Martin graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) in 1918, focusing on drawing and painting. She worked under Eliza Gardiner, a nationally recognized printmaker who was among the first Americans to exhibit color woodcuts in the New York-Berlin Photographic Exhibit in 1916. Upon graduating, Martin taught briefly at RISD as a Saturday art instructor until she secured a teaching position at the Lincoln School in 1924. With this job security, she launched into the most productive period of her artistic life.
Martin’s love for the outdoors was evident throughout her life. In addition to teaching and making art, her daily life included horseback riding, hiking, and managing her family farm and all of its animals. During the summers of 1929 and 1931, Martin traveled to Wyoming and produced her most successful body of work. She returned with watercolors and etchings that highlighted the integration of her abilities in draftsmanship, printmaking and composition.
A member of the Providence Art Club and the Rhode Island Watercolor Society, Martin regularly submitted individual pieces and exhibited at both institutions. In a 1931 exhibition at the Providence Art Club with Eliza Gardiner, the Providence Journal noted that Martin showed “a number of delicate drypoints mostly of animals and western subjects. In these products of the copper plate and diamond needle, most of the characteristic burr has been carefully scraped down, and the result is a fineness and delicacy of line that even an etching cannot give.” Her prints were selected for exhibition in some prestigious venues such as the National Arts Club, the Art Institute of Chicago, Providence Art Club, and the Providence Watercolor Club.
Despite her burgeoning professional career, this humble artist never sought the competitive arenas of her mentor and colleagues. As the years progressed, Martin became more involved with her teaching at Lincoln School and, while productive, she slowly withdrew from the professional art world. However, she continued to enjoy her own artistic development within the confines of Lincoln School and her home. When she passed away at the age of 100, many of her students remembered her as a determined and inspirational instructor, but not necessarily as the gifted artist who chose the satisfaction of teaching over professional acclaim.