In September 2010, after being evacuated for two weeks as the Fourmile Canyon Fire blazed through her neighborhood, Martha drove home. When she turned the corner a quarter of a mile from her driveway, the scenery opened into a panoramic moonscape of black and gray. In place of the forest, once thick and green, the wildfire left blackened needleless trees standing on a charred barren earth. The underbrush of the woodland had burned away giving the landscape an eerily clean look. Chimneys marked the sites where houses once stood, houses that now were nothing but ash. Martha’s home was spared, but many of her friends lost everything they owned.
Standing on the hillside that day overlooking her ravaged neighborhood, Martha had a sudden realization that burned away the smoky illusion of life and revealed a truth: Nature’s indifference and her power to destroy. That life on earth lasts only for a moment. Death and destruction can come at any time regardless of how much we fend against it. For a poignant second, it was enough to be alive, to love and be loved. “Then and there,” Martha said, “I promised myself I would spend the rest of my days with those I love and doing what I enjoy the most." â€¨â€¨
So she put down her pen, a constant companion for the past ten years, and picked-up a paintbrush. For decades, she’s dabbled in oils and found the practice meditative. After the Fourmile Canyon Fire, Martha made art-making a career. â€¨â€¨
As a self-taught artist who wanted to improve her skills, she enrolled in workshops and classes, studying under the tutelage of some of Colorado's most talented artists:
Martha also holds a Ph.D.
in Mythological Studies
from Pacifica Graduate Institute