Marthann MASTERson

Marthann Masterson uses her paintings to chronicle her life story, her exploration and transcendence -- whether she is creating a representational piece or an abstract dialogue of light, color and space. The artist says her path has been guided by fate. Her creative expression first came in the form of culinary arts. She built a successful career in catering to dignitaries, royalty and even rock stars. But it was when she was asked to run the cafe in the Museum of Fine Arts Houston that her attention was drawn to fine art. Masterson said the switch came naturally, since her cooking focused on presentation. Line, color and shape all came into play , just as they would when she later approached a blank canvas. She began painting on a trip to Canada. Armed with simple elements, brushes and paint she sat on the dock and created painting after painting of the breathtakingly beautiful landscape that surrounded her. Her work was soon offered for sale and sell they did. On her return to Houston she decided to extend her knowledge of the arts and go back to school. Marthann Masterson received formal instruction in painting at the Glassell School of Art, Museum of Fine Arts Houston. She also attended the University of Houston, where she studied marketing and public relations. Today, Masterson, a third generation Houstonian, can be found in her studio at Sawyer Yards where she has painted for many years. She counts Mark Rothko and Jackson Pollock as her influences – and strives to obtain a visual harmony similar to theirs -- derived from the juxtaposition of precision and randomness. Both artists have inspired her to explore vibrancy and freedom in her work. Masterson’s paintings have been recognized for their passion, precision and elegance. Her recent exhibitions include a group, juried show at the Woman’s New York Caucus of the Art and solo exhibits with Octavia Art Gallery and the Winter Street Studio Gallery, both in Houston. Her piece, “On the Outside” inspired a ballet by the Sarasota Ballet in Florida. The painting won an international competition sponsored through the nonprofit organization Embracing Our Differences and was seen by over 40,000 people. Masterson explains that, for her, art is a visual language, meant to awaken interest and inspire an audience. She uses art to share her emotions, sometimes hidden deeply beneath the surface, and hopes others will find inspiration in her work.