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Work Samples

Cap'n Cool Whip

Cap'n Cool Whip
2018. 22"x 28", Gouache, collage, inks, stencil and gold leaf on paper.

Ginger Cat

ginger cat
12"x 16" 2018. Gouache, pastel, ink and collage on paper. A rapacious cat I know.

Joe Poet

Joe Poet
22"x 28" 2018. Gouache, inks, stencil and gold leaf.

Col. Sanders Exploding

Col. Sanders
Col. Sanders exploding on ten hits of acid 14"x11" Gouache and ink on paper. Collection of Adolf Kowalski.


About Martha

Baltimore City

Martha Gatewood's picture
Sometimes political but often with humor, I work with paper, water based media, wood cuts and oil paint.  I treat recurrent themes influenced by patterns, multiples, and the urban environment. I was selected for a residency at A.I.R. Paducah, where I took rubbings of the city's hardscape elements, mostly manhole lids as non traditional landscapes. This year and last I have  been involved with having stage four lung and brain cancer. I also have a blog called Molly Goatwax. I have been... more


This is a collection of buoyant, mostly happy pieces. Some of them feature poems written in, sometimes presented and sometimes obscured. Portraits and recurrent themes such as the and the chair by the side of the road are considered.

  • Elvis goes Baroque

    Elvis goes Baroque
    Elvis goes Baroque. 32"x32". Oil on linen. The King imagined spotlit in an abstracted, dramatic landscape.
  • Baltimore Oriole

    Baltimore Oriole
    5"x7" Gouache on paper. painting of a bird from a thrift store, retouched, you can discern baseballs as berries and a bat for a perch.
  • The American Brewery

    The American Brewery. 22" X 30" Watercolor with crochet elements. This massive, Gothic hulk before the renovation made me so sad. For an old neighbor who talked to me as I looked at it, this old brewery represented a happier past. His father had delivered barrels of beer in a horse drawn cart. Some of the narrative is painted in. Collection of AK Haygood.
  • Annabelle

    Annabelle goat
    Annabelle. 22" X 30" Watercolor and gold leaf on paper. The pattern behind Annabelle, below, is from a radiator cover. Also featuring the patterns from pegboard and a cake stand. She lived at J-Mar stables in Monkton, MD. It reads: "Annabelle may be tiny, but she's an ornery old goat."
  • Lilies

    The Lilies at the Rawlings Conservatory. 22"x30" gouache and ink on Indian Village paper. The conservatory is a good place to breathe healing plant gasses.
  • Gun Law

    Gun Law
    12"x12" Oil on linen. When a new gun control law is up for legistlation, the gun store gets crowded with people.
  • Cap'n Cool Whip

    Cap'n Cool Whip
    22"x 28" 2018. Gouache, stencil, collage, inks and gold leaf. An escaped toddler was captured wearing nothing but a helmet improvised with an empty Cool Whip tub.
  • Joe Poet

    Joe Poet
    22"x 28 2018. Gouache, stencil, inks, collage and gold leaf on paper. Joe Cardarelli was my poetry instructor at The Maryland Institute. I can still hear his voice. He told us to write love poems while we were young.
  • Thor's Company Casserole

    Thor's Company Casserole. 12"x 12" oil on linen.
  • I Am Not a Crook

    I Am Not a Crook
    22"x 28" 2018. Gouache, stencil, collage on paper. What crimes the Nixon administration may have commited, they pale in comparison to the current situation.

Works on Paper

Mixed media on watercolor paper. Patterns and collage elements including woodcuts. Grates, goats appear as recurrent themes.

  • Minnie Me

    Self Portrait with polka dots
    Minnie Me. 14"x11" Self portrait with polka dots. Gouache and ink on paper.
  • Window Shopping

    Window Shopping
    Window Shopping. 11" 14" gouache, inks, collage on papers. The cat stares fixedly out the window at birds he'd like to catch.
  • Goat in a Boat Spewing Noxious Effluent

    goat boat
    Goat in a Boat spewing noxious effluent, 14x11" Gouache and ink on paper. More material from the impoundment of my last Saab.
  • Agave

    Agave. 22" X 30" Pastel, gesso, ink, collage on paper. This magnificent plant resides in the Rawlings Conservatory.
  • Wrench

    Wrench 14" x 11". Woodcut and lace paper with a slice of cotton kimono, a ticket number, some poetry, collage on paper. More from the violation of the Saab.
  • Food Desert

    Food Desert
    Food Desert. 11"x 16.5" Gouache, ink on paper. I was riding the bus when out the window I saw a sign for a "pizza chicken breakfast". I was instantly hungry for one. What do you do when there are no grocery stores you can access?
  • Sanitary Fish

    fish lid
    Sanitary Sewer 22" X 30" Wax pastels rubbing, gouache on paper. There are manhole lids all over town that say "Sanitary Sewer". The oxymoron astounds me every time. The fish is an impression of a dinner plate.
  • Annabell Impounded

    goat rant
    Annabelle, Impounded. 14" X 11" Woodcut, collage on paper. Items of interest in this piece are the map, docs from the booting of my car and a part of an impression of the fence outside the Maryland Historical Society. There is also a brief rant on the lower right.
  • Fool

    April Fool
    Fool, 14x11" Gouache and ink on paper Is this foolish fellow offering a fish dinner or is he up to something more sinister? In France, the first of April is Fish Day.
  • Brain Storm

    brain storm
    Brain Storm 14" X 11" Woodcut, block print, collage on paper. The block prints and buttons depicts ideas bubbling in the creative process.

Wood Cuts on Collage

The works in this section are wood cuts with collage on paper. Thematically, they mostly represent body parts. The empty chair has been a recurring symbol. It has many meanings, including waiting, loneliness and leadership. My life changed when I was diagnosed with stage four lung and brain cancer in January of 2016. It's been an uncertain adventure.

  • Meeting

    Meeting 8"x10" Woodcuts on collage with gouache and lace. Chairs set up for a community meeting.
  • Bird Brain

    bird brain
    14'X 11" Woodcuts, gouache painted detail on paper. I am represented by a bird contemplating life's choices. Where did I go wrong? I should never have made certain lifestyle choices-wallowing in self blame. My brain looms like a storm cloud.
  • Orchid Gasses

    14"X 11" Woodcut and ink stamps on paper collage. Seeking relief in the company of plants at the conservatory. I also walk around the arboretum in the Japanese therapy of Shinrin-yoku. This translates as forest bathing, I find it elevates my mood and is helpful for my blood pressure. Don't forget to smell the flowers!
  • Brain Blanket

    30"X 22" Above all, I have been seeking emotional support as suggested by the comforter/quilt theme. Besides comfort, to me the quilt also represents history and continuity, strengths to draw on as the world changes. The addition of lace suggests fabric throughout.
  • Chairs from the Side of the Road

    14"11" Woodcuts float in a gassy environment on paper. The chairs are not by the side of the road, but are suspended in uncertainty.
  • Kidney Wash

    14"X11" A mass found on my kidney is contemplated. A woodcut against a doily print and shelter symbols reflects washing and flushing the system.
  • Healing Rays

    22"X 30" My first course of treatment was radiation for tumors in my brain. My molecular journey is reflected on in the piece.The red crayon is for radiation. The blue mandala represents a spiritual quest.
  • Brain Clock

    Brain Clock
    Brain Clock 6.25x6" Papers and hardware on wooden cigar box. With glow in the dark hands, calculating the time.
  • Bacon Brain

    Bacon Brain 14X11" wood cut and painted elements on collage
  • Kidney Wash

    Kidney Wash 14x11" woodcut with lace and stamping, collage on paper They told me there was "a mass" on my kidney. I must drink plenty of fluids.

Works on wood

When you have an idea or a dream, where do you put it? These are boxes "en assemblage" and compositions on boards. They may represent a nostalgic feeling, a memory or a snide comment. They may suggest a narrative, or illustrate a mystery.

  • A call to Arms

    not exactly found objects
    A Call to Arms. 12"x18.5" An alarm box with action figure arms and legs, flattened, punched beer can, game tile, bottle opener, rubbing, the old master key to the Main Building of the Maryland Instititute, College of Art, gold leafed plastic doll, hardware on wood. The beer can reads; "Inside the head of every sleeping man is a banging headache".
  • Empty Nest

    Empty Nest
    12"x 12"Empty Nest. Painted panel, lace, cigar box and collage on wood. Inside the box is plain text; In the dark I lamented Where on earth did the baby go? Summers fly in the blink of a cloudy eye, she grew up and moved away. I gave her a chair, a blanket, some kitchen ware and told her she’d find more chairs by the side of the road.
  • Il Carro

    Il Carro
    Il Carro,12"x 12" Transfer, relief print, cigar box and hardware on wood. This work was created for an invitational cigar box show with the theme of the Tarot. I chose "The Chariot". The background print of antique keys was created by affixing them to a board to create a relief printing block.
  • Il Carro interior

    Il Carro
    12"x12" Interior of Il Carro. Because my Fiat is secretly a rocket.
  • Melon Baller

    Melon Baller
    Melon Baller.12"x12" Painted photo transfer, lace, melon baller, hook and loop fastener, Japanese paper and hardware on wood. It comes with a spare melon baller!
  • Killer Squirrel

    Killer Squirrel
    12"x12". A filtered, painted photo transfer of a sculpture by Virginia Warwick, with stamped brass, hardware and toilet paper with Japanese paper on wood.
  • A Secret Life, interior

    secret life
    A Secret Life, 12"x 12" interior. An apparent pie thief. Who's to blame?
  • I am but a Sock Puppet on the Hand of God

    I am but a Sock Puppet on the Hand of God
    I am but a Sock Puppet on the Hand of God.12"x 12" Painted photo transfer, lace, cigar box, papers and hardware on wood.
  • I am but a Sock Puppet on the Hand of God

    I am but a Sock Puppet on the Hand of God
    I am but a Sock Puppet on the Hand of God.12"x 12" Painted photo transfer, lace, cigar box, papers and hardware on wood. My older daughter Eleanor with an armadillo.

Some More Works

Some patterns, multiples, manhole covers and miscellany. A collection of potted plants is imagined in different interior environments.

  • Manhole lid with Fish

    Fish Lid
    School System 22" X 30" Wax pastel rubbings on paper. In my search for patterns, I find some relief elements less abstract. These fish were rubbed from a restaurant plate. They float over a Sanitary Sewer lid in a suggestion of irony.
  • DPW Lid

    DPW Lid 22" X 30" Gouache and wax pastels on Thai paper. The paper this manhole lid has been rubbed onto has also been convincing as faux asphalt in another project. The piece has been mounted on 300lb. Fabriano paper.
  • Diner Plant

    Diner Plant
    Diner Plant 14" X 11" Woodcut, collage on paper. The swirls in the lace paper and the starburst pattern on the right, which reminds me of a mid-century modern linoleum counter top gives this piece a hipster feel.
  • Plant Sanctuary

    Plant Snctuary 14" X 11" Woodcut, rubbing, collage on paper. This plant lives in peace. The pattern behind the plant is from a ceiling panel while the one it sits on is from a truck step.
  • Cosmo Plant

    Cosmo Plant 14" X 11" Woodcut, lace, collage on paper. This plant hears talking in different languages all day. The lace suggests a household of refinement and detail.
  • Designer Plant

    Designer Plant 14" X 11" Woodcut, collage on paper. This plant lives in a home builder's sales model.
  • Plant Hero

    Plant Hero 14" X 11" Woodcut, collage on paper. Who is your plant hero? I imagine this as a healing plant with magical powers.
  • Plant Math

    Plant Math 14" X 11" Woodcut, gesso, water soluble crayon, ink on paper. This plant lives in a mortgage processor's office. It hears numbers being hissed all day as the processor talks to herself in a whisper.
  • Bioswale with Chair

    Bioswale with Chair 14"x 11" With a wood cut chair and lace, a bioswale is bisected. I found the landscape designer's plans floating in the wind in Druid Hill park.
  • Water Meter

    water meter
    22"x 30"Wax pastels and gouache on paper

Lucky Cats

Woodcuts on collage. The Lucky cat beckons good fortune to your home or business. The different colors have their own traditions, with yellow, or gold pertaining to wealth and green for medicine and education. While recently I have heard the term "Cultural Appropriation", I have also heard a friend counter that with "Source of Inspiration". I found the repetitive nature of this project to be quite meditative and relaxing.

  • lucky cat

    Celestial Lucky Cat 14x11" wood cut on collage. The white patterns on blue paper are rubbings of cut glass tableware.
  • Lucky Cat

    14" X 11" Woodcut, collage on paper. If you look closely at the sepia and white pattern on the right you will see tigers!
  • Lucky Cat

    lucky cat
    Lucky Cat 14x11' wood cut on collage
  • Lucky Cat

    14" X 11" Woodcut, collage on paper. The Japanese influence is felt with a metallic ginko leaf pattern and lace paper.
  • Lucky Cat

    14" X 11" Woodcut, collage on paper. A confluence of floral patterns.
  • Lucky Cat

    14" X 11" Woodcut, collage on paper. Drawn into with pencil and pastels, this Lucky Cat has been selected by Maryland Art Place for the December benefit.
  • Lucky Cat

    14" X 11" Woodcut, watercolor collage on paper. Tiny leaves are embedded in the pale green paper.
  • Lucky Cat

    14" X 11" Woodcut, collage on paper. Pink paper with bunnies.
  • Lucky Cat

    14" X 11" Woodcut, collage on paper. This piece features a print of a block I made with different sizes of buttons.
  • Lucky Cat Westside.jpg

    lucky cat
    Lucky Cat Westside 14x11" wood cut on collage

A.I.R. Studio Paducah

In May 2014 I had the honor of being chosen for a residency at A.I.R. Studio. It was a wonderful opportunity to be involved in an artists' community and have the time and space for my work. My proposal was to create a visual exploration of the grates and grills of Paducah, Kentucky as non traditional landscape elements. Paducah's old buildings remind me of the pressed brick and architectural flourishes we have in Baltimore.

  • Water Valve, Market Square

    Market Square
    Water Valve Lid22"X30" Mixed Media on Paper. This was first rubbed directly onto Thai paper and then mounted on 300lb. Fabriano. This water valve lid is in the oldest part of town. I have never seen one like this in Baltimore.
  • DPW Conduit

    DPW Conduit Cover 22"X 30" Paint, pastels on Thai paper, mounted. The contrast and angularity of the composition is a variation on the mandala theme.
  • Holiday in Paducah

    Holiday in Paducah 30'X22" Woodcuts, fabric, mixed media on paper. Paducah is home to the National Quilt Museum, an amazing collection with active, contemporary programming. I celebrated Memorial Day weekend with some barbeque and beer with new friends... it was so inspiring.
  • Water Meter Lid

    Water Meter Lid 22"X30" Mixed Media on Paper. This was first rubbed directly and then mounted on 300lb. Fabriano. This piece, featured in my video, was finished with watercolors and wet mounted during my residency. I got warmed up for my work by finishing up some relevant pieces.
  • Landscape seen from a Sancuary Window

    Landscape through a Sanctuary window 30"X 22" Mixed Media on Paper. A water valve becomes a planet in a strange sky over a rugged lanscape, the tracery evokes a church like environment.The repeating pattern is from a tin ceiling tile.
  • Flight Pattern

    Flight Pattern
    22"X30" Mixed Media on Paper. This was first rubbed directly and then mounted on 300lb. Fabriano. A phalanx of rockets travels toward a gas station test access cover in an inter-dimensional exploration.
  • Storm Sewer, Noble Park

    22"X30" Mixed Media on Paper. This was first rubbed directly and then mounted on 300lb. Fabriano This storm sewer access lid was forged at a local foundry. As with the others in this series, it was taken directly from the surface of the cover, worked into with paints and pastels, then wet mounted onto watercolor paper.
  • Reptile House, Water Valve Lid

    Reptile House, Meter Lid 22"X30" Mixed Media on Paper. I started this in Baltimore outside an abandoned Zoo building, I finished and mounted it for my show at the Residency.
  • Manhole, Old Town Paducah

    Old Town
    Manhole, Old Town Paducah 22"X30" Mixed Media on Paper.This was first rubbed directly and then mounted on 300lb Fabriano cold press. It was then worked into with paints and pastel. It has a dry texture that reminds me of a sand painting.
  • kimono rocket

    Kimono Rocket, 14x11" wood cut on fabric. Pahducah is the quilting capitol of the country, so they say, and many of the stores have fabric samples for sale. This background fabric came from an old kimono, with flowers suggesting the beauty of the galaxy.


Inspired by the Postal Art movement I would make hundreds of valentines a year and put them in the mail. I sent them to the mayor, my representatives, and local notables as well as people I know. Sometimes also their relatives. This year I have started making them again. More than once I got angry phone calls from jealous lovers who wanted me to explain myself. Spread the love.

  • Valentine173

    4.5"x 4.75" Asian papers, lace and glitter on book board.
  • Valentine175

    4.5"x 4.75" Asian papers, lace and glitter on book board.
  • Ant-love Valentine

    Valentine 4.5" X 4.75" Collage on book board. For tainted love.
  • Valentine 172

    Valentine, 4.5"x 4.75 Gollaged papers, lace and Glitter on book board.
  • Valentine

    Valentine 4.5" X 4.75" Collage on book board. This one came back in the mail.
  • val174

    4.75"x 5" Asian papers, lace and glitter on book board.
  • Valentine

    4.5" X 4.75" Collage on book board. I love the Japanese chrysanthemum paper.
  • Valentine

    Valentine 4.5" X 4.75" Collage on book board. Hairy Glitter!
  • Valentine

    Valentine 4.5" X 4.75" Collage on book board. Glitter!
  • Valentine177

    4.1"x 4.5" Asian papers, lace and glitter on book board.

Recent works

Coming to a place of freedom, I was able to paint and write again. This Spring, I achieved remission from 2 separate but concurrent stage 4 cancers. Ugh.