Collect Martin Grelle

Apsaalooke Foot Soldiers by Martin Grelle
So a few weeks ago, I had dinner with one of my absolute favorite artists.  It would be easy to say he's one of my favorites because of his spectacular and challenging works on canvas, but once you get to know Martin and realize he's one of the nicest and most down to earth guys you'll meet, it's even easier to be a fan.  I know I've said that one of my favorite parts of what I do are the relationships that result in collecting art, but Martin Grelle was one of the first major artists I met when I purchased my gallery and I've been following his career ever since.  Growing up in Clifton, TX, Martin Grelle (pronounced: gree-lee) was influenced by terrific Western artists like James Boren and Melvin Warren.  It was Boren that saw the potential and gave Martin the confidence to be a full time artist.  In 1995, Martin Grelle became a member of the prestigious Cowboy Artists of America and he says, "I know that my association with them has been a catalyst for growth that I may not have known otherwise."  In 2002 at the annual Prix de West Show at the National Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City, Grelle won the coveted Prix de West Purchase Award for his painting Teller of Tales.  In 2005, Grelle became one of five artists to have ever won the award twice.  He's also won multiple People's Choice Awards at the show.  These awards are major collection factors.  I can go on and on about Martin's awards and distinctions, but the moral of the story is to add a painting by Grelle to your collection now before they go into the stratosphere that Howard Terpning resides.  Grelle's record sales price is $406,000 for a painting he did for the Prix de West, and his world auction record is $382,300.  It won't be long before those records are broken.

Morning Water by Martin Grelle
While his Indian scenes are more coveted than his Cowboy scenes, there's still a very strong demand for both subject matters.  The overwhelming demand and limited supply contribute to the collectibility of Grelle's works.  More importantly, his dedication to research, exploration of historical and social aspects of the new and old West, and understanding of the people and landscapes he paints is unmistakable when confronted with his paintings.  While Grelle paints in both oil and acrylic, Martin paints with moderate detail, emphasizing texture and color to create visual imagery and light and shadow for dramatic effect.  Whether it's the splashes of color, familiar landscapes, or Martin's intimate knowledge of horses, it's hard to not stop and be taken away while standing in front of Grelle's big paintings.  Just when you don't think you're not going to see any more progression, Martin continues to challenge himself by taking on more difficult compositions or adding more figures to steer your eye around the canvas.

As difficult as it may be to acquire one of Grelle's works, next weekend is one of the best opportunities of the year.  Martin has worked with Overland Gallery for over 20 years and has had an annual one-man show for just as long.  Thursday, March 29th is the reception at Overland Gallery in Scottsdale, AZ and the draw and silent bid for 2012's new works.  I hope to see you all there and if you're interested in purchasing or selling one of Martin's works, don't hesitate to contact me because I have a couple available for sale and I'm always looking to acquire Martin's work.

River's Edge by Martin Grelle


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