About Me and My Art

Probably More than You Wanted to Know

A Bit About Me and My Youth

My name is Martin Rice. I was born and raised in Philadelphia, PA. I enlisted in the army in 1957 because I thought I’d get a better deal than I would had I been drafted. And being drafted at that time was almost a certainty.

As it turned out, I did get a good deal. The army sent me to the Army Language School in Monterey, CA where I became a Russian language expert. Then I was stationed in Berlin. It was the height of the Cold War, and Berlin was the center. Pretty exciting stuff for a young kid.

In the photo I’m leaning against my dad’s 1956 Buick Roadmaster — the first car I drove.


After my enlistment was up, I returned to Philadelphia and attended the University of Pennsylvania, majoring in Russian and Soviet Affairs. I did my first year of graduate school at the Freie Universität, Berlin. Eventually I finished graduate school at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN and with my newly minted PhD in hand, I went to teach at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, where I stayed for 25 years. The photo is of me as a grad student with my oldest son, David.

Technology and Business

While still a professor, I got interested in computing and as a sideline began developing software for learning and teaching foreign languages. That took off and I retired from the university in order to work full-time for my fledgling company. Eventually, my company was acquired by a software company in California and I moved there.

At that point, some of the former owners and I founded an internet company for learning business English. That company prospered and I retired for the last time in 2000.

The photo is of me giving a demo of our software somewhere in the world — I have no idea where. During those years in business I logged 1,500,000 miles just on Delta Airlines alone. I don’t fly much anymore. I’m all flown out.

The Expat Life

My former wife and I felt it would be great fun to embark on a new adventure, so we moved to Costa Rica and lived there for about five and a half wonderful years before returning to the States.

The photo is of the beautiful house we built on the Pacific coast in Costa Rica, right above the ocean.

Current Domesticity

I’ve been married for the past eight years to my wonderful wife and partner, Judy. One can’t say we rushed into marriage. At the time of our marriage we had known one another for thirty-five years. We currently live in Signal Mountain, TN, just outside of Chattanooga.

My Painting

I’m generally a self-taught painter, though I have studied with two of my favorite artists, Jim Gray and Sterling Edwards. I first began painting in watercolors in the late 70s. I have exhibited and sold my work at art shows and fairs all over the Southeast. I’ve been a member of the Tennessee Artists Organization and have recently been an owner-member of the In-Town Gallery in Chattanooga, TN. The In-Town Gallery is in it’s forty-second year, which makes it one of the oldest artist-owned, cooperative galleries in the country.