I painted this piece for a solo show entitled Conceal/Reveal. I came across an image of a friend I had taken when I was trying to figure out some setting on my camera, and I had her waving her hands so that I could see if they would blur when I took the shot. The photo was radically underexposed, but when I looked closely, I could see her enigmatic expression, a little sad, a little worn. The title of the piece, Ward, is important in this piece. It has two meanings which I felt were appropriate to this piece: In fencing, a ward is a defensive motion or posture, while its archaic meaning is to guard, or protect. I added the feather because I'm fascinated by crows and all the symbolic baggage they carry with them. The painting was initially painted through a window screen, then extensively painted over. I also used a squeegee to move paint around. The edges of the gallery wrapped canvas are painted warm brown. It comes ready to hang. 

- Martha Wade


Oil painting on stretched linen

Signed on front

40" h x 48" w x 1.5" d
13 lbs. 10 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.”