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!