A native of Sheffield, Alabama, MARTHA CARPENTER was influenced at an early age by the late Ethel Davis, a well-known Alabama artist. Later, Carpenter left home to attend high school at the Alabama School of Fine Arts in Birmingham.
After graduating in 1973, Carpenter went on to acquire a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Western Kentucky University, supplemented by attendance at the Kentucky Institute for European Studies in Bregenz, Austria, and extensive European study-travel on three occasions. Her career as portrait artist took root in the mid-1970s as a means
of financial support throughout college. At that time, Carpenter also mastered the challenging technique of large-scale pictorial painting. For several years she worked as a freelance artist accepting assignments to design and execute massive murals, interior and exterior, some measuring thirty by ninety feet.
Throughout her career, Carpenter has been in numerous exhibitions and publications, which have culminated in a consistent influx of private and corporate portrait commissions. In 1983, she exhibited paintings at the Centre International d’Art Contemporain in Paris, France, as a participant in a Salon des Nations exhibition promoting independent American artists. Awards include American Artist magazine’s National Portrait Competition, Portrait Society of America annual portrait competition, and repeated “Top Ten” awards within agency affiliates.
In addition to her portrait painting endeavors, for eight years she served as art director, designer, and illustrator in the advertising field and as art instructor, independently and for the University of Wisconsin. Carpenter currently works out of her two studios located in Tuscumbia, Alabama, and St. Simons Island, Georgia.