In the Audubon Tradition Exhibition

About Martha A. Thompson

I am passionate about painting the things I love in nature. Through paintings I am able to express myself and at the same time use this visual art as an educational tool.

Throughout my career I have been fortunate to have great artists honor my work. One of the highlights has been to be the recipient of the Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History Award for outstanding depiction of the natural world at the Susan Kathleen Black Foundation Artist Workshop in Dubois, Wyoming. This award was presented by the internationally acclaimed artist John Seery-Lester.

I am also honored to have multiple paintings in the permanent, traveling, teaching art collection “Vanishing Circles” of Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum in Tucson, Arizona. This collection is about threatened and endangered flora, fauna and habitats of the Sonoran Desert, and the Sonoran Desert represents my home on both sides of the border.

As a developing fine artist, I was greatly influenced by my good friend and mentor Larry Wollam. He helped me develop the knowledge and love of graphite and watercolor techniques.

Born and raised in Guaymas, Sonora, Mexico, I was one of six children raised by my parents, a fisherman and home maker. It was with my older sister that I learned to love art in my childhood years.

After graduating from High School, I was granted a scholarship to the United States which brought me to Tucson, AZ to learn English as a second language. I took my cultural experience and bilingual skills back home after two years in the United States.

My husband and I enjoy traveling thru Mexico and the United States. We often explore the Gulf of California which continuously provides a lot of inspiration for my work.


Halfbeaks for Lunch…or Not!



30 x 22.75

On one of our boat trips in the Gulf of California, we were exploring a small estuary on the Baja side. As I was taking pictures of a vulture sitting on a cardon cactus, I heard my friend yelled “Martha, look up!”. These two magnificent frigatebirds were flying, one after the other, slamming against each other several times in the air. I was lucky to point my camera just as they flew right over me and took a few shots. When I was checking the photos in the screen on the back of the camera, I thought that the small dark speck was a feather that had come off the bird in the crash. It turned out that it was a halfbeak and the bird had “spit it out” by the force of the other bird crashing against it. It still managed to save its lunch as the photos I took showed the one bird that spit it out, got it back! I learned that frigatebirds steal food from other birds in this manner as part of their natural behavior.

How to Purchase
To purchase this artwork please email the name of the piece you want along with the artist’s name.
Erica Wainwright
Cincinnati Museum Center