Born and raised in Clifton, Texas, Martin Grelle still lives on a small ranch a few miles from town. His studio sits in the picturesque Meridian Creek Valley. He began drawing and painting when he was very young.
Grelle was influenced by professional artists James Boren and Melvin Warren, both members of the prestigious Cowboy Artists of America (CAA), who moved near Clifton while Grelle was in high school. Mentored by Boren, Grelle had his first one-man show at a local gallery within a year of graduating high school in 1973. He was invited into membership with the CAA in 1995, fulfilling a long-held dream. That same year, he was invited to participate in the first Prix de WestInvitational Art Exhibition.
Grelle has won the Prix de West Purchase Award twice, the Buyers’ Choice Award three times, the CAA Peoples’ Choice Award in 2002, the CAA Ray Swanson Award in 2008, the CAA Buyers’ Choice Award in 2011, 2012, 2014, and 2018, the Silver Award for Water Solubles from the CAA in 2012 and 2014 and for Mixed Media in 2019, as well as the Silver Award for Oils in 2017 and the Gold Award for Drawing in 2018. He was awarded the Legacy Award by the Briscoe Western Art Museum in 2012 for his impact on Western art, and the Artist of Excellence Award from the Booth Museum in 2020.