Martin Grelle is active/lives in Texas. Martin Grelle is known for western genre and landscape painting, murals.
Biography from Jackson Hole Art Auction
Martin Grelle, b. 1954, Clifton, Texas, (United States)
Biography from Altermann Galleries and Auctioneers, II
Born and raised in Clifton, Texas, Martin Grelle still lives on a small ranch a few miles from town. His studio sits in the picturesque Meridian Creek Valley, surrounded by the oak & cedar-covered hills of Bosque County, just a short distance from his home, but also within a few miles of the family and friends who are so important in his life. He has two sons, Josh & Jordan, who have left home to pursue their own dreams, but who stay in touch frequently. Martin's parents, Ervin & Ella, have both passed from this life, but he still has his brothers, Carl & Marvin, living nearby, as well as his sister, Mary, who lives in Ft. Worth.
Martin began drawing and painting when he was very young, and was fortunate to have James Boren and Melvin Warren, two professional artists and members of the Cowboy Artists of America, move to the area when he was still in high school, and it has had a lasting impact on his direction and career. Mentored by Boren, he had his first one-man show at a local gallery within a year of graduating from high school in 1973. In the nearly 40 years since that time, he has produced some 30 one-man exhibitions, including annual shows in Scottsdale, Arizona since 1989, and has won awards of both regional and national importance at shows around the country.
He was invited into membership with the Cowboy Artists of America in 1995, fulfilling a dream begun in the early 70's when he first met Boren and Warren. That same year he was invited to participate in the first Prix de West Invitational at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City. Since that time he has won the Prix de West Purchase Award, twice (one of only seven artists to do so), the Nona Jean Hulsey Rumsey Buyers' Choice Award, twice, the CA People's Choice Award in 2002, the CA Ray Swanson Award in 2008, the CA Buyers' Choice Award in 2011 and 2012, and the Silver Award for Water Solubles in 2012. He was awarded the Legacy Award by The Briscoe Museum in 2012, for his impact on western art.
Other major invitational exhibitions and sales Martin has participated in include The Masters at the Autry Museum in Los Angeles, and the inaugural Quest for the West at the Eiteljorg Museum in Indianapolis, the Coeur d'Alene Auction, and the Jackson Hole Art Auction. Martin has also been featured in a number of publications throughout his career, including multiple appearances in the following magazines: Art of the West, Western Art Collector, Southwest Art, Western Art and Architecture, Persimmon Hill, American Cowboy, Western Horseman, Informant, Wild West, and True West's magazine's 2011 Best of the West Source Book. He was honored with a retrospective showing of his work, along with fellow CA artist, Herb Mignery, for the Gilcrease Museum's Rendezvous Show 2013.
Martin has a real sense of responsibility to his collectors, which fills his heart every morning when he walks into the studio, believing that what he does is a gift entrusted to him from God, and must not be left unused or taken for granted, but developed and improved upon. His parents and Jim and Mary Ellen Boren, all set that example for him - an example of not only striving to be the best artist he can be, but the best man he can be as well.
Beyond his studio, Martin strives to pass on what others have passed to him. He has given multiple demonstrations around the country, teaches an annual weekend workshop along with his good friend, and fellow CA, Bruce Greene - which they have done for 22 years straight - and mentors other aspiring artists by critiquing their work. He has donated work to a large number of organizations to aid in their progress, including The Bosque Arts Center in Clifton, Texas.
He has twice served on the board of directors for the CA organization and is currently serving as President. He is also involved with The Joe Beeler Foundation, founded by the Cowboy Artists of America to coincide with their mentoring program, which provides scholarship opportunities for artists seeking to improve their skills, and has served as President of the Foundation for the past year as well.
Self-taught; mentored by James Boren
Cowboy Artists of America Museum, Kerrville, TX, Workshop, Harvey Johnson/Melvin Warren, 1983
Bosque Conservatory, Clifton, TX, Workshop, Bettina Steinke
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, Prix de West, Oklahoma City, OK, 1995-2014
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, Cowboy Artist of America Exhibition, Oklahoma City, OK, 2011-2014
Gilcrease Museum, Rendezvous Artists' Retrospective and Art Sale, Tulsa, OK, 2013
Phoenix Art Museum, Cowboy Artists of America Exhibition & Sale, Phoenix, AZ, 1996-2010
Autry National Center, Masters of the American West, Los Angeles, CA, 2000-2005, 2007, 2009
Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians & Western Art, Quest for the West Exhibition, Indianapolis, IN, 2006
Evening of Art, McKinney, TX, 1988-1989
Texas Ranger Hall of Fame Show, Waco, TX, 1985
American Indian & Cowboy Artists (AICA), San Dimas, CA, 1977-1983
Phippen Museum, George Phippen Memorial Outside Show, Prescott, AZ, 1977
Western Art & Architecture, The Messenger, April/May, 2014
Western Art Collector, Respect the Culture, April, 2014
Western Art Collector, Silver Anniversary, April, 2013
Western Art Collector, Everyday Lives, April, 2012
Western Art Collector, Martin Grelle's Annual Exhibition, June, 2011
Western Art Collector, Pride of the Crow, April, 2011
Western Art Collector, Event Report: Martin Grelle, June, 2010
Western Art Collector, Draw of the West, April, 2010
Western Art Collector, Homage to the American West, March, 2009
Western Art Collector, Pride of the Plains, March, 2008
Western Art Collector, Premier Issue, Martin Grelle: Sheer Magic!, 2007
Art of the West
Cowboy Artists of America, Michael Duty, 2002
Leading the West, One Hundred Contemporary Painters & Sculptors, Donald J. Hagerty, 1997
Contemporary Western Artists, Harold & Peggy Samuels, 1982
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, Oklahoma City, OK
Gilcrease Museum - Rendezvous Retrospective, 2013
Briscoe Western Art Museum, Legacy Award, San Antonio, TX, 2012
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, Cowboy Artist of America Exhibition, Buyers Choice, Oklahoma City, OK, 2012
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, Cowboy Artist of America Exhibition, Silver Award for Water Solubles, Oklahoma City, OK, 2012
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, Cowboy Artist of America Exhibition, Buyers Choice, Oklahoma City, OK, 2011
Phoenix Art Museum, Cowboy Artists of America Exhibition & Sale, Ray Swanson Memorial Award, "Newlyweds," Phoenix, AZ, 2008
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, Prix de West, Nona Jean Hulsey Buyer's Choice, "Dust in the Distance," Oklahoma City, OK, 2006
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, Prix de west, Purchase Award, "Two Coups", Oklahoma City, Ok, 2005
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, Prix de West, Nona Jean Hulsey Buyer's Choice, "Signs Along the Snake," Oklahoma City, OK, 2004
Greeley Stampede Western Invitational Art Exhibit & Sale, Artist's Choice Award, Greeley, CO, 2003
Greeley Stampede Western Invitational Art Exhibit & Sale, Buyer's Choice Award, Greeley, CO, 2003
Phoenix Art Museum, Cowboy Artists of America Exhibition & Sale, People's Choice Award, "Monarchs of the North", Phoenix, AZ, 2002
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, Prix de West, Purchase Award, "Teller of Tales," Oklahoma City, OK, 2002
Evening of Art, Best of Show, McKinney, TX, 1989
Evening of Art, Best Work in Opaque Painting, McKinney, TX, 1988
Texas Ranger Hall of Fame Show, Silver Award for Oils, Waco, TX, 1985
Texas Ranger Hall of Fame Show, Artist Award, Waco, TX, 1985
American Indian & Cowboy Artists (AICA), 3rd Annual Exhibition, Gold Medal for Drawing, San Dimas, CA, 1979
American Indian & Cowboy Artists (AICA), 3rd Annual Exhibition, Best of Show, Lloyd Mitchell Memorial Award, San Dimas, CA, 1979
American Indian & Cowboy Artists (AICA), Bronze Medal for Drawing, 1st Annual Exhibition, San Dimas, CA, 1977
Phippen Museum, Silver Award for Water Color, George Phippen Memorial Outside Show, Prescott, AZ, 1977
Cowboy Artists of America, 1995-Present
Cowboy Artists of America, President
American Indian & Cowboy Artists (AICA), 1977-1983
Born and raised in the foothills surrounding his hometown of Clifton,
Texas, Martin Grelle grew up with a deep desire to capture on canvas
the beauty of his home. Inspired by the flavor of the small town
and its people, Grelle began to paint at an early age, and at eighteen
sought professional criticism from noted Cowboy Artist James Boren.
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As a teenager, Grelle grew to respect nearby Scandinavian families and depicted these toiling people in his early works. However, he
expanded his subject matter to more western subjects when he began
painting and studying with James Boren and Mel Warren, western artists
who moved to his hometown, Clifton. Later, in 1995, he joined
these two men as a member of the Cowboy Artists of America.
Although the majority of his paintings express the serenity surrounding
the town of Clifton, where he and his son Joshua reside, Grelle has
enjoyed traveling throughout much of the United States and also parts
of Europe in search of new vistas to capture with his brushes. He
says, "I have always been drawn to the mountains because of their
grandeur. Whenever I paint people in a mountain or wilderness setting,
I try to convey the larger-than-life effect that the landscape must
have had on those individuals."
Working in a variety of media, but particularly with oils, Grelle
characteristically paints with a moderate amount of detail, striving to
emphasize color and texture as a means of creating a visual
image. He most enjoys dramatic light and shadow effects, but he
is equally at home painting the effects of rain and fog. He has
in recent years become more and more drawn to doing what he calls
"period" paintings, using historical settings and incidents to develop
Believing that his ability to paint is a precious gift for which he has
a responsibility, Grelle strives continuously to achieve a level of
excellence in his work; "I believe you have to set your sights high to
be successful." As the 2002 winner of the Prix de West Award from
the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Center in Oklahoma City, it
seems that Grelle knows what he's talking about.
AskArt.com, Cowboy Artists of American publication, Contemporary Western Artists by Peggy and Harold Samuels
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