Martha J Dodd Mural Artist:
Martha Dodd is a mural artist in the Southwest Florida area. Her work can be found in homes and businesses all over South Florida, and has worked with some of the best interior designers in the business. Her work has been published many times in various magazines such as Florida Design, Naples Illustrated, Gulf Shore Magazine, and the N Magazine.Martha spent 6 weeks in Europe in 2014 studying art in the many museums and palaces there.
Originally from Ohio, Martha is the daughter of an artist and a physician. To this day, Martha still finds both sides of her brain battling for superiority, but most days they work well together. As a child, Martha was surrounded by an impressive art library supplied by her mother, including large volumes of works by Leonardo Da Vinci and Michelangelo. Most impressive to her were the enormous murals created by these masters. She loved to draw, and took every art class that was available to her during the school year, and even some summer courses at the College of Wooster, Ohio. An avid horse lover, she attended the Agricultural Technical Institute majoring in Horse Management for a year, then transferred to Ohio State University where she earned her BS in Animal Science in 1983. She originally intended to become a veterinarian, but instead became a physical therapist for race horses, working for the Bill Haughton Stable in New York, New Jersey, Kentucky and Florida for 5 years.
While working at the track, Martha found time to draw the horses around her from life, and it was not long before coworkers and horse owners were commissioning her to do portraits of their horses. She had the benefit of visiting the art museums in New York City, and meeting the fine equine artist, William Orr, who shared some tips on painting with her.
Bill Haughton was killed in a harness racing accident in the summer of 1986, and Martha decided not long after that to pursue another career. She found a job working for an art studio in Florida, where she began painting full time. She went on her own 5 years later.
Martha has found inspiration all around her in the Southwest Florida area where she lives, and has discovered that she could not only paint horses, but humans, birds and fish as well. She discovered a huge demand for murals, to her delight, and that has been the mainstay of her work for many years. She loves painting portraits, and is focusing her energies on becoming a noted portrait artist. She is now a member of the Portrait and Figure Painters Society of SW Florida, and continues her studies through their avenues.
ARTIST STATEMENT: I guess because of my background, and my love of the history of art, I recognize the importance of art in the home to create a mood, and enhance the beauty of the surroundings. It not only has a role of adding interest, but it must live in harmony with its surroundings, and the people who live there. There are naturally subjects that I gravitate toward, and my scientific schooling makes me tend to be very representational as an artist. I love challenges, and I love to have fun with my art as well. It has come to define me as a person – I can’t imagine life without it.