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, March 30, 2015

It really is about the journey....

So it begins...we are on our way to Albuquerque, New Mexico so I can attend a workshop being held by Tracy Verdugo.  I love her work and knew I had to take this workshop.  Tracy has the most fabulous spirit and it shows in all of her work.  Bonus - we love road trips, so Chris was excited to come with me.


We stopped along the Santa Fe Trail.  I love, love history, so this was just another bonus along the way.



Beautiful sunset along the stretch of Highway we were traveling.  It felt like the promise of a magical weekend ahead.


We are starting our first morning of the workshop.  I am so nervous...you guys that know me know that I am shy and not very outgoing.  Wondering how I am going to make it through this - I actually couldn't hide in a corner and play like I was invisible.  Tracy was so welcoming and made us all feel at home.  The sun was shining...I was starting to feel ok.


We started out by dividing our canvas up into rows and columns and painting 2 squares in each column white.


Tracy was helpful and all the people in my class were totally awesome.  It felt like I was among kindred spirits and we all spoke art language that we all understood.  It actually felt like I "belonged" and I haven't felt that way in forever! 

After the white paint on our squares dried, we were to wander around and collect symbols.  They could be things we observed that conjured up some meaning for us...they could even include our own unique fingerprints.  We painted and etched symbols on to the canvas in a dark color.


This next part was so, so much fun.  We took acrylic inks and spattered them on to our canvas.  Warm colors on one side, cool colors on the other side.  We sprayed them with water so they could "play" with each other.  The results were so incredible and surprising!





We were to then turn our canvases every direction and see if we could find any "pictures" within what we had already created.  This was difficult, but Tracy helped us "see".



Tracy then demonstrated how to define the pictures further with inks.  Her process was incredible and the colors are so vibrant.



This was how my picture started looking.  I worked and worked and worked, but still couldn't find my vision for this piece.



The two days of the workshop went way to fast and time was up.  I barely started my second piece and I continued to struggle with the first one on the second day.  I think Tracy sensed my struggle.  She said that I should live with it for a while and then go back to it and I would know what to do.


We are on our way home.  The scenery was breathtaking.  Sunshine and still snow on the ground in some places.  I had made new friends who seemed to understand.  There was no competition, no "cattiness" ~ just a true longing to see the best in each other and be encouragers of one another.   




So I'm back home for a couple of weeks and I almost feel like I've been in mourning...missing the workshop and the people I've met.  Yes, me...I met people and I miss them!  I finally got the courage and the will to pick up this piece again and try to finish it.  I re-painted the entire lower portion of this painting and started adding more symbols.  My little buddy, Wyatt, was not impressed with this process, although he enjoyed lounging around in the sunshine!


So, I poured more ink on top of the bottom and let it dry.  Wow...a little psychedelic at this point!  What have I done!  Panic.


Took the painting inside and just started painting.  Finally, painting without expectation of the outcome.  Finally.  This is what I needed to do, this was the lesson.



This is the finished piece (below).  I struggled, I panicked, I cried, I laughed, I grieved, I savored the memories that were made.  I learned that it's not about the outcome, it's all about the journey.




This piece is 30 X 30, standard depth.  Believe me, it has layers and layers and layers!

I would love to hear from you!  If you have questions or comments, please feel free to send me an email.



Thursday, March 26, 2015

"Fly Free", Original Mixed Media Painting Assemblage by Colorado Artist, Donna L. Martin


  
 Fly Free

I shared this last year, but thought it would be worth sharing again.  I have always been one of those people who is naturally shy.  It may have a little to do with the way we were raised, we were always told that children "are to be seen and not heard".  Growing up in that culture, I've always had trouble expressing what I'm feeling or saying what I wanted to say.  Why would I have anything worth saying?  I always felt that when I finally was able to say something, was anyone really listening? 

To add to this, I grew up feeling like I really didn't fit in anywhere, that I was usually the odd one out.  I was the one who got picked last for the team, didn't stand up for myself...I didn't know how, didn't have "permission".  I couldn't really find my place, or my voice. 

I attended Columbine High School for one semester before we moved to a wonderful little small Texas town.  When I first got there, the kids in my class thought I was "stuck up", because I didn't talk much.  I didn't know I could, I didn't know I had anything to say.  I was overwhelmed and I was a little sad at the beginning. 

I didn't play sports - I am the world's biggest clutz - and I certainly wasn't cheerleader material, although I was friends with our cheerleaders.  During our sophomore year, by some small miracle, our little school got an art program and an art teacher.  I thought, maybe this is "IT", something I can do. And I was one of the first people to sign up for that class.  My teacher really guided me and really believed in me.  She even took a couple of pieces of my work to Ft. Worth for a student show and exhibition...on her own time.  I couldn't believe it, it seemed she "got me" and I felt like I was flying. 

I still have a hard time expressing myself through words.  But, I just discovered that I've found my voice and a way to express my emotions and really fly.  It's through my artwork.  Even when I'm not sure exactly what I'm feeling or trying to say, it magically appears in a painting.  That is how this was painting was born.  It's titled "Fly Free".  I found my voice and my wings through art.  And the cool thing is, I think people are listening.

Below is a little bit on the process of creating this piece.

Beginning Stages

I added white paint to tone down the bright pink.  I also stenciled some words on to the piece and started adding ripped up pieces of paper.  I added more white to tone it down a bit more.
   

It's finally beginning to take shape!  I added the wings with molding paste and a stencil.  I painted dark, dark brown between the grooves in the wings and added some white and irridescent pearl paint to the wings - and the tiniest bit of pink, of course!  I also stenciled the little pattern coming off of the wings with some molding paste.


Hmmm...this piece still needed something.  I think I mentioned before that I've become quite a scavenger since discovering mixed media.  I found these old chippy paint "posts" at a little antique store here in town.  I white washed them with some white and turquoise paint and glued them together with industrial strength glue. Also glued on the embellishment at the top.  Then they were attached to the two pieces of cradle board that make up the wings.

  
I added an old antique door knob that I found at the same little shop and an antique skeleton key to hang from the knob with some old wire.  The words "Fly" "Free" are framed with two old, small antique frames that came from long- gone post office boxes.  I think it's finally finished! 


This piece measures approximately 12 X 27.  It is finished with an archival matte coat, but it still has a tiny bit of gloss to the finish.  It now has a home in New York.  If you have comments or are interested in commissioning a similar piece, please contact me at:  saltlightwatercolors@yahoo.com.  Thanks for "listening"!




  
 Fly Free

I shared this last year, but thought it would be worth sharing again.  I have always been one of those people who is naturally shy.  It may have a little to do with the way we were raised, we were always told that children "are to be seen and not heard".  Growing up in that culture, I've always had trouble expressing what I'm feeling or saying what I wanted to say.  Why would I have anything worth saying?  I always felt that when I finally was able to say something, was anyone really listening? 

To add to this, I grew up feeling like I really didn't fit in anywhere, that I was usually the odd one out.  I was the one who got picked last for the team, didn't stand up for myself...I didn't know how, didn't have "permission".  I couldn't really find my place, or my voice. 

I attended Columbine High School for one semester before we moved to a wonderful little small Texas town.  When I first got there, the kids in my class thought I was "stuck up", because I didn't talk much.  I didn't know I could, I didn't know I had anything to say.  I was overwhelmed and I was a little sad at the beginning. 

I didn't play sports - I am the world's biggest clutz - and I certainly wasn't cheerleader material, although I was friends with our cheerleaders.  During our sophomore year, by some small miracle, our little school got an art program and an art teacher.  I thought, maybe this is "IT", something I can do. And I was one of the first people to sign up for that class.  My teacher really guided me and really believed in me.  She even took a couple of pieces of my work to Ft. Worth for a student show and exhibition...on her own time.  I couldn't believe it, it seemed she "got me" and I felt like I was flying. 

I still have a hard time expressing myself through words.  But, I just discovered that I've found my voice and a way to express my emotions and really fly.  It's through my artwork.  Even when I'm not sure exactly what I'm feeling or trying to say, it magically appears in a painting.  That is how this was painting was born.  It's titled "Fly Free".  I found my voice and my wings through art.  And the cool thing is, I think people are listening.

Below is a little bit on the process of creating this piece.

Beginning Stages

I added white paint to tone down the bright pink.  I also stenciled some words on to the piece and started adding ripped up pieces of paper.  I added more white to tone it down a bit more.
   

It's finally beginning to take shape!  I added the wings with molding paste and a stencil.  I painted dark, dark brown between the grooves in the wings and added some white and irridescent pearl paint to the wings - and the tiniest bit of pink, of course!  I also stenciled the little pattern coming off of the wings with some molding paste.


Hmmm...this piece still needed something.  I think I mentioned before that I've become quite a scavenger since discovering mixed media.  I found these old chippy paint "posts" at a little antique store here in town.  I white washed them with some white and turquoise paint and glued them together with industrial strength glue. Also glued on the embellishment at the top.  Then they were attached to the two pieces of cradle board that make up the wings.

  
I added an old antique door knob that I found at the same little shop and an antique skeleton key to hang from the knob with some old wire.  The words "Fly" "Free" are framed with two old, small antique frames that came from long- gone post office boxes.  I think it's finally finished! 


This piece measures approximately 12 X 27.  It is finished with an archival matte coat, but it still has a tiny bit of gloss to the finish.  This piece now has a home in New York.  If you have comments or are interested in commissioning a similar piece, please contact me at:  saltlightwatercolors@yahoo.com.  Thanks for "listening"!




Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Dragonfly Dream...longing for the light.

Dragonfly Dream



I must be dreaming of spring...I seem to be gravitating to these softer, lighter colors and images.  This little dragonfly was created using paint, inks, painted paper, and stencils. You can see how it started out (below) and where it ended up.  It was a transformation, for sure.


So here it goes, I'll open myself up and get honest and real.  I guess I'm also hoping for a transformation of sorts.  Longing to get out of the gloom and negativity that has plagued me for a few months now.  I want to see some light and also be some sort of light for others. I'm so tired of living in this dark place and I'm hoping, maybe through working on my artwork, the light will eventually come.

This little piece has not been spoken for yet.  It measures 9 X 11.  If you have comments or are interested, please send me an email, I would love to hear from you!



Wednesday, March 18, 2015

“Singing of Spring”, Original Mixed Media Painting by Colorado Artist, Donna L. Martin

"Singing of Spring"







In honor of spring, I decided to post this little piece.  As you can see, it is heavily textured with molding paste, hand-painted papers, and pieces of tyvek. The colors are vibrant and sing with the theme of spring!

This little one is sold, but I would love to create something just for you!  Feel free to contact me at:

saltlightwatercolors@yahoo.com

donnamartinfineart.com


Thursday, March 5, 2015

Original Watercolor Painting, "Wild Horses", by Colorado Artist, Donna L. Martin



Wild Horses

This was an original watercolor painting I did using my favorite colors - blues, purples, and rich golds.  I love the feeling of strength and freedom in "Wild Horses"! 

The original piece is sold, but prints are available in various sizes at:  

http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/1-donna-martin.html

For questions or comments, or commissions, please feel free to contact me at: saltlightwatercolors@yahoo.com

http://donnamartinfineart.blogspot.com/

www.donnamartinfineart.com


Monday, March 2, 2015

"Forever", Original Mixed Media Painting

"Forever"




This is a little mixed media piece I created around Valentine's Day.  I used vintage sheet music from Romeo and Juliet, painted paper, wood, and paint.  I applied resin to the finished piece and it turned out beautiful!

This piece is sold, but send me an email if you'd like me to create something special for you or someone you love.