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Recent Works

"Creativity takes courage.” 

       Henri Matisse

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Marta Stephens is a master crime fiction and mystery novelist who knows how to spin complex, credible, action-packed, and gripping stories with plot, subplot, and more subplot. Her works are well-crafted tales that ride the borders between hard-boiled crime mystery, suspense, and thrillers. She has always been drawn to books and films in the mystery/suspense genres which have influenced her writing.

Stephens's most recently published work, I Spy a Crime: An Anthology is her first collective book of short mysteries. Her other published crime fiction novels are: Silenced Cry, the first book in the Sam Harper Crime Mystery series, (1st edition, 2007; 2nd edition, 2017), received honorable mention at the 2008 New York Book Fair. Book two in the series, The Devil Can Wait, (1st edition, 2008; 2nd edition 2017), received the Bronze Medal in the 2009 Independent Publisher Book Award (IPPY). Shroud of Lies (2017), takes place in 1962, Hollywood, California, and introduces private investigator, Rhonie Lude. All may be purchased from Amazon.

Stephens is a native of Buenos Aires, Argentina, lived in Los Angeles in the late 1970’s, but has called Indiana home since the age of four.

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Lilli's Violet, 12" x  16" Acrylic on canvas. First Prize Acrylic Category, August 2021 

MAG Annual Show


From a very young age Stephens's instinct was to draw. However, despite taking numerous art courses over the years, she describes herself as a self-taught artist.

Her formal education includes courses at U.C.L.A, the Pasadena Art Center College of Design, and Ball State University.  However, while at Ball State, she changed her major and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism/Public Relations in 2001. 

It wasn't until she was in her early 30's that she and a group of friends began to meet one evening a week to paint. That's when she learned to use and appreciate the richness of oils and created her first piece, "Copper Kettle".

Stephens is an active member of the Muncie Artists Guild since 2018 and has since won several awards for her artwork. She remains open to learning new techniques and finding ways to improve her craft. Her style has continuously evolved through experimentation. Thus, this self-taught artist’s style is in a constant state of development.


She has worked with a variety of mediums including ink, washes, clay, and charcoals. Several years later she began exploring oils and acrylics. The subject matters of her paintings are primarily still lifes and landscapes. Gardening is one of her other creative passions, so inspiration often comes from nature and the study of light and shadows.

Stephens has attended numerous workshops and has studied the works of masters as well as contemporary artists. She is especially drawn to the “blurry” world view of Impressionists like Monet, Cezanne, and Renoir. French, as well as American Impressionism, has certainly influenced her. She finds her style is mostly dictated by the subject matter. Sometimes, a piece yearns to reflect precise details. At other times, she lets the pallet knife dictate the unpredictable strokes and color combinations. 

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