Pfanschmidt, Martha

Community: Port Townsend
Phone: 360-774-6824
Teacher/Instructor: Yes (see bottom of page)
Media: glass, encaustic painting

Past exhibits and events with Northwind

2017 Showcase artist (click to see all 2017 artists)

Artist Statement

I am an artist who works in a variety of media. My style is colorful and abstract, musings on the nature that surrounds me where I live on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State. I live on 5 acres in the woods, surrounded by trees, birds, animals, wind, water and clouds. I aspire to transmit some of the feeling of the beautiful natural area I live in through the shapes and colors I use in my work. For me nature has a strong emotional content. It is a powerful and yet gentle force, sometimes delivering immense beauty, sometimes intense dread. Whether I am hiking in the mountains or rowing on the bay, I am in wonder of both the subtle and bold colors, the large and small shapes, and the endless mysteries of the natural world.


Martha Pfanschmidt currently lives in Port Townsend, Washington on 5 acres in the country. There she draws her inspiration from living amid the nature that surrounds her. The colors and shapes she uses are all a reflection of her experience of being outdoors. Her background as a cartographer informs her work. Having viewed the ground from the air frequently over the last few years has reminded her of her past as a map maker. She is inspired by the patterns and colors seen on the earth as she flies, both in the natural and man made world.

Pfanschmidt has shown work worldwide from Brazil to Canada, Japan to Germany. Her work is in many public and private collections, including the New York Public Library and the China National Academy of Fine Arts.

She says, “We cannot know our inner world directly. We ‘know’ through images that stand for something other than and greater than ourselves. Meaningful life can be experienced by the symbolic life made conscious, and I believe that beauty plays a role in that awakening. Maybe we can’t escape the condition of our time, but we can propose little worlds, places of hope and beauty, decorated with images that define a silent optimism.”

Arts instruction

Encaustic and Art Mentoring
I teach encaustic painting from my studio in rural Port Townsend. This class is two days long: day one you will learn the basics of applying paint and fusing, layering, scribing and a few other techniques. On day two you learn a few further techniques and then have time to practice and experiment to truly get a good feel for the medium. If you are desiring a more in depth class where you learn how to make medium and paint bars, and setting up a studio with a comprehensive supply list this can be added to the two day session, or can be a separate class. I am also available for advanced sessions for experienced encaustic painters, and do ongoing mentoring as well. The mentoring sessions can take any form you wish: discussions about your work, about formal issues of composition, etc., help with resumes, statements, or other professional practices. I have had many years as an art professional and can offer you my experience as an artist and teacher.

Comments are closed.