William Oliver Martin was born in 1953 in Mexico City of an English father and a Spanish-French mother. He is the eldest son of a family of three sisters and two brothers.
Martin has been drawing for as long as he can remember; he started painting in oils at age twenty. After studying architecture and winning several awards for architectural renderings, he began to paint seriously. Since he was fascinated with the old masters’ style, he took courses in oils at several private schools. His classic style is greatly influenced by painters such as Sir Lawrence Tadema, William Bougereau, Wiliam Merritt Chase, and the Pre-Raphaelites. Traces of the work of Dutch painters Rembrandt and William Kalf may also be seen in his paintings.
Martin attempts to inject a Spanish feel into his still-life paintings. As he paints, he actually listens to Spanish Flamenco recordings. He says, “I try to express the same sort of passion, mystery, and beauty that I feel in Spanish Flamenco music”. He hopes that the viewer of his still-life paintings will see this passion, mystery, and beauty in his work.
William Martin, using his imagination and inner senses does not copy nature but interprets his feelings on canvas. His work involves the use of the old master technique of setting layers of transparent paint over an underpainting, using a medium of his own invention. This glazing gives the work a depth and luminosity. “As I work I am constantly developing and growing as an artist. My goal is eventually to find my way into history books as a great American artist. In creating my paintings I use only the finest materials, because my work must last for hundreds of years”. His work is in numerous collections around the world.