By Shaun Ryan

Local artist’s works celebrate St. Augustine


For First Coast artist Martha Ferguson, the historic district of St. Augustine holds endless possibilities. Her paintings often feature the narrow streets and centuries-old architecture that inspire countless visitors to explore the Nation’s Oldest City.

Because she paints in the Impressionist style, the character of the light and how it interacts with her subjects are of primary importance, and she has found that mornings and the “magic hour” right after sunset provide the most desirable illumination.

She paints primarily in oils, though she often blocks out the various elements first in acrylic.

“A lot of underpainting will come through in the oil,” she said. “It’s cool when it works.”

Originally from West Virginia, Ferguson earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Flagler College in 1982. While a student there, she would wander the city and frequently find herself observing legendary local artist Emmett Fritz at his studio on St. George Street.

“I would talk to him and watch him paint,” Ferguson said. “I think that’s what made me kind of fall in love with painting.”

After moving away for many years, she returned to St. Augustine in the early 2000s and has been a key member of the city’s arts community ever since.

Her work has been featured in numerous exhibits and galleries and can be found in private collections throughout the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.

For the past two years, Ferguson’s art has found a home at The Grand Bohemian Gallery, located at 49 King St., St. Augustine. In August, the gallery featured her latest paintings and offered fans an opportunity to chat with her while she did a live painting demonstration.

The learn more about Ferguson’s work, go to