Virtual Studio Tour 2020

Marthe McGrath


Acrylic Painting

Marthe McGrath.jpg

My art training began in childhood. My grandfather was a curator at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. I spent countless hours there with him as he told me stories of each artist and how he or she created the masterpiece we were viewing. My love of Titian endures to this day based on his teaching. A lot of classes followed, mostly at the Corcoran, as my family felt I had the “gene” to be great. Life and a family of my own put a hold on that plan.

As a career I worked with artists and designers, creating custom area rugs for clients, manufactured around the world. In recent years I have scaled back my long time career and have pursued my life long love of art, now not only as a collector but as an active artist. I’m drawn to bright colors and bold compositions. I use mostly acrylic paint but also inks, oil pastels, charcoal, graphite, and anything else I come across. Occasionally I introduce collage, generally using papers I have created myself. I paint with brushes, knives, my fingers, chopsticks, whatever. I’m not constrained by any rules in spite of my classical background. Lately I’ve been experimenting with oil and cold wax. My work is an intuitive and joyful process. Sometimes I start with an idea, image or sketches, usually when a series is planned.  Sometimes my starts are purely color driven.

Often I draw exuberantly on the canvas. My process is not static. I am constantly experimenting and learning.

I’ve traveled to many exotic places—Istanbul, Delhi, Hong Kong, Marrakesh, Havana—as well as throughout Europe and the United States. The cultures, colors, sounds, bustle, music, landscapes—they all enter my compositions in abstractions. For me, painting is transformative. It mesmerizes me, creating an energy I like to think shows in my work.

Image Gallery

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