Martha Oakes is a painter and textile designer based in San Francisco, California. She pulls inspiration from nature and various landscapes to create abstract watercolor paintings and textile patterns. She enjoys taking elements from the natural world, whether it be a horizon line on the coast or particular hues of an overcast sky, and transforming them into abstract compositions using watercolor and gouache paint. Martha’s work aims to inspire the same sense of calm one feels when outside amongst the elements. By pairing small, detailed stippling with sweeping, water-led strokes, Martha evokes the unique pairing of nature’s minute parts and patterns with its landscape’s vast compositions.
Martha has always been drawn to creating interiors that tell a story. She enjoys transforming her paintings into versatile patterns that translate to items for the home, such as linen pillows or wallpaper. She loves the hands-on craft and process involved in running her own business; from mixing pigments to make the perfect color, to the trials and rewards of printing on fabric in local Bay Area factories, to collaborating with interiors designers on commissioned pieces for their clients. She is inspired to make items that will be shared with a community that values creating interiors that help tell a story and instill a sense of calm inspired by nature.
Martha holds a Bachelor’s Degree from CU Boulder - College of Architecture & Planning. She has worked for Tom Scheerer, DWR & most recently designed stores for a SF-based clothing company in various cities throughout the country.