Martha Jane Bradford


  • Muscongus Bay, Maine, United States of America



  • I love the ocean. And finally I live in Maine on the edge of Muscongus Bay, a place I have loved since I first came at age 2. Good kayaking put-ins abound, but even more importantly I am now living year round in the scenery that has inspired most of my art. This is the backstory to my resume.

    I started drawing and painting watercolors before I started school. My parents didn’t think art was a good career choice, so I was an English major in college. After college, I went into the editorial side of publishing. Living briefly in New York, I stumbled across art galleries on weekends and had the revelation of my life. All artists weren’t dead!

    In an attempt to get a toe-hold in a publishing company of my choice after moving to Boston, I took a part-time job with them. Four day week-ends? I bought a bunch of acrylics and started painting. Shortly I started showing in little venues. An early feminist, I connected with a group called Women Exhibiting in Boston (W.E.B.) and by chance took a silkscreen workshop with an artist on the North Shore. I have been a printmaker ever since. An amusing aside, the then-reigning Boston art critic, a man naturally, called W.E.B.’s first show “a farrago of femininity.”

    By 1980 I had a studio at the Boston Center for the Arts. During Artweek that year, Meredyth Moses of Clark Gallery stopped by my studio. She held up a 22 x 30” black-and-white landscape and said if I would do five large-scale drawings like it, she would give me a show and would sell every piece. I did, and she did. I was with Clark Gallery for the next 25 years. In 1985 I won a Massachusetts Artist Fellowship. We placed work in museum, corporate, and private collections all over the country. See my resume for those details.

    What characterizes me as an artist? First of all, I would have to say that I love exploring media. I have done, chronologically, graphite, watercolor, acrylic, ink, linoleum cut, silkscreen, lithography, charcoal, oil, acrylic again, pastel, both rubbed and impasto, and etching, both zinc and solarplate. It is because I am so interested in the effect of the medium on the work that I have organized the image part of this web site according to my “genres.”

    In 1992 I found the medium of my life. My husband got a program called Fractal Design Painter as a freebie with one of his chemistry programs and gave it to me. At first I used it just to prototype ideas for paintings, but after I got a Wacom tablet and stylus, I began to really draw with it. It took me till 1998 to gain enough command to produce my first signed and editioned digital drawing, and this has been my main medium ever since.

    Without the digital image-making capacity, I probably wouldn’t have enjoyed the last 8 years of also being a relatively well-known virtual artist, Alizarin Goldflake. First in Second Life and now also on another virtual platform called InWorldz, I make immersive art installations, kinetic art, and virtual copies of my real-life 2-D art. People collect them even.

    Talk about a long, strange trip.