Born and raised in Clifton, Texas, Martin Grelle still lives on a small ranch a few miles from town. His studio sits in the picturesque Meridian Creek Valley, surrounded by the oak- and cedar-covered hills of Bosque County, renowned enclave for several elite artists and home to many of Martin's family and friends.
Martin began drawing and painting when he was very young and was fortunate to have James Boren and Melvin Warren, two professional artists and members of the prestigious Cowboy Artists of America, move to the area when he was still in high school. They made a lasting impact on his direction and career. Mentored by Boren, Martin had his first one-man show at a local gallery within a year of graduating high school in 1973. In the 40 years since, he has produced some 30 one-man exhibitions and won awards of regional and national importance.
He was invited into CAA membership in 1995, fulfilling a dream. That same year, he was invited to participate in the Prix de West Invitational at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. He is a double winner of the Prix de West Purchase Award and the Buyers' Choice Award. He's also a double winner of the CAA Buyers' Choice Award in 2011 and 2012. He won the CAA Ray Swanson Award in 2008.
In 2012, the Briscoe Museum honored him with the Legacy Award for his impact on Western art. Most recently, he had a retrospective of his work featured at the Gilcrease Museum's Rendezvous Show in 2013.
Martin has a sense of responsibility to his collectors, which fills his heart every morning when he walks into the studio. He believes what he does is a gift entrusted to him from God that must not be unused or taken for granted, but developed and improved upon. He strives to pass on what others have passed to him and has given multiple art demonstrations and donated works to charity. He and his good friend and fellow CAA artist Bruce Greene have been teaching an annual workshop for more than two decades.
Martin is the current CAA vice president and is the president of the Joe Beeler Foundation, founded by the CAA, to provide scholarships for aspiring artists