January 2023 Edition

Artist Focus

Artist Focus: Martha Pettigrew

A closer look at the artwork of Martha Pettigrew

As a lifelong Nebraskan, Martha Pettigrew’s interest in rural architecture began in early childhood when family entertainment was an evening drive in the country.White Horse, Red Barn, oil, 24 x 36"

“My dad would point out an old corn crib, the occasional round barn or the block-and-tack apparatus used to raise loose hay up into the gaping loft of a huge, red, gambrel-roofed structure,” says Martha. The old barns, she explains, were hand-built using mortise-and-tenon joints, pegged into place—the distinct styles of architecture originating from different parts of Europe. These utilitarian structures, made to shelter animals, equipment and hay, were a real source of pride to the farming families. “My paintings emphasize my own interpretation of color, shape and shadow,” she adds.Barn East of Town, oil, 36 x 30"

Erikson Barn, oil, 16 x 20"

Martha paints in what she refers to as a minimalist/precisionist style since her college days. “Each painting teaches me something about color juxtaposition,” she says. “The possibilities of composition and color are fascinating and endless.” —

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