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!

Monday, July 21, 2014

"New Beginnings", Original Mixed Media Painting by Donna L. Martin

"New Beginnings"

This painting is finally done!  It's amazing how I literally obsessed over this one.  I couldn't wait to come home and work on it.  I was amazed at every layer and how it was almost painting itself.  Event the colors are not typical of what I normally use.  

Both of the substrates (cradle boards) started out with a muted gray background with a bright orange stencil over the top.  I began adding layers of paint and paper.  Then I figured out that I needed to put a Mama bird and a little bird's nest into the composition.  I used stencils and molding paste to give it a raised texture.  Added more paper, paint, and glass bead gel.

In the time I was working on these, I thought about how our lives so quickly change.  I remembered my kids when they were babies and now they have babies of their own.  It's pretty incredible, the twists and turns our lives take and how fast time really goes. We never expect the unexpected.  But when something happens that completely rocks our world - in a good or in a bad way - change is inevitable.  During the final completion of this painting, I kept hearing the words "New Beginnings" whispering in my ear, so I added those words.  I finished it off with an antique door plate and skeleton key anchored by a completely "brand new" door knob that I found.  I grounded these elements together by placing them in a composition on a very old piece of wood and anchored the paintings on each side.  

When I painted this, I was wondering who I was painting it for...what is happening in their life and why will they be drawn to this painting.  I painted it in wonder and anticipation.  I think it's a beautiful reminder of how we can keep and treasure the old, but still be open and willing to accept the new. Keep your memories and treasure them in your heart, but also open your heart to accept new memories and experiences.  Always be open to "New Beginnings".

This piece measures 29.5 X 12.  It is finished with a beautiful, shiny coating and comes ready to hang.  If you are interested in purchasing or have questions or comments, please feel free to contact me at:

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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

"Troyce's Heart", original mixed media painting by Colorado artist, Donna L. Martin

Troyce's Heart


This is an original mixed media piece that was specially created for a little baby boy that will be undergoing heart surgery next month.  He has been through such a rough time already, but he has a strong family and a contagious smile! 

His Grandmother wanted me to create something special for his Mom and Dad as they travel this journey.  I was honored when she asked me to do this piece.  Through the years I've always felt close to her, even with all the twists and turns our lives have taken.  She and her family hold a special place in my heart.

I have no idea where the inspiration for this piece came from.  Even the colors are nothing like what I had originally planned.  Doug Collins, from Redeemwood provided the small wooden pallet that the heart was constructed on.  It seemed like the perfect special touch for this piece.  There are quite a few layers of paper, paint, molding paste, and burlap.  The round knob in the middle of the heart was made by a friend of mine, Wrenn Boulton, who does amazing fused glass pieces.  To me it symbolized fusion of the heart into one complete, beautiful creation...kind of like Troyce's heart. 

This little piece will soon be on it's way to Texas.  I hope it will hold special meaning for Troyce's Mom, Dad, and Grandmother.  Please pray for this family and Troyce's upcoming surgery.

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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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

A New Adventure...Enjoying the Ride!

New Adventure and a work in progress...
I did the background starting with a very bland gray paint.  I added a leaf stencil using orange paint over the gray.  Added some papers and yellow and red paint with a glazing medium.  WOW, too bright!  Hmmm...added some white and some glass bead gel.  It helped, but not quite sure if I'm totally happy with it.  What to do, what to do...do other artists question this stuff too? 

Man, I have been obsessed with these paintings for some reason.  It's a really strong pull for me to get them done.  I wonder who I am creating these for...what's their story, are they drawn to these as I am?  So, back to work.  I added some sheet music and added a glaze with a little more white.  Also added more stenciling witht the leaf stencil.  I began to add some brown ink to the nest and around the leaves.

I did the same things on the bird canvas as I did with the nest.  This weekend at a local market, I found a really cool piece of wood that I am thinking about incorporating into these two paintings.  I was up until midnight thinking about these.  I have to be at work at my "day job" at 7:00!  Obsession and passion.  No other words for me in making art. 

Here again, added more white glaze to the background and sheet music.  Started painting the limbs and around the leaves. 
I almost feel like with these two paintings, I'm on this adventure into the unknown.  It's exciting and I can't figure out where they are taking me, but I am enjoying the ride!  Who knows where we will end up! 

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Feel free to contact me at:  saltlightwatercolors@yahoo.com