I was photographing models for reference material. This young woman had long, blond hair that fell into her face, and I loved the elegance of her posture as she swept it out of her face. Her serene expression and striking pose strongly reminded me of John Singer Sargent's beautiful (and scandalous at the time) portrait of Madame X. This is my contemporary homage to that classic piece.

I started this piece by painting through a fiberglass window screen, removed the screen, and painted back over the pixelated texture it left. Later I dripped very thin oil paint over the piece, and selectively painted over that as well. The painting is on canvas stretched over wood panel, and the edges are painted a dark reddish brown. The piece is wired and ready to hang.

- Martha Wade

Homage to Madame X

Oil painting on stretched canvas

Signed on front

30" h x 24" w x 1.5" d
7 lbs. 0 oz.



Martha Wade
Sebastopol, California

Getting to Know Martha

Martha Wade is both a painter and a muralist. After owning and operating a mural business for nearly 20 years, she has 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 is evident in all her work. “I’m most drawn to the figure,” Martha says. “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.”