Fletcher Martin was born in Palisade, Colorado in 1904. Largely a self- taught artist, Martin is best known for his portrayals of western subjects. He was raised in a family that moved frequently to towns throughout the West. Martin showed an early interest in art, primarily from circus posters and amateur painters. When he was twelve years old, he began working as a printer. After dropping out of high school, he held various jobs, including lumberjack and professional boxer. He worked, for a time, in Seattle, for the Western Show Print, where he specialized in big, gaudy outdoor posters.
Martin served in the Navy from 1922 to 1926, then settled in Los Angeles, where he found a job with Earl Hays printers. He assisted Mexican painter, Siqueiros with a large mural and created a design for a Post Office mural in Kellogg, Idaho.
In 1938, Martin began a thirty-year career as a visiting teacher in art schools in California, including Mills College, Otis Art Institute and Claremont College. He traveled to Africa as an artist-correspondent for Life Magazine in 1943. Fletcher Martin died in New York City in 1979.