Breckenridge artist makes a name for herself through social media and paintings in gear shops
BRECKENRIDGE — You can find the work of Martha Grace Henry, a Breckenridge painter and photographer, in a variety of local spots: Relish, Broken Compass Brewing, Minturn Angler, Clint’s Bakery and Lululemon.
True to the culture of the area, Henry depicts scenes of nature, but these aren’t your typical landscapes. Henry’s pieces focus on a single object or animal or a collection thereof, with profiles of animals indigenous to the area, regional plants and lots of fly-fishing pieces.
“A lot of my work is sourced from nature and objects. Nature and animals, they just touch me back to purpose and meaning in life,” Henry said.
Henry joked that she knows nothing about hunting or fishing but her work is full of antlers, fishing looms and ducks. She finds a connection to these animals and objects through childhood memories, making these pieces popular in local retail gear stores and fishing shops.
Originally from Texas, Henry moved to Breckenridge in December 2016 and despite her roots, she joked, managed to persuade the locals to warm up to her and her art.
“Before I made the choice to move to Breck, I went car camping out on the West Coast to find clarity in nature. I remember waking up that morning to the smell of pine. I knew I needed to make the mountains my home and to chase life full,” Henry wrote in an email.
Henry started gaining exposure through social media, where she features her art as well as her life as an artist, outdoor recreator and dog mom. But slowly, she built up clients and was able to sell her work in town and online.
“Being able to move out here and make these small town connections, everything aligned and the responses to my work continued to happen,” Henry said.
What surprises people Henry meets most is that she doesn’t have a side job or fallback. She’s working to support herself entirely from her art.
“I dabbled in a lot of other careers and art just continued to be this force that I could not ignore,” Henry said.
Henry has been able to make a steady stream of income through commissioned work, or customers who ask her to paint a certain piece for their homes or businesses. According to Henry, selling her art is a balance between visitors who see her work around town and contact her for a piece, people seeing her work on social media and asking for art to be shipped to them, and commission work she receives from people in the area. She mentioned Aspen as one of the biggest sources of her commissioned work.
While Henry’s work has become steady, she said she has to constantly remind herself to keep her hustle mentality.
“When you choose art as a career, you have to continue that mindset of chase, chase, chase,” she said.
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