Kentucky Crafted Artist Page

Marta Elam Dorton


Marta Elam Dorton Artworks

1314 Fontaine Rd
Lexington,KY 40502

The thrill of watching my paintings coming to life keeps me enchanted with the process. As I apply the paint I love to watch the interplay of color, form and negative space.

Born in Morgan County, Ky., my family and I moved to Lexington when I was two. We often return to the mountain farms of my parents and their ancestors. This gives me a deep sense of family, place and connection to the land. Kentucky has a special place in my heart.

As the sun moves and seasons change, landscapes, mountains and water shift in color and intensity. I feel challenged to capture these seasonal changes. I work from memories and personal photographs.

My technique involves layering acrylic paint onto watercolor paper or canvas. Using a squeegee, I pick up color and scrape paint onto the surface, adding texture with each application. Most of my paintings have 20 to 30 layers that I applied individually and allowed to dry. The interaction of each layer creates interesting effects.  Sometimes I plan the final concept and sometimes I follow the lead of the paint. However, I most often paint somewhere in between these two parameters.

This process loosely depicts my subjects. It allows viewers to apply their own experiences in interpreting the work. A painting may allude to a landscape for one person and a waterscape for another. I like these shifts in reality and how questioning the subject engages my audience.