Category Archives: Martha Widmann

Martha Widmann: Studio Tour Ten Artist

“I have long been curious about the place where images come from, how they’re created and their affect on us. For example, the first time I saw Van Gogh’s Starry Night at the Museum of Modern Art, it brought me to tears. It is a beautiful painting. If you have seen it, you know it carries a profound energy. So how is it that it still emanates this energy a century later?

It is this curiosity that has me as attentive to the process of painting as to the image itself. But it begins with the image, usually appearing complete and with a title. Prepping the canvas becomes the invitation for the image to be here and I journal the process of the painting on the back of the canvas. It is the act of painting where I find joy. It is a quiet place where the focus is with the instinct that directs my eye, my hand, the colors I choose, the size of the brush I use, how much paint is on it and the pressure I use to apply the paint to the canvas. In these moments, I can lay down the thinnest layer of color that then builds upon the previous layers to give volume to the image.

The surface of the final image needs to be as beautiful and integral to the piece as the very first layer of paint on the canvas. The balance is always between the personal and the non-personal, to give up what I originally saw and be open to the changes the process requires. It is in this meditative space where the image comes into its own being. It is also the place where the voice that says I am not a painter is silent.”

[images © Martha Widmann]

The Paintings of Martha Widmann

The iconic paintings of Martha Widmann, who is both a painter and graphic designer from Three Rivers, will be shown at the Porterville College Art Gallery from October 6-28. The reception will be Thursday, October 7, from 5-7 pm.

Widmann has exhibited her paintings for the last decade through the Three Rivers Artists’ Studio Tour. In 2006, she was the featured artist of the tour. She has also exhibited regionally at Arts Visalia and in several shows in Los Angeles.

Widmann’s very real and often dreamlike images stay in the mind once seen. In talking about her work, Widmann says, “I have long been curious about the place where images come from, how they’re created and their affect upon us. It’s this curiosity that has me as attentive to the process of painting as to the image itself”. She adds, “Before I paint, I always see an image, and often complete with words that I take to be a title. When I am preparing the canvas now, I know it as my way of inviting the image to come and be here. And it has become important to me that even the surface of the final piece be as beautiful and integral to the image, as the very first layer of paint I put on the canvas”.

Gallery hours are Monday through Thursday from 12 to 2 pm and 5 to 7 pm.
100 E. College Ave, Porterville, CA 93257
Google Map and Porterville College Map, gallery is behind the fine arts building.

All images ©2010 Martha Widmann

Three Rivers Artists Blog STUDIO TOUR 9

Jana Botkin:
Day One
(1st time open on Friday)
Day Two (talking with visitors about China, drawing lessons, and old car in a field)
Day Three (thanks for coming…)

Jana’s studio before visitors arrived.


Martha Widmann:
Studio Tour 9 (“I really enjoyed talking with people who had a visible response to the images and which put us right into conversations regarding feelings and perspectives about our lives…”)

Martha’s outdoor gallery lining the entrance to studio.


Nikki Crain:
Studio Tour Reflections
(“I enjoyed meeting new art lovers and visiting with old friends.”)

Math and art intersect with Nikki’s Fibonacci towels.

Meeting the Studio Tour Artists: Martha Widmann

Martha Widmann
acrylic, oil, graphic design


“The nature of my work is hopefully a honest expression of my internal process as a human being. It isn’t easy for me to come to paint altho when I am painting, I am completely at home there. I really try to honor what shows up and how it shows up an I trust the universe perhaps more than I do myself. Once I can disarm the fear of not being good enough, I settle into the process and am at peace with what I discover. Maybe it is therapy, maybe not, but I know I am changed by the process of painting and with each painting.

Living in Three Rivers has made the process a happier one. The images that come have been less tortured, the space is more conducive for me and the energy here kinder and more compassionate. In LA it was harder for me and the images more raw emotionally, but cathartic none the less.

Mostly have shown my work in the Three Rivers Studio Tour. Also have shown with two other women at the Court House Gallery in Exeter. It causes some angst as I don’t paint fast and I am not prolific so I looked at that as a great experience and learned a great deal from it.

Mainly my goal now is to address consistency and concentrate on painting regularly. To start to see what comes from that and where it leads me.

I went to SUNY Geneseo in upstate NY. I went primarily because they had the largest collection of bavarian limestone for use in lithography/printmaking, which was the direction I wanted to go with my art … to be a printmaker.

Other influences have been – As a child growing up I was profoundly moved by Georgia O’Keeffe. not just by her paintings but how she lived her life. I felt a kinship to her emotionally and life perspective. I felt as if there was someone out there who understood how I saw the world around me but I always struggled with being able to express myself…I could relate but couldn’t see my own “self” to express.

I think moving to Three Rivers put me back in touch with nature so I could start to see my self better – I started to ride horses and that full body way of communication opened me up and I started to feel like I did when I was a little girl- imagining and playing in what I was imagining. The horse then started to show up in my paintings and I’ve been working with these images for the last six years. I have several artist friends who paint full time that I truly admire and see their process which is a beautiful gift for me…Daniel Nevins is one and Jim Entz is another.

I vacillate between feeling like an artist and then not…and when I am working graphically, all I tend to think about is how much I want to be painting. and once I begin to paint again, I feel like a painter. I am grateful for that.”

How to get Studio Tour tickets…earlybird price until March 5.

Artists in Three Rivers on the blogging trail…

We live in a small town and our lives are deeply affected by our surroundings.  As artists we are inspired to interpret our lives and worlds with paint and color and design on canvas and film.

Blogging has entered into our lives as a way of telling our “artists’ stories” and giving others a glimpse into our creative process.

Here are three “windows” into what’s up with some Three Rivers artists via their recent blog posts.


Aranga Firstman



OF MY EXISTENCE seems to be a most fitting title for the latest painting on my easel…When I paint, I prefer either a square or circular format because it more easily draws me inside the painting.  Once inside, the painting paints itself. It chooses the colors and the forms. I have no idea of the whys and whats until the painting finishes.  Painting makes me feel peaceful, excited and in awe of the universe.

Aranga is the designer of the Arts Alliance website,
She has also joined the Arts Alliance Board of Directors.
Visit her website gallery at


Eddie McArthur



FLOW is a combination of watercolor, acrylic and pastel on watercolor paper.  I love it when a painting takes on a mind of its own and goes somewhere I hadn’t planned!  This one was going to be much more realistic as a river scene. I even planned a raft of people shooting the rapids.  But, when it got going, the painting Gods took over and the whole thing went a different direction.  I really like playing with layering different media together.

Visit Eddie’s gallery shop on 1000 Markets.
She is the new President of the Three Rivers Arts Alliance.


Martha Widmann



I have recently returned from riding the 6th leg — Darby to Big Hole National Monument, Montana — of the Chief Joseph Trail Ride.  The Chief Joe is a consecutive 13 year ride [100 miles each year for a total of 1300 miles] that retraces the route of the Nez Perce flight from the US calvary in the late 1800’s and is sponsored by the Appaloosa Horse Association.  It originates in Joseph, Oregon and ends in Bear Paw Meadow, Montana just 40 miles shy of the Canadian border.

Martha works professionally as a graphic designer, integrating painting on canvas into her creative life.


Are you an artist ready to dip your toes into the blogging stream, but need some help? Ask Elsah Cort for kind help 561-4671.