collective showcases work by invited New England artists in seven Summer Artist Series shows throughout the season. Gallery 53 is open daily from 10 AM -  6 PM from May 22 until October 13. See for a full schedule of gallery events. 

The Rocky Neck Art Colony, a 501(C)3 non-profit organization, nurtures excellence in the arts through exhibitions, workshops, residencies and vibrant cultural events for its members and the public.  Today Rocky Neck continues to attract artists and art lovers to a thriving creative community. For up-to-date information, visits

Wednesday, August 5, 2015


Circling Below I
acrylic/india ink on Yupo
9" x 12"

Circling Below I has just been awarded the M Graham and Company award at the 18th Annual ISAP International Open Exhibition in Paso Robles, CA. This award comes with a added bonus of cash to buy art materials from M Graham and Co.   As an artist it is always rewarding to get a gift of art supplies one can chose.  And since I am starting on a new series this award could not come at a better time.  I am a big fan of their high quality oils and I am looking forward to trying out their line of acrylic paints now.

I am grateful to the juror Myrna Wacknov for inviting my painting to be part of this fine exhibit and to the M Graham and Co for sponsoring such a generous award! 

Tuesday, July 21, 2015


This past Saturday I gave a 7 hour workshop on the graphic language of painting at Mother Brook Arts in Dedham, MA.  I was honored to have 6 talented artists  in the class.  We explored shape, line and color through exercises and viewing many artists' work.  One thing I have learned is that artists are hungry to play with color.  So this October I will teach another workshop there just exploring color expressively.  The class will be held on Saturday, October 17, 2015, from 10 AM to 5 PM.  Stay tuned as I still have to write up the class description for this session

Another thing I have learned and I share with all my students is the first rule of working with color.  Please get the paint out of the tube or jar and put it on paper.  What color is it really?  So today while waiting for gesso to dry I am doing just that.  I just received some new colors in acrylic from Matisse and Soho brands (Jerry's Artarama) along with some core colors from Cheap Joe's American Journey acrylics.  I can't wait to play with these new colors.  And my library of color references grows as every time I get a new tube of paint (what can be more exciting?)  - a dab is put on paper first and labeled: brand & color name.  So what color is it really in your paint tubes?  Have fun exploring!

Saturday, July 4, 2015


I just sent out an email to prospective students for an upcoming painting workshop I will be giving Saturday, July 18th, at Mother Brook Arts in Dedham, MA.  For this workshop we have extended the hours to give students more time to paint.  Having uninterrupted time to paint is sacred time for any artist.

With the email I included some images of how my work has transition over the years with the house or building as a subject.  Here are the three examples




If interested,  the workshop will be from 10 AM until 5 PM with an hour break for lunch. 

Here is a description of the class:

Saturday, July 18, 2015 - 10:00am to 5:00pm
Explore exciting ways to create paintings that are uniquely yours. In this  workshop we will experiment with new ways to work with the graphic language, along with discovering the benefits of working outside your comfort zone. Through painting exercises, demos and looking at master artists’ oeuvre, you will learn new techniques to continue your art practice outside the classroom. Martha creates a supportive art-filled environment to assist each student in deepening his or her expressive voice. Watermedia. All levels.
We have a lot of fun here and the exchange of ideas is truly inspiring.  I hope you can join us!

To register click here

Thursday, July 2, 2015


These are the 4 paintings I did at the Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay Harbor in May (seems so long ago).   A must place to visit!  All are small: 10 x 10 or 12 x 12 inches oil on panel.  The first 2 were painted on Friday, May 19th,  where I was hidden away in a little nook of the pathway.  (please see yesterday's blog)

These 2 below were painted on Saturday.  It was a much cooler day and down by the pond was a sweet spot.  

Then I moved into the woods for this one!

All of these will soon be on my website under Wild Beauty.  And these along with other paintings will be on exhibit in Gloucester, MA for my solo show at Gallery 53 (formerly Rocky Neck Gallery)  from August 12 - Sept 1, 2015.  More details on that show to come.  

Wednesday, July 1, 2015


At the end of May I went up to Boothbay Harbor, Maine, for a few days to paint at the Botanical Gardens there.  It is the weekend the gardens invite artists (free admission) to come paint on their grounds.  This place is exceptional and a must see as the gardens, pathways and views are quite spectacular.

Plus having a beautiful place to paint on two gorgeous Maine days was a real treat.  The first day I found a little nook to hide away from the growing crowds visiting and paint the woods where bright colors were just emerging after a cold spring (and endless winter).

So I love painting outdoors on fair weather days and especially love painting Maine whether here (now a new favorite spot), Pemaquid or Stonington.  I continue to abstract the natural world as I see it.

The first day out though proved quite a challenge.  My jar of medium would not open, I forgot bug spray along with other essentials and setting up took longer than I planned.  But it was a good warm up for the 2nd day outing where I had the chance to paint with artist Linda Packard (there giving a sold-out 2 day workshop) and her sweet assistant Chelsea.

Chelsea makes oversized paint clothes look hip!

I will post some paintings tomorrow from my 2 days there.  Do add this garden to your list of must visit!