Meet Martha Lee Anne


Hi there, I’m Martha Lee Anne, but my close friends and family call me “MLA.” I’m an accidentally made abstract artist living in Birmingham, Alabama with my husband, Bastien, and my son, Henry.

With little else to do in my small southern town, I grew up climbing trees, writing stories, growing tomatoes, and creating my own interest. I’ve always been creative, but didn't pursue painting until early 2020, while looking for my "old" self in a season of single parenthood and widowhood. As I had already "worked it out" on the red clay and monkey grass in the backyard, life handed me a canvas. 

Painting is my way of reaching into barefoot days or a walk with my husband through the vineyard behind his family home in Ouveillan, France. It's my way of remembering what is good and whole, and trying my best to bring that feeling to the canvas. I'm guided by emotion, memory, dear faces, Ouveillan, and paint itself (the colors and textures).

Today, you can find me in my garage studio- doors open wide- painting while Henry plays, and Walden (the pug) snores. 



Artist Statement

There is often a private, almost sacred freedom that we experience when we are home- when we return to the people, places, memories, and moments that bring us fully and wholly to ourselves. Playing with my son Henry, eating sorbet by the sea, walking with my husband, closing my eyes to pray between sips of coffee- these are the ordinary landscapes, moments, and memories that I rely on as I paint. I paint in acrylic layers with rollers and paintbrushes- adding more texture and shape with pallets knives and oil sticks as the layers progress. I often build the composition of my paintings around the energy of an emotion or in shapes and structure reminiscent of the French countryside and architecture. In the last layers, I work mostly with oil stick- creating earthy textures and open spaces- I adore the way these spaces can create comfort, quiet, or give attention to details we otherwise might miss (sounds a lot like life). While I’m very interested in the story I’m telling through paint, I often let paint tell its own story- challenging me to explore new shapes, spaces, and layers-one way or another, in this layer or the next, I trust that every painting will find it's own way home.

Button label
1 of 4