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 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" Kamakawiwoʻole 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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  1. I would love this on a Tee-shirt,

    1. That is a GREAT idea! I'll have to figure out how to make that happen. :0)