Artist
Martha McCowin Holladay, Utah

Utah-based artist Martha McCowin creates mixed-media artwork that conveys complex emotional experiences through a visual form. She works in an abstract style and includes many layers and materials. Martha’s work–like life–is a combination of the deliberate and the unintentional. She creates each piece intuitively and layer by layer. Martha observes the interactions of her materials on the surface before she begins her next layer. In addition to her abstract art, Martha works in graphic design, portrait painting, and mural painting.

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    About The Artist

    Utah-based artist Martha McCowin creates mixed-media artwork that conveys complex emotional experiences through a visual form. She works in an abstract style and includes many layers and materials. Martha’s work–like life–is a combination of the deliberate and the unintentional. She creates each piece intuitively and layer by layer. Martha observes the interactions of her materials on the surface before she begins her next layer. In addition to her abstract art, Martha works in graphic design, portrait painting, and mural painting.

    Artist Statement

    For me, art and design have always played integral roles. In my other life as a graphic designer, portrait artist and muralist, the work is necessarily outcome driven. In my personal creative practice however, I'm drawn to an exploration purely of process. I seek to access a place of unknowing, giving visual form to an emotional experience beyond words.  

    During the making, the work transforms many times from one state to another: from considered processes to those more extemporaneous and instinctive, and often back again. Ultimately, each piece is an exploration of the space between the deliberate and the unintentional. Layers are applied and alternately buried and unearthed, in a way mirroring the processes at work in the human soul.

    By exploring a variety of media and responding intuitively as each layer reacts with those before it, I coax out effects both subtle and overt in the color, texture and composition of a piece. Oil and cold wax (and sometimes metal leaf, resin, nails and burnt paper) coalesce and interact to yield fortuitous outcomes. Not confining myself to one medium enables me to experiment, explore and evolve – invariably refining my craft.

    T.S. Eliot once said of Dante that "genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood." As such, I endeavor to create work that elicits emotions not immediately recognized or inferred.

    Artist Background

    Albion College
    Bachelor of Fine Arts, 1983

    The Art Institute of Colorado

    Associate of Arts, 1985

    Hear What Collectors Say About Martha's Work

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