Martin Grelle lives with his wife, Terri, and their children near the small, Central Texas town of Clifton, just a few miles from where he was born. Rich in beauty and history, the area has become a mecca for artists, which is one reason why the artist has spent his whole life there. Many of his closest friends are artists, and they gather to see each other’s art, prints and posters, exchange ideas, and just shoot the breeze. Grelle treasures the camaraderie among these artist friends and the rare opportunity it affords him.
Grelle’s work reaches far beyond his Texas home conveying the spirit, drama, beauty and vastness of the American West. Whether painting a Native American in a dramatic setting or a working cowboy on the range, he captures the essence of the West in his historically-accurate, picturesque, peaceful, yet compelling, art, prints and posters. He enjoys the Cowboy Artists of America’s trail ride each year, and manages to spend some time occasionally working cattle with local friends. He is proud of the Native American part of his ancestry and studies diligently to portray their culture accurately and sensitively. Grelle is able to take even the most mundane daily task and elevate it to a new level in each painting.
Grelle began painting at an early age. With the guidance of Western artists James Boren and Melvin Warren, both of whom settled in the Clifton area while he was in high school, Grelle was able to become a full-time artist in his early 20s. Since that time, he has studied, traveled widely, and sought subject matter throughout the American West. Working primarily in oils on canvas, Grelle marries his figures with the landscape in art, prints and posters with a painterly style rich in vibrant color.
Martin Grelle is at the top of the Western art market. His paintings are increasing in value rapidly, and one sold recently for $406,000 at the Prix de West Invitational in Oklahoma City. It seta new record for his work. Grelle was also the featured artist at the C.M. Russell Museum show in Great Falls where his Crows on the Yellowstone brought $150,000 at auction.