Martha Chatelain was born in Pasadena, California. While still a high school student, she received a scholarship to Chouinard
Art Institute where she studied from 1951-52. She graduated from UCLA with Honors in Art in 1957.
For the next twenty-five
years Martha focused on raising two children and supporting the meteoric careers of her husband, Don Chatelain. However, she
also continued to create paintings, photographs, and sculptures, especially during the years when she studied in the graduate
art programs of Cal State Los Angeles and San Diego State University.
After the family's move to San Diego in 1969,
Martha became a docent at La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art, but her daughters also remember her stopping to photograph
interesting arrangements of shiny chrome standpipes or glossy egg yolks, the many innovative outfits she made for them, and
years spent exploring the natural world while Martha led their Girl Scout troops and helped Don and other friends launch "Oakbridge",
now a Young Life camp in the hills outside Ramona, California.
In 1982, at the age of 47, Martha began working full-time
on her art, making paper from 100% cotton and abaca fibers, using both a vacuum table and a vat, and combining the resulting
paper into sculptures. In 1984 she opened her own studio, Artfocus Ltd., at 9th and G Streets in San Diego's "arts corridor".
In 1995 Martha moved Artfocus north a few miles to a quiet neighborhood in the town of Pacific Beach. In 2005 Home Garden
TV filmed Martha creating artwork in her home studio for a show hosted by Carol Duvall.
In 2005, Martha and Don moved
much farther north to Portland, Oregon. There Martha continues to pursue her passions for art and her faith. Working with
an Arts in Worship team at the First Covenant Church of Portland, she creates and curates special works and installations,
and served on the design team for a lobby expansion, including ample exhibition space for changing displays of art work.
is grateful for the love, appreciation, and support of all her friends and family members. She does not "take credit" for
the power of her work, saying instead, "I have very definitely experienced the fact that there is a great Creator in whose
image we have all been created, and I feel that the work just flows through me."