About Me

In case you’re interested in who I am and what I’ve done in my life, you can read more than you probably want to below. Obviously, there’s no obligation. To get out of here, just click on something in the menu.

My Painting

I’m generally a self-taught painter, though I have studied over the years with four outstanding artists: watercolors with Jim Gray and Sterling Edwards and oils with Mark Carder and Cindy Procious, from all of whom I’ve learned so much.

I first began painting in watercolors in the late 70s. I moved to oils in 2016.

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 a member of the In-Town Gallery in Chattanooga, TN. The In-Town Gallery has been in existence for over 40 years, which makes it one of the oldest artist-owned, cooperative galleries in the country.

Lost - Watercolor Painting
Martin 1956

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 Road Master — 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.

Grad School With David
Martin Frankfurt 1999

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, The Learning Company, and I moved there.

Eventually, The Learning Company was acquired by another educational software company. At that point, some of the former Learning Company 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.

Lagunas, Costa Rica
Judy And Martin

Current Domesticity

I am married 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 divide our time between Signal Mountain, TN, just outside of Chattanooga and Apalachicola, FL on the Gulf Coast.

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