About Me

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I am a Colorado native, so I grew up loving the natural environment and the wild Rocky Mountains. Until recently, I always considered myself a watercolor artist and felt confined to that little “box” I put myself in. On a quest for discovery and healing, I took a workshop in mixed media techniques. Since that day, I’ve been obsessed – I’ve found a new and different way to express myself and my emotions. I’m on a constant quest to find unusual and discarded “things” to use in my paintings. I’ve used everything from plaster, twine, metal, foil, and even broken windshield glass. It all somehow becomes symbolic in my paintings and signifies a feeling or emotion. Thanks for joining me on this journey and this adventure we call life and art!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

"Stages of the Heart", Original Mixed Media Painting by Colorado Artist, Donna L. Martin

Stages of the Heart






This is an original mixed media piece I created after going through stages of grief, feelings of loss, and healing after the death of a dear friend. It is titled "Stages of the Heart". 

The first Heart is "Hopeful", in thinking about the beginning of a relationship and wondering what the future might hold. It is a red heart made of Tyvek paper and burlap, painted in shades of red.

The second heart is "Broken", and represents what I was feeling about death and loss. It is a purple heart made of broken windshield glass. It expresses a myriad of emotions. 

The third Heart is "Healing", signifying the healing that can happen after loss. It is made of some of the broken windshield glass and gauze bandages. The piece was finished with a resin, which gave it alot of depth and made the colors "pop".  This is a very personal piece to me and helped me to express all the various emotions that I was feeling.

The original piece is sold, but for questions or comments, please feel free to contact me at: saltlightwatercolors@yahoo.com

Follow me on Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/donnamartinfineart

Friday, June 9, 2017

"Forgotten Girl", by Colorado Artist, Donna L. Martin

Forgotten Girl




Dear Forgotten Girl,

I see you.  I've always seen you.  

I saw the many times you were overlooked and felt forgotten.  I was there when you were always the last picked for the team.  I saw the hurt in your eyes when friends would pass you by to hang out with the other "cool kids".  You never fit it, because of your last name, because the color of your skin wasn't the same as the others in your class, because you were the quiet one.  You were restless and longing for more...even at a young age. You tried your hardest to make friends, but so often, it didn't happen.  You were different, not like the others.

I witnessed your best friend's dad abusing you at the age of 7.  I felt your confusion and your pain, not quite sure of what just happened.  You were too scared to tell your parents.  How would you even tell them something you didn't understand yourself?  Would they believe you anyway...you were just a kid.  

I saw the humiliation and brokenness you felt when your own father kicked you to the ground and called you "stupid" in front of your whole family. My heart broke for you when not one came over to help you up or rushed to your side. They didn't "interfere" in those days.

I was there when you were pregnant at 16, trying to hide it from your parents and you felt so alone.  I cried with you when a few months later, you miscarried your precious baby girl.  You grew up way too fast and knew a loss most your age couldn't even fathom.

I still see you.  Most of the time, you still feel like you don't "fit in".  You are still "the quiet one".  Sometimes I see your longing to conform to the world, but you aren't of this world.  And it's okay.

Because of all of these things, it gave you a heart for the broken, for the people that feel alone, for the forgotten.  Because of your stories, you have the gift of compassion and empathy.  I see the passion, the joy, the gratitude you have for the life you are living right now, in this moment, because you know it hasn't always been this way.  I see the dreams you work tirelessly for and are beginning to realize, because you have walked through the fire and you have never given up.  

Forgotten girl, I see you and although you don't see it, you are perfect in all of your many imperfections.  

This was a very personal and intense painting for me.  It was very different for me and I painted her, reflecting all of my feelings and emotions.  I'm sure some of you feel the same way as forgotten girl. Please don't think you are forgotten. You are loved and everything you are going through will shape you into the person you were meant to be.  Keep dreaming and never ever give up.

This piece is was done with charcoal, gesso, pencil, and acrylic.  It measures 16 X 16 X 1.5.  It will be available in an auction I am participating in in late September, early October.

Please send me an email with any questions or comments...I would love to hear from you!



Monday, May 22, 2017

“Dragons Soar”, by Colorado Artist, Donna L. Martin

Dragons Soar



This is the latest little painting I completed.  It's the time of the year I've been thinking about family, getting out in the warm sunshine, planting flowers, breathing in the fresh air.  I named it "Dragons Soar" because I have a little sign in my garden that says "In my garden, hearts soar and dragons fly." 

In thinking about the dragonfly and creating this piece, I found this interesting symbolism.  The dragonfly normally lives most of its life as a nymph or an immature. It flies only for a fraction of its life and usually not more than a few months. This adult dragonfly does it all in these few months and leaves nothing to be desired. This style of life symbolizes and exemplifies the virtue of living IN the moment and living life to the fullest. By living in the moment you are aware of who you are, where you are, what you are doing, what you want, what you don’t and are able to make informed choices on a moment-to-moment basis.

This ability lets you live your life without regrets like the great dragonfly.  This week, this day, are you living in the moment?

Here are some pictures of how this painting started out and went through the process.


This painting literally sat in my art studio for over a year, untouched.  I did NOT like how it was turning out and couldn't figure out what to do with it.  The sides and the bottom of it were painted bright red.  Really...who does that...FIRE ENGINE red!  I toned it down with some white.  The top background underneath the dragonfly is some really beautiful turquoise paper that I found and altered.


I continued doing more alterations to the paper behind the dragonfly.  I added some iridescent orange...man those iridescent paints are gorgeous!  Started adding some blue over the white paint at the bottom and sides to try to tie it all together.


Here I began to add more turquoise to the painting, again to try to tie it together, and because I LOVE turquoise.



And...TaDa...I think it is done!


This little painting is 8 X 8 X 1.5 found a home here in Colorado.  It was finished with a resin coating, which eliminates the need for framing.  If you have comments or comments, please contact me at:


You can check out my other work at:


Friday, March 24, 2017

“Infinity”, Original Mixed Media Painting/Encaustic by Colorado Artist, Donna L. Martin

Infinity



In the midst of winter, I start dreaming about spring.  It's the time for renewal, new starts, new colors, new choices.  I always look forward to the flowers blooming and the warm sunshine blowing around in the spring winds.  

Another thing I look forward to is the return of the hummingbirds.  My Grandma, from the time I can remember, always had a hummingbird feeder up at her place in the mountains.  I remember as a child being mesmerized by them and by my Grandmother's care for them.  They were like little tiny dancers.

My Grandma is gone now and I miss her so much.  We had a special bond and she was the one I could turn to with any of my secrets without fear of judgement or rejection.  She worried about me, cried with me, celebrated with me, and loved me unconditionally.  I wish we would have had more time together.

Whenever the hummingbirds come back around, I think of her.  These teeny, little birds have so much meaning to me and bring back many memories. Their wings, very tiny but powerful, actually move in the pattern of a circle eight, the symbol for infinity.  That's exactly how I feel about my Grandma and the time we shared together.  Even though we are apart for now, her love is infinite and transcends time and space.  She will never be forgotten.  

This piece is a reflection of my feelings about spring and the hummingbirds that come to visit us every year.  It truly is a mixed media piece...it has so many layers and mediums.  For the background, I used a vintage hankie that had a flower stitched into it.  I then added gesso and plaster.  I used an image transfer for the hummingbird and formed the flowers in watercolor, graphite, and intense pencils.  I added some watered-down paint in the background to give it a vintage-feel.  Finally, I finished it off with a layer of encaustic wax, which gave it a dream-like quality.

This little piece will be available soon in an upcoming auction on Facebook.  The link for the auction is:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/soulsistersunited

I would love to hear from you!  You can send me an email at:

saltlightwatercolors@yahoo.com

www.donnamartinfineart.com
     

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

"Take These Broken Wings", Original Mixed Media Painting by Colorado Artist, Donna L. Martin

"Take These Broken Wings"



Sometimes we feel lost, broken, and so alone.  We feel like we've lost the ability to "fly", to find the joy, the ability to be grateful and see the good in the world.  It's almost as though we look in the mirror and don't recognize the shadow looking back at us. Sometimes, we need people to help us recreate our broken wings, to transform them into something different, something beautiful.  We need the random kindness of a stranger, a smile from the person behind the counter, almost as much as we need the people that know us the best and love us anyway.  Let's face it, there is much brokenness in the world.  People are hurting, people are searching, people are crying alone in the darkness of the night.  My question to you is, can you be a light?  Can you give someone a smile or say hello, even thought we are all different?  Can you make a difference in someone's life and be a step to mending broken wings?  I believe we all can.  One, small act of kindness at a time.  

“Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” 

Hebrews 13:2


This piece is a tribute to all those special souls who help us heal and help us to fly again. It was created with many layers of paper, paint, and inks.  The edges have raised texture and it is kissed by a touch of iridescent paint...it glows when the light catches it.

This little painting will be available during an upcoming auction...below is the link to the site:


Please feel free to contact me with any questions or comments!





Friday, February 3, 2017

"Magic in the Mess", Original Mixed Media Painting by Colorado Artist, Donna L. Martin

"Magic in the Mess"


It's hard to believe that January is already over and another month has begun.  

What a month January was.  My son got married in December and they announced that they are having a baby boy, due to make his appearance the first part of June.  He will be our first Grandson and we are so excited.  At the same time, my Father-in-Law became extremely ill and recently passed away.  It's so hard to believe he is gone.  My husband still feels like he needs to pick up the phone every week and check on him.  My daughter struggles...every day.  She is a single mom raising my granddaughter on her own.  I worry about my aging parents and I wish we lived closer so we could help more.  I constantly wonder what will happen next and how will we get through it.  I thought things would be easier at this stage of life.  

I guess my point is, there always seems to be some mess, some drama going on in life.  This painting evolved through the messes.  It had several "ugly duckling" stages.  I almost wanted to trash it and start all over again - several times.  Just when I thought it was not salvageable, this butterfly started making it's way into the piece.  Almost as if coming out of its cocoon.  It ended up being one of my favorite paintings, one of my favorite "stories".  Isn't that how life is.  Mess upon mess.  We are not sure if we can salvage the pieces and start all over again.  We feel like giving up and throwing in the towel.  We can't see the magic, only all of the messes.  I urge you to keep on and don't give up, even when you feel like there won't ever be anything more.  Even when you feel like there will never be any magic that comes out of the mess.  There's something there, ready to bloom, ready to burst out of the cocoon.  You just need to have the patience and the fortitude to see what happens next.  There is grace, I promise you.  There will be magic, growth, and beauty that comes from the mess.  

This piece is available.  I'd love to hear from you if you have any comments or questions!  My email is:  



https://www.facebook.com/donnamartinfineart/

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

"Cherish This Life", Original Mixed Media Painting by Donna L. Martin

"Cherish This Life"



We recently lost someone very special to us.  My Father-in-Law, Mikey, was Italian, to the core.  He grew up in North Denver, in what was known as little Italy.  He worked at an Italian Bakery for much of his life and he fought in WWII, in Normandy.  He knew the Italian Mob Bosses in Denver, worked hard to raise his family, and he loved to gamble in Vegas.  He was pretty good at it too. He also loved to go dancing.  He went dancing almost every Saturday night up until about 4 months ago.  

There was just no question where you stood with Mikey.  My husband has commented so many times about what a great role model he was.  I believe it because my husband is a great man.  Mikey took me into the family just like a daughter and I loved him.  We have so many great memories of him and walking through life with him.  I am grateful.  

Mikey would always tell us, "Everybody's got to go sometime, no one gets out of it".  After witnessing this illness, I know that Mikey is happy to be free and he's happy to be gone.  He told us as much when is was still here.  We are going through so many conflicting emotions.  We are glad he is not in pain anymore and not struggling to fight, although he fought with everything he had.  At the same time, selfishly, we feel sorry for ourselves.  We miss him.  We miss his huge smile, quick wit, and easy laugh.  We already miss not being able to pick up the phone and call him.  And we love him, much more than words can say.

I know if we could talk to him again, he would tell us to live this life and appreciate it, because it is short.  As I've said before, this life is just a whisper of time.  So this is for you, Mikey, for a life well-lived and well-loved...we will cherish you and the life you lived forever.

This piece was created as a reminder to "Cherish This Life".  It was done with many layers of paint, inks, and painted paper.  The heart in the middle was cut from a vintage ceiling tile.  When the light catches it, you can see the hints of iridescent gold paint sprinkled throughout the painting.  The words, "Cherish This Life" are embedded into the painting.  It is framed in a gold and black floater frame.