Artist's Statement

I am a layerist: I am fascinated by the layers of life; everyday mixtures of old and new, what is on the surface and what is underneath. All these varied layers combine to makeup the whole fabric of our lives. Clayprinting, which is itself a process of layering to build an image, allows me to explore complex interplays of shape and color.

Art making is an intuitive process, and it is the process which holds my attention. Details which catch my attention in the world around me are often the incidental ‘snap shots’ of life: weathered walls, layers of old posters peeling off a pole, shadows of buildings and trees, leaf-stained sidewalks. In the studio I put down a color, a shape, and look to see what happens next. I let the memory of those snap shots, plus the immediacy of the process, guide me. Clayprinting has potential for great unpredictability, I am never sure what will come through in a finished print, and what will be lost. These “happy accidents,” along with the fluidity of the process, keep me coming back.


Martha Castillo’s life reflects many facets of the arts. Starting with classical ballet as a young girl, she later discovered a passion for theatre, along with ceramics, collage, and the visual arts. She holds a BFA in theatre arts, and a Master's degree in Art Therapy.

In the mid 70’s, Martha embarked on an exploration of ceramics as a sculpture medium, and continued her studies in England where she lived for seven years. In 1993, Martha returned to California. She focused for a time on collage and mixed media, and continued her studies of various other art techniques. During an investigation into fine art printmaking, she was introduced to Mitch Lyons and his innovative new technique, clay monoprint, or “clayprinting”. Now working almost exclusively in this medium, she also enjoys teaching clayprint workshops, both at her studio, and other venues.  Check the Workshops page for details.

In addition to gallery representation, Martha shows in alternative spaces, including her own studio. Martha’s paintings have been compared to Richard Diebenkorn, and Hans Hoffman, among others.

Born - Boston, MA, 1947
Resides - Palo Alto, CA

For a Resume click here (pdf file)