Martha Wade, sensual lush paintings of young boys

Martha Wade is both a painter and a muralist. After owning and operating her own mural business for nearly 20 years, she has recently discovered the joy and challenge of creating her own paintings, where she can explore a more personal and interior expression. Her background and training in theatre are evident in all her work. She also works professionally as a graphic designer.

What I love most about painting, and what I find most desperately frustrating about it are one and the same. It is the unpredictable process of exploration, of trying to allow something unexpected to find its way through the weight of all my set ideas and expectations. When I’m unable to sidestep my impulse to control the outcome of a piece, I’m inevitably left with an image that is flat and dead on the canvas. When I am able to listen and respond more carefully, the work can sometimes take on a surprising and energetic life of its own.

In my work right now, I’m most drawn to the figure. I am fascinated by how exquisitely attuned we are to our own kind, to the meaning that we can draw from the slightest nuance of gesture and movement and expression in one other. My goal is to find a way to access this powerful visual language in my paintings, so that a piece takes on its own quality of mood, of ambiguity, of feeling. I’m seeking my own personal, contemporary idiom in grappling with a form that has entranced painters since before the Renaissance.

Martha Wade
Feb 15, 2014

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