Martha Ives studied art at Antioch College, in Yellow Springs, Ohio. After graduating from Antioch, she began her career in the publishing industry while continuing her art education with evening classes at the School of Visual Arts, where she studied illustration with Jim McMullan and illustration and graphic design with Milton Glaser.
Positions held by Martha during her publishing career included graphic designer, promotion art director, advertising manager, and director of advertising services. Martha has also designed and illustrated greeting cards, book jackets, and children's books on a freelance basis.
In 2008, Martha enrolled at the Art Students League of New York to try her hand at printmaking, and immediately realized that she loved everything about it: the planning of each step of the process, the richness and feel of the paper, the physical exertion of turning the press, and the surprise and satisfaction upon pulling the print.
Martha began printmaking in Sylvie Covey's class, where she did etchings, aquatints, and lithographs. Having always been somewhat of a surrealist, she found that the limitation of working in black and white provided an outlet for her imagination to emerge and find graphic realization. When she started doing multicolor linoleum block prints in Rick Pantell's class, she realized that inherent in the work that brings her the greatest joy and satisfaction is the depiction of motion. Martha's work is gradually becoming less narrative and literal, and more driven by the visual interest achieved by the interaction and positioning of shapes to form the illusion of movement.
Artists that Martha is particularly drawn to are Paul Klee, August Macke, Felix Vallotton, Milton Avery, and Will Barnet. The book "Rhythms of Modern Life: British Prints 1914-1939," which features the linocuts of Claude Flight, Cyril Power, Sybil Andrews, and Lill Tschudi, is always a source of inspiration, as is the book "Contemporary Japanese-Style Painting" by Tanio Nakamura, which includes paintings by Tokuoka Shinsen and Yamaguchi Hoshun, among others.
Martha has had solo shows at the Blue Mountain Lake Art Gallery of the Adirondack Lakes Center for the Arts, the Suffern Free Library, and most recently at the St. Agnes Library on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Her work has appeared in group shows at Artworks Trenton, Gallery 440 in Brooklyn, Poe Park Visitors Center, the Central Park Armory, Grace Institute, the Manhattan Borough President’s Office, The Old Print Shop, The National Arts Club, and the Salmagundi Club.
She is the recipient of the Audubon Artists 2013 Council of American Artists Society in Memory of Will Barnet Graphics Award and the 2014 Will Barnet Printmaking Grant from the Art Students League.