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!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

"Moonlit Winter Aspens", Original Mixed Media Painting by Colorado Artist, Donna L. Martin

Moonlit Winter Aspens

This is a little mixed media piece I did depicting aspen trees on a snowy winter night.  This piece sat around for about 10 months before I finally decided what to do with the background!  It was done on MDF board with molding paste and crackle paste for texture.  It was completed with acrylic paint.  The original is sold, but commissions are welcome.

For questions or comments, please feel free to email me at: 


Thursday, November 13, 2014

“Enjoy the Journey”, by Colorado Mixed Media Artist Donna L. Martin

"Enjoy The Journey"
This is the newest piece, fresh off the easel.  I just lost my Aunt, who fought a courageous battle against cancer.  The painting that I had planned when I started this piece "disappeared" - so much for best laid plans.  This painting just poured out on to the board and practically painted itself.  My Aunt was a beautiful soul and I believe she "enjoyed every step of the journey".  She will be missed every day.

This painting is 10 X 10 X 1.5.  It is made with vibrant colors of paint, antique maps, and is heavily textured.  It is currently available.  Please feel free to email me with questions, comments, or if you are interested in purchasing.
See more of my work at:  donnamartinfineart.com

Monday, October 20, 2014

She Decided to be Brave

She Decided to be Brave

I haven't written in a while...sometimes I feel like I need to have something profound to say.  So all of these thoughts came to me after having a lunch date with some friends.  One of the friends I had lunch with is one of my dearest friends ever - you know the kind - she knows all your secrets and she still likes you!  We've been friends for around 13 years now.  The other two friends have been acquaintances for a number of years, but we are just now getting to know each other and beginning to get comfortable.  At one point in the conversation, I could consciously feel myself beginning to get "guarded". There wasn't a specific reason for this, I'm not sure why this feeling came upon me.  I was trying to be careful so I didn't say the wrong thing, trying to think of something funny to say, or something really clever to interject into the conversation.  I was so physically and emotionally aware of it at that moment, that I just had to breathe and let it go.  Walls.  The walls were up again, if only for a brief moment.  Does anyone else have a problem with these "walls"?  Yes, I put up walls.  To protect my heart, to keep people at a safe distance, to make sure I don't let them know too much about me, to make sure I don't let them in.  After all, what would they think of me?

I remember distinctly one of the first times I added a brick to my wall.  I must have only been around 8 or 9 years old.  I had a group of two or three close friends and we always walked home from school together.  We would always end up at one of our houses to play for a while before we headed our separate directions.  On this particular day, I didn't want to play.  I wanted us all to sit down and just talk to each other.  I wanted to "really know" these friends and what they were all about.  I wanted to know what their favorite colors were, what did they want to be when they grew up, did they have dreams at night, who was their favorite person in the world.  Of course when I suggested this new idea of "talking", they laughed.  They told me I was so "weird" and "why did I always have to be so different".  I think my heart shut down a little that day.  I put a brick in the wall that I labeled "friends".  As a teenager when we moved to Texas, I was so shy that people thought I was stuck up.  I was just too shy to speak.  I added a few more bricks to the wall that I built around me.

Then later in my life, in the most crazy of places and the most crazy time of my life, along came unexpected love.  It felt passionate, crazy, soul-filling, and unconditional.  The kind I always wanted to feel that I never thought would happen.  It happened to ME, and I would never be the same.  But like other things, it just wasn't meant to be.  This time, another wall went up and man, was it mortared with cement.  It was built high and wide, because look what happens when the walls come down and you let someone in, someone you thought you couldn't live without.

Time goes on, and I guess you get a little wiser.  Love removes the bricks. You get a little braver, a little more vulnerable.  Almost 21 years of love has removed bricks and walls, and for him, I am so grateful.

Painting from my heart has also removed some of those walls.  It exposes me, my soul.  It feels pretty vulnerable, putting this work on display for the whole world to see.  People get a glimpse.  A glimpse of you - no matter how weird, different, or unacceptable you feel about yourself.  It's amazing when a piece of work evokes a response or an emotion.  People "get it" and the walls come down. It's totally and completely amazing to me.


This brave girl was finished today.  It was a result of being brave and letting some walls down, letting people have a "glimpse".

She was made with paint, colored pencils, twine, and a glass heart.

She is available.  She measures 8 X 8 X 1.5 and she comes ready to hang.  If you have questions, comments, or are interested in purchasing, please feel free to send me an email at:  saltlightwatercolors@yahoo.com.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

“Song of Hope”

"Song of Hope"

Hope is the thing with feathers 
That perches in the soul, 
And sings the tune without the words, 
And never stops at all, 
And sweetest in the gale is heard;         
And sore must be the storm 
That could abash the little bird 
That kept so many warm.

     –from "Hope is the Thing with Feathers
" by Emily Dickinson
I love this little poem from Emily Dickinson.  It reminds me to listen to that still, small voice in my soul that tells me to never give up.  Sometimes we just have to be still and listen for it.
This is a little mixed media bird that I created with molding paste, painted paper, stencils, and tree bark.  The original is sold, but commissions are welcome. 
Please feel free to email me with questions or comments:
You can view more of my work at:

Monday, September 22, 2014

"Humble Beginnings"

"Humble Beginnings"
This piece was created because of my Brother.  He's followed me along on this "journey" and has seen and commented on many of my pieces.  He told me that I should paint "BIG".  This painting is a result of that effort!  It seemed like it took me forever.  I stressed over it, then enjoyed it, then questioned everything about it.  This is the end result. 
I thought about this painting as a "beginning" of sorts.  By that I thought about symbolizing a young couple starting their own family.  In another new beginning of sorts, It could  symbolize a new beginning as an "empty nester".  Both of those scenarios are big, huge, sometimes scary, unknown adventures.  Both are humbling, full of learning and experiencing a new season in life.  For a new family, it's full of anticipation and expectation.  For a family with children leaving home, it could be grieving and figuring out how to parent in a different way.  It's hard to watch your babies leave the nest and make a new life on their own.  The couple expecting a new baby has to learn how to remain a couple when times are hard and their focus is no longer solely on each other.  The couple letting go of grown children have to relearn how to be a couple, yet still find their own individual paths.  Needless to say, it's complicated.

Close up of Leaves and Texture Detail

Close up of Nest

The nest is made from Pine Needles and a stencil.  It was not easy gluing all of these tiny little needles on to the canvas, but I sure do like how it turned out. 

Detail of the Aspen Trees


Even though life is complicated and there are different seasons, we can always look forward to new beginnings.  I've learned that even when things come to an end, it signifies the beginning of something else.  We just have to be open to whatever is next.  Life is always an adventure, so let's learn to enjoy the journey and see where it takes us!

This painting was created with painted papers, stencils, pine needles, vintage sheet music, and of course, layers and layers of paint!  It measures 36X36 and is on gallery wrapped canvas.  It is finished with a resin coating, which makes the colors "pop" and eliminates the need for framing.  This piece comes ready to hang.

For comments, questions, or if you are interested in purchasing, please email me at:



Wednesday, September 17, 2014

More on "Flying" and being "Fearless"...Original Mixed Media Artwork


"Flying" and being brave seems to be my "theme" for the year.  This whole new adventure, painting in mixed media, has been born out of a tragedy.  It has evolved out of trying to heal and explore what works for me in the healing process. 
In this new journey, I have been trying to push myself and my art.  I've been finding my voice, for the first time, through my art and what it says.  I seem to be connecting to people through my art...and no words seem to be necessary.  All of the emotions in my heart and soul spill out on to the canvas.  
This piece has several layers in it.  I used stencils at the very beginning and then began layering torn and painted pieces of paper over the stenciled areas.  I used a stencil and molding paste to add more texture.  I then added a photo transfer of the butterfly and painted over her body and wings.  In this piece I wanted to convey the feeling that the butterfly is flying towards the light, which is how I was feeling.  I also added a glass door pull in the middle of the piece - just because I loved it and it felt like the piece needed it.
I have always been extremely shy and I'm not very good with words, so this is an amazing way for me to be able to say what I'm not able to.  It is scary, "putting it out there" for people to see.  I wonder if people will get it, or relate to it, or judge it.  But, this is the year to be brave and just do it.  So, I will continue in this journey.  I will try to be "Fearless" and "Fly".
12 X 12 X 1.5  Mixed Media on Cradle Board.  It is heavily textured with layers and layers of paint, paper, and molding paste.  The middle of the piece is embellished with a glass door pull.  It is finished with a Resin Coating ~ No need to frame, unless you would like to do so.
Feel free to contact me at:  saltlightwatercolors@yahoo.com.  I would love to hear from you!
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Thursday, September 4, 2014

"Learning, Changing, Growing"

"Learning, Changing, Growing"

This is an original encaustic piece that I completed recently.  I had a really strong desire to experiment with encaustics and believe me, this piece and two other small pieces took me the better part of a whole day!  I felt like a crazy person, trying to get beautiful, luminous colors and textures into the layers.  At one point, I melted all of the layers off and started all over again.  The text on this piece reads, "While it may alternately sting or soothe, everyday is different, and there is always something new to learn...".  I truly believe that.  I think all experiences, good or bad, are learning experiences and are put in our paths to get us to where we need to be.  I'm still not where I want to be with this medium, but I am working on it ~ and playing with it has been so much fun.  I hope when the weather cools down a bit more, that I can do a few more of these paintings.   
For those who don't know much about encaustic, it is a medium which consists of molten beeswax, resin, and pigments that are fused after application of each layer into a continuous layer and fixed to a support (wood) with heat. This achieves a lustrous enamel appearance.

The word 'encaustic' comes from the Greek and means to burn in, which refers to the process of fusing the paint. Encaustic paintings can be polished to a high gloss, molded, sculpted, textured and combined with collage materials.

Encaustic is also very durable and an excellent investment. This is due to the fact that beeswax is impervious to moisture. Because of this it will not deteriorate, it will not yellow, and it will not darken.

Encaustic paintings do not have to be varnished or protected by glass. If your painting looks dull, or gets dirty it can easily be wiped clean with a soft cloth dampened with water and buffed to a high shine.
I mounted this painting on a wooden pallet that I received from Redeemwood.  Redeemwood takes old, used, unwanted pallets and recycles them into the most beautiful canvases that you've ever seen.  I decided on this painting and the two smaller ones, that I would mount them directly on to the canvases and they complimented the paintings beautifully.  You can contact Doug at Redeemwood about his canvases at this email address: 
This painting is available for purchase.  It measures approximately 13X23.  Feel free to email me at saltlightwatercolors.com if you are interested in purchasing or if you have questions or comments. 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Have You Danced Lately?

"She Danced"
This is my latest mixed media piece.  The words just seemed perfect for this one.  I was inspired by an artist that teaches "tu tu" painting classes and I really wanted to try and make my own "dress" and add my own unique, personal touches and words.

Anyone who knows me, knows I struggle with words.  When I paint, I feel like I communicate what I can't say.  I get lost in another world and time slips away.

This is how I imagine it is for other artists as well.  I can imagine when dancing, time slips away and the dancer is transported into another world.

This canvas was huge, literally for me.  My brother has been encouraging me to do larger works.  So, because I love him so much and he always knows what's good for me, I took the leap.  This is my second attempt at a 36 X 36 X 1.5 canvas.  My first attempt felt so daunting and I felt so lost.  With this current piece, emotions and colors flowed out on to the canvas, with no trouble at all.  The painting seemed to paint itself.  It knew what it wanted to say.

My heart was in the moment and no words needed to be spoken as this creation came to life.

I feel like art gives life to unspoken words, at least for me it does.  I hope you have something in which you can be so totally in the moment that the world melts away, if only for a while.

This painting is available.  Please feel free to email me with questions or comments.



Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Exploring and Adventures ~ in Seattle!

Chihuly Exhibit - Seattle, WA

We were fortunate enough recently to go to Seattle Washington.  My husband had a conference and of course, I just "had" to tag along.  As an artist, this was a wonderful city, full of sensory sights, sounds, smells. 

It was a such a contrast of cultures and environments.  We stayed downtown and we walked everywhere.  One minute we would see high-end stores such as Nordstom, Ben Bridge Jewelers, many others that I'm sure I can't even remember the names of.  Executives making their way through the busy streets and on with their day.  A couple of blocks away, we saw homeless people, disabled people, sitting on the streets with signs asking for money.  I wanted to just sit down and talk to each and every one of them.  I wanted to ask them what their story was and how they had gotten to that place.  I myself, think that personally, I am only one or two moves away from being in that very same place.  We all know life is full of twists and turns and who knows what will happen.  Did they have a career that was demolished by the big recession?  Did they lose all they had during that time?  Did they have enormous medical bills that weren't covered by insurance that left them out on the streets?  Do they have mental health issues - the kind that we're all afraid to talk openly about?  To be honest, I was not brave enough to sit and speak with these people.  I didn't know how they would feel about me approaching them and asking about their stories.  How would I feel if I were in their position if a complete stranger wanted to know how I had ended up on the street?  I guess it would depend.  Nonetheless, it made me so much more aware of the people that are homeless and suffering in our own Country.  Made me want to do something to make a difference.  I haven't quite figured out what it will be yet, but I will do something.

Homeless by the River

In stark contrast to the tragedy of homelessness in Seattle, that part of the Country and the City itself is really beautiful.

Seattle Skyline
It is layered with so many rich textures and colors.  A feast for the eyes and I couldn't get enough of the sites, sounds, and smells.  Yes, we had sunshine while we were there!

Musician Playing by the Space Needle
We took a ferry out to Bainbridge Isand.  Loved the ride over to the island.  Sunshine and cool breeze coming off the water.

Ferry ride to Bainbridge Island

We walked all over downtown and I took some pretty cool "arsty" shots.  Also got to peruse some antique shops and found some really old hymnals to use in some of my mixed media pieces.

Another really, really cool thing we did was visit the EMP Museum by the Space Needle.  It had musical tributes to Jimi Hendrix and Kurt Kobain.  I was snapping this photo of a photo of Jimi and somehow it blurred, but I'm so glad it did.  I LOVE IT!
Below is a picture of a guitar that Jimi doodled on before one of his shows and then he smashed it ~ like a sacrifice to the music he was playing.

The picture of the "angel" below is one of the props Kurt Cobain used on stage at his concerts.  It kind of gave me a strange, sad feeling looking at his exhibit.  So many great artists that are lost too soon.

The trip was a crazy good experience, both a mixture of happy and sad.  During our trip was also the time that Robin Williams passed away.  Depression is a misunderstood, so-alone feeling, but I'll save that for another blog. 

I'm so glad we got to go on this trip.  Making memories and having new adventures, but also seeing the basic realities of life for others.  Feeling extreme gratitude for my life and my situation.  No matter how bad the day seems, it could be worse and it IS worse for so many others.  From the homeless on the streets of Seattle, to the people suffering in silence like Robin Williams was.  Keeping these people and these families in my thoughts and prayers for now ~ and always.