St. Augustine painter Martha Ferguson is Butterfield Gallery’s featured artist in April. Her well-loved interpretations of St. Augustine are awash with light and color. Ferguson will be in the gallery from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on First Friday, April 2, to talk about her work and painting style.
Ferguson’s style is impressionistic and she paints primarily in oil and watercolor. She loves to paint old gritty towns, capturing the feel of the area and the locals that walk the quaint streets and is drawn to architecture and the way the light comes through the subject.
“I want my paintings to be more than a likeness but an experience or a nostalgic feel,” Ferguson said. “I can walk by the same scene many times and then all of a sudden there is a moment that tells a story. That’s what I seek to capture, that’s when the painting is successful. Painting is a journey that provides me with a determination to learn, create and master my technique, while keeping my own sense of style.”
Over the last few years, Ferguson has become passionate about plein air painting. She works on small studies in the open air, many of which later become larger paintings that she paints in the studio. Examples of both are displayed in the gallery. Her paintings regularly win local and national awards, and Ferguson’s paintings of old town St. Augustine have become popular collector pieces for visitors and locals.
Ferguson holds a B.A. in fine art from Flagler College and also studied watercolor and print-making at the University of Charleston. She continued studies at The Art Student League of New York and various master artists workshops. She credits Emmet Fritz, a local painting legend whom she often encountered painting the scenes of St. Augustine during her college years at Flagler. It was in those days she fell in love with painting.