Martha Rea Baker grew up in Clinton, MS and attended the University of Mississippi before graduating from UC Santa Barbara with a BA in English Literature in 1965. Pursuing her lifelong love of art, Baker studied painting and printmaking at the University of Dallas and Collin College in Plano, TX as well as art foreign studies in Greece, Italy, Russia, France, the Czech Republic and Spain. She now resides in Santa Fe, NM where she paints in a light filled studio with views of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.
Martha Rea Baker is a signature member of the Mississippi Watercolor Society and The Southwestern Watercolor Society. Her work has been included in over 85 invitational and group exhibitions, including Watercolors Without Boundaries in Milan, Italy in 2001.
Baker works primarily in acrylic and encaustic (melted beeswax, fused with heat).
My paintings begin with an idea or feeling. It could be a memory of a time and place, music, poetry or observations of nature. I usually have a color tone in mind, one that conveys the mood of the original idea. However once I start to paint, I don’t force the issue. I begin with automatic drawing in charcoal and oil pastel followed by spontaneous layers of color, remaining in this “non-thinking” state as long as possible. I allow the painting to have a life of its own, each line, brushstroke and layer informing the next. I hope to achieve a bit of mystery in my work, inviting the viewer to bring his personal experience to the painting.