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 25, 2014

"Free to Dream", Mixed Media Original Painting by Colorado Artist, Donna L. Martin

"Free to Dream"
Thought I'd give you a sneak peak into the process of creating this piece.  It was so much fun and so much heart and soul went into it.  I hope you enjoy!
This is the beginning of this painting...just an ol' gray background on a cradle board.

Stenciled some turquois paint on to the gray background...'cause I just love turquois!

Adding some paper.  Don't they just have the most gorgeous papers out there these days!

Adding more blue and some white paint just to tone it down a bit.

I got this cool stencil from Etsy and just had to try it.  I used patching paste...the kind you use to patch holes in your wall.  (tip ~ clean it off of your stencils right away and clean it in a bucket of water you can dump outside ~ you don't want that stuff clogging up your pipes)

Both sides of the painting in progress.

Here is a close-up of one of the wings in progress.  I added some more patching because I didn't want the wings to look so "perfect".  I also stared adding some sea glass and putting in some dark paint around the indentions in the wings.

I felt like I needed to "warm" it up a little, so I added just a touch of iridescent gold.  Also added some blue sea glass. 

Finally FINISHED!  I used an old antique wooded piece for the middle to tie the two wings together.  Found a rusty old piece of hardware and added the butterfly to the middle.  I also added the words "Free to Dream" on the lower portion of the wooden piece in the middle and an old antique chandelier teardrop to the bottom of the wooden piece.

This piece measures approximately 18" wide and about 13" at the highest point in the middle.  The wings are finished with an epoxy resin coating, which really makes the colors "pop".
This one is heading up to Breckenridge, CO for the weekend for an art show.  I'd love to see you up there!  It will be on the Riverwalk Plaza in the heart of Breckenridge on Saturday, June 28th and Sunday June 29th, from 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.  There are only be 34 artists in the show, so you will have a chance to personally speak to all of the artist there and interact with them on a one-on-one basis.  No admission fee and Breckenridge is a beautiful place to be this time of year!
I would love to hear your feedback, so please email me with any comments or if you are interested in a commissoned piece!
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Monday, June 23, 2014

Dreaming of and Remembering Great Adventures!

Traveling and Dreaming of Far Away Places...
 Anyone who know me knows that one of my favorite things in life is to travel and have adventures!  One of my best friends, Rena (Renaisy Daisy, as I call her) used to call me "Kentucky" ~ back when I was much younger, I used to say I was going to run away to Kentucky where nobody knew my name and I could disappear in the Appalachian Mountains .  I dreamed about being a "mountain" person and living in the wilderness, living off the land.  Then reality sort of creeps in and time makes you a little older and wiser and I begin wondering if I could even start a fire.  Plus, I really don't enjoy being cold, so this little fantasy just isn't going to work for me.

Then last year we were blessed to be able to take a trip to Mexico with my sweet, sassy adventurous cousin and her husband. 
I can't even tell you how much fun we had and how many memories we made.  We watched the mama whales teach their babies to jump out out of the water.  We sailed.  We watched sunsets.  We also made an effort to really talk to the people who worked at the place where we stayed.  I wanted to know about their lives, what did they do with their time off, their families.  They were so kind and they opened up to us.  I know one of the young ladies we talked with was pregnant with her second baby.  That baby is probably close to being a year old now!  I think about her and her family often. 
I was reflecting on that great adventure when I created this piece.  I often think that I can't remember the "material" gifts we receive in life...do you remember what you received for Christmas two years ago?  I know I don't.  But we do remember and cherish our experiences and the people we were with.  We remember our travels,our experiences, and our great adventures.
I am still dreaming and planning the next big escape, but until then, a piece of my heart that got lost in the adventure and the dream of future adventures can appear in my artwork!
This is a tiny little treasure.  It measures 8X8X1.5.  It is finished with a epoxy resin coating, so there is no need for framing.  If you have comments or are interested in purchasing, please email me at:  saltlightwatercolors@yahoo.com
Follow me on Facebook at Donna L. Martin Fine Art.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Take Me Away and FLY!

Flying away and wings seem to be my "thing" lately....hmmm....wonder what that means!

This is my latest finished mixed media piece.  I started it during a recent workshop that I gave in which I wanted people to create a piece based on one "word".  If you had to think of your mantra for the year, day, moment, what would that word be and what would that mean to you
This was created with paint, stencils, molding paste, and paper.  The middle piece is a glass drawer pull.  The word "Fly" resides in the upper right-hand corner.  It measures 12X12X1.5 and will be finished with a resin coating, so there is no need for framing!
If you are interested in purchasing or have any comments, please feel free to email me at:  saltlightwatercolors@yahoo.com.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

"Yellow Butterfly", by Colorado Mixed Media Artist, Donna L. Martin

This is a special little mixed media piece that I did for my husband.  It has a very cool story behind it, so if you have a moment...
A few years ago, my husband's mother passed away.  She was a beautiful woman with a fiesty Italian spirit and a love for her children and grandchildren that knew no end.  She was actually a watercolor artist and her paintings are gorgeous.  We didn't expect her to go as quick as she did.  She had just fallen and hit her head, but we were all expecting her to recover and be ok.  She wasn't.  She ended up having some bleeding in her brain and the situation just deteriorated very quickly.  She passed away the day after they transferred her to Hospice, one day before my husband's Birthday.
She had always told us that if anything ever happened to her, she wanted us to scatter her ashes at sea, she loved it so much and that is where she always felt at home.  Life has a way of getting in the way, but we finally had the chance to go to Cabo San Lucas last year.  We brought her ashes with us, hoping to have the chance to scatter them at sea, just as she wished.  We were lucky enough to charter a little sail boat that is supposed to have around 8-12 people on it at any one time.  It just so happened that nobody else had reserved the available spots on the boat, so it was just myself, my husband, my cousin (who is more like a sister to me), and her husband.  The captain and co-captain of the boat knew our wishes and were more than accomodating for us. 
It was a gorgeous day at sea and the water was bluegreen, sparkling with the specks of sunlight that was hitting it.  The mama dolphins were at sea teaching their little babies how to jump.  It was so amazing to watch.  The captain took us pretty far out to sea and stopped the engine so we were just floating on the waves.  They put music on for us..."Somewhere Over the Rainbow" sung by Israel "IZ" Kamakawiwo╩╗ole with just the ukulele. And my husband slowly let his Mom go.  It was so beautiful and so very moving.  It was the final release - letting go of someone you love so very much and fulfilling her final wishes.  It wasn't sad, it was very, very touching...one of those rare moments in life that you are grateful to be a part of.  Immediately after the ashes were released, one of the most amazing things happened and I'm sure I will never see anything like it again.  Way out to sea, with the outline of the land miles and miles in the distance, out of the boat and over the water flew the most gorgeous yellow butterfly.  Out of nowhere.  The image of the bright yellow butterfly flying out over the turquois waves will stay in my memory forever.  I pointed it out to my husband and he choked up when he said "yellow was mom's favorite color".  There are no words...just a very cherished memory that none of us will ever forget.
"A butterfly lights beside us like a sunbeam and for a brief moment, it's glory and beauty belong to our world.  But then it flies again.  And though we wish it could have stayed, we feel lucky to have seen it."  ~ Unknown
I completed this painting to try and commemorate that moment in time.  It belongs to my husband, but if you have a comment, feel free to send me an email.
Thanks for listening to this story!
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