Off The Wall Magazine Q&A with Martha Burkert



Maine. In 1994, my husband, three boys, and I moved to Yarmouth due to a job change. The only rental we could find was on Cousins Island. We fell in love with the area and bought a home. We lived there for ten years, until another job change took us to Dallas. I worked as a stylist for home furnishings catalogs for years and returned to Maine often for styling work. 

Inspiration. Japanese prints, old botanical prints, screen prints from the 1960s, Scandinavian design, plant nurseries, gardening, handmade ceramics, and collages, to name a few.

Medium. I paint larger works in oil, and smaller works on paper with liquid acrylics, permanent inks, and oil pastel sticks. 

Artist Hero. I have been influenced by the work of Alfred Chadbourn. I consider him Maine’s first modern colorist.

Studio. I sketch in Maine during the summer and fall and turn those sketches into bigger works back in my studio in Dallas. My studio is a stand-alone building next to my house. Our home consists of three small buildings, including a studio and garage, that all relate to each other around a central outdoor space. I love working in the studio with its north-facing window and resulting natural light.

Where in Maine. We’ve returned to a cottage on Cousins Island in Yarmouth every summer since 2009. I have a small studio there. Since I retired from photo styling about eight years ago, I now paint full-time. The landscape of Maine is the jumping-off point for my work. I push and pull color around natural forms, trying to find combinations that feel right. The changing scenery of tidal water surrounds me out my front window. And because it’s really dark on the island at night, the stars are magnificent. 

Fun Fact. Although I’m not a professional ceramic artist, I am pretty skilled on the potter’s wheel.

Education. I have a BA in English from Tulane University in New Orleans, and took classes at the Maine College of Art in Portland and the University of North Texas in Denton. 





Learn more about this artist:


Available artwork


Radio Maine podcast interview


Art Matters blog article

Off The Wallmagazine Q&A


Micro-documentary film