About Me

My photo
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, November 22, 2016

"Tree of Life", Original Mixed Media Painting by Colorado Artist, Donna L. Martin

Tree of Life



This is a new mixed media piece that I've done, using several different techniques that I've learned throughout the last couple of years.  It was done with many layers of paint, papers, modeling paste, and acrylic inks.

This one symbolizes connection.  All of our lives are entwined and connected, no matter what are differences may be.  

This painting measures 24 X 24 on a thick, gallery wrapped canvas.  The texture is kissed with iridescent copper paint that gives it the feeling of being antique. it will be available in an upcoming Facebook Auction that I will be participating in. If you'd like a chance to bid on it, here is the link to join the event:

https://www.facebook.com/events/1003365009793243/

You can also contact me at:

saltlightwatercolors@yahoo.com

I'd love to hear from you!

www.donnamartinfineart.com

Friday, October 28, 2016

"Peace Within", Original Mixed Media Painting by Colorado Artist, Donna L. Martin

 "Peace Within"




I was recently fortunate enough to host a workshop with the most fabulous artist, Jenny Grant.  http://www.flowbyjenny.com/en
I first found Jenny on Facebook a couple of years ago. Jenny is from Stockholm, Sweden.  On a whim, last year I asked her if she would come to the US and hold a workshop.  To my surprise, she said yes and was gracious enough to come to Colorado and hold a workshop on her mixed media techniques.  This painting was a result of her workshop. 

Here below are some photos of how my painting progressed through the many layers.  The first pictures depict how papers, inks, and paints were layered on to this piece.







Then I added more modeling paste for texture and then more color!  



After drying, we took a reference photo and proceeded to add a face.  I wanted the face to meld in with the background.



To finish off, I added some darker inks and more stamping.  She's done!  I love her.  

I will be forever grateful to Jenny for coming all the way over here to teach. She is one of the most gracious, kind, compassionate people that I've ever met. What a blessing to call her "friend".

I will be holding on to this painting, but I'd love to hear from you!  You can send me an email at:  saltlightwatercolors@yahoo.com

You can also find me on my website:  donnamartinfineart.com

and on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/donnamartinfineart/

Thursday, October 27, 2016

“Surrender to the Moment”, Original Mixed Media Painting by Colorado Artist, Donna L. Martin

Surrender to the Moment



She finds herself lost in rare, quiet, solitude. Her mind wanders, illuminated with her dreams. Almost like a field full of wildflowers, touched by the sun, swaying in the warm breeze. Grace and peace are her momentary companions. She is grateful and surrenders to this one, small, moment in time.

This piece was created with many layers of papers, inks, paint, and modeling paste. The layers create rich depth and texture. It is done on a wooden cradleboard canvas and measures 14 X 18 X 1.5".

This piece is available. I would love to hear from you - feel free to email me at:



Thursday, September 29, 2016

“Discover the Miracle of Forgiveness”, Original Mixed Media Painting by Colorado Artist, Donna L. Martin

"Discover the Miracle of Forgiveness






This was a very emotional process, working on this painting.  It will be donated to an online auction, with all the proceeds going to a very worthy cause.  My every heartbeat was thinking about the results of the auction and how the project will mean so much to so many people.  I began thinking about my own story and thinking about the concept of forgiveness.  I came to the conclusion, for myself, that forgiveness is an ongoing process.  It doesn’t mean that I forget the wrong that was done to me or that the people that hurt me get a “free pass”.  It means that I choose to let go of it, for me.  It is a weight lifted.  Once I begin the process of forgiveness and try to work through it, I am transformed.  It gives me wings to “rise above” it, if you will.  I am still sad and even sometimes angry over what happened to me, but I choose forgiveness and it truly sets me free.  This painting has a lot of symbolism and is very personal.  Rather than tell you my story of what it means to me, I’d like to let you all begin to write your own story…maybe even through this painting.    






This piece was very different for me.  It was created with many layers of paint, papers, stencils, inks, charcoal, gesso, pearl mica flakes, and modeling paste.  In the middle of the piece, it is embellished with an antique doorknob ~ again, another symbolism for me.

This piece will be available in an auction taking place in October.  Here is the link:


You can also find more of my work on my website at:


I welcome your comments!  Email me at:  saltlightwatercolors@yahoo.com



Wednesday, August 31, 2016

"Beautiful Whisper", Original Mixed Media Painting by Colorado Artist, Donna L. Martin

"Beautiful Whisper"



This piece is an original mixed media creation...my version of aspen trees.  It was created on a beautifully recycled wooden palette.  I used acrylic paints, inks, texture paste, and painted paper.  Each individual leaf was painted, torn from paper, and carefully adhered to the tree.




This piece was created with heart and soul.  I am so blessed to be able to live in Colorado and I love the fact that I was born and raised here.  I adore the mountains, the trees, the rugged terrain of this state.  Colorado is truly an inspiration to me.

This piece is sold, but commissions are welcome.  I'd also love to hear from you!
You can email me at :  saltlightwatercolors@yahoo.com



Friday, August 26, 2016

"Becoming", Original Mixed Media Painting by Colorado Artist, Donna L. Martin

"Becoming"


This little, chubby bird was created with painted papers, inks, stencils, and acrylic paint.  It has multiple layers.  On the first layer, I wrote words or "values", such as compassion, grace, and kindness.  These values represent more of who I want to become, thus the name of the piece.  I also hinted at some flowers just beginning to peak out from below the branches, blooming, if you will, but not yet full and complete.  This also symbolizes blossoming and transformation into something beautiful.

This piece found a new home, but prints are available at:




Sunday, May 1, 2016

Wings with Heart


Wings with Heart


Today, I've been thinking about the work I do and why I do it.  A story from my high school years came to mind and I just had to write it down.

When I was a freshman in high school, we moved from Colorado to a tiny little town in Texas. I came from Columbine High School in Littleton, CO to a high school that had maybe 21 people in my class.  Sports were and always have been a huge part of the culture in that little Texas town that I love.  

I thought about trying out for Cheerleader, but those who know me know that I am extremely shy and I was even more so back then.  I knew in my heart of hearts that there was absolutely no way I could even attempt to try out for Cheerleader.

Then, there was basketball.  I didn't know a thing about basketball, but I was determined that I could absolutely do this.  I signed up for the team and went to every practice.  I ran laps.  I worked very hard.  I became part of the team and it was a dream come true...until our first game.  It was a home game and I still remember it like it was yesterday.  Coach Thomason was going to put me in...I was so excited I could hardly stand it.  Right before I was going to run out onto the court, I asked him if it mattered which basket I got the ball in to - mostly because you see, I just knew I was going to make all these shots - I wouldn't miss one! At that moment, he grabbed my arm and pulled me back on to the sidelines and put someone else in.  I was crushed, but now I understand.

Fast forward to a few weeks later in the season.  Even though that moment was somewhat humiliating, to say the least, I still worked harder than ever.  I was still determined.  I could still see myself making those shots.  My teammates were encouraging and I loved them.  We had a basketball tournament in a town just a few miles away.  The gym was packed and my shyness was getting the best of me.  At this moment, I hoped the coach would NOT put me in.  But, as serendipity would have it, he decided to take a chance on me that day.  So I went in to the game and did the best I could.  Soon after, one of the Refs blew a whistle and I knew that I was somehow involved in that, but didn't know how. Turns out, a player on the opposing team had fowled me.  To this day, I don't know what the fowl was.  All I knew in that moment is that they were telling me I had to make two, not one, but two, free throws.  I am not exaggerating when I tell you that I was shaking like a leaf when I stepped up to that free throw line.  First shot...I aimed, threw the ball and squinted my eyes closed.  All of the sudden I heard screaming and cheering.  By some divine miracle, the ball went in.  Are you kidding me??  It was like I left my body for a moment and was in a dream.  Then, terror arose in me...I had another shot.  This time, I was not only shaking, but I was kinda swaying back and forth, just sure I was going to pass out.  Same thing, I aimed and I threw the ball, and closed my eyes as tight as I could.  More screams and cheers from the packed gym...the ball went in and I SCORED!!  

That was one of those moments that I will never forget.  After that tournament, Coach Thomason still didn't put me into the games very much - I was not considered a "star player" even after those free throws.  But, I still worked hard, I could still visualize me making the shots, I dreamed about it.  I ran laps, I practiced with team.

So what does this have to do with my artwork, most especially, my paintings of wings? To me, the wings are a symbol to fly high...that I can work hard, see my dreams, and use those wings to soar, to make things happen.  They also remind me that I'm not alone - EVER.  My Dad recently commented that he's not a fan of my wing paintings, that he thinks they are too "dark".  This is one of the times that I have to disagree.  I love the thought of flying of soaring...above that darkness into the light.  It's a feeling of freedom and abandon.  Taking a risk, not knowing where those wings are going to take me.  Maybe it's crazy, but that's how I think about them and that's why I love creating them.








This post is dedicated to two of the most inspirational people I've ever known, Coach Curran and his wife, Betty.  I was not lucky enough to have Coach as my basketball coach back in my high school days, but I was lucky enough to have Coach and Betty as teachers in high school.  They were my teachers, coaches, mentors, and most importantly, friends.  Some of my best loved memories are fishing trips with Coach and Betty.  Coach is in a tough battle right now.  My message is, stay STRONG Coach.  Fight with everything you have.  And when things are toughest, remember this:

but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31

Thursday, April 21, 2016

"You Are Not Alone", Original Mixed Media/Assemblage Painting by Colorado Artist, Donna L. Martin

"You Are Not Alone"



This is my latest mixed media/assemblage.  The story unfolded as I was painting and constructing it.  I was thinking about how we are all faced with challenges in our lives, sometimes they seem insurmountable.  If I'm being real, authentic, and honest, I know lately sometimes I feel like I struggle to find the light in my soul and I can't seem to climb out of the darkness.  Painting helps me rise above this darkness and seek out the light. These wings came into existence and this verse kept coming to mind to remind me that when I feel dark and alone, I'm really not.
    
For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.  Psalm 91:11 (KJV) 

This color palette is not one that I normally use, but it fits the piece beautifully.  It is rich with texture and many subtle layers.  The middle piece is part of an antique corbel that I found.  I also found an antique bronze "lions head" and placed in the top part of the corbel.  To me, that symbolized protection and peace.  On the bottom of the corbel, I attached the words, "You Are Not Alone".  I finished the wings off with a resin coating, so it looks like glass floating over each wing.  





I am so fortunate to be taking part in an online auction that starts on May 24th and this piece will be available.  If you would like an invitation, or just would like to take a peek, here is the link:  https://www.facebook.com/events/872662112861082/

Always remember, you are not alone, no matter what!




Tuesday, April 12, 2016

“She Danced”, Original Mixed Media Painting by Colorado Artist, Donna L. Martin

"She Danced"
  


This one of my latest mixed media pieces.  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 finished with resin, so it has an almost glass-like finish while still being able to enjoy all the beautiful textures.  It is available.  Please feel free to email me with questions or comments.

saltlightwatercolors@yahoo.com

donnamartinfineart.com














Thursday, April 7, 2016

“Joy in the Journey”, Original Mixed Media Painting by Colorado Artist, Donna L. Martin

Joy in the Journey



This is one of my newest mixed media pieces, fresh off the easel.  I've discovered that I just love painting these wild and crazy flowers.  These flowers start out as "blobs" of ink and I really have to use my imagination to make them come to life!

This piece has many, many layers.  It has layers of paper and paint.  It also has some stenciling and layers of ink.  To finish it off, I added the words, "Discover the Joy in the Journey".  This painting truly was all about discovering the joy in the journey!  




This painting is another one that will be up for auction toward the end of May. If you are interested in participating in this event, or if you have any comments, please feel free to send me an email...I would love to hear from you!





Tuesday, March 22, 2016

"Hope on the Horizon", Original Mixed Media/Encaustic Painting by Colorado Artist, Donna L. Martin

"Hope on the Horizon"


This is a little encaustic piece of work, fresh of the easel.  I started out with paint, paper, and plaster.  I added more layers of wax and more paper.  I managed to achieve an accident, which it turns out is one of my favorite parts of this painting.  Below, you can see how the paper lifted up from the wax.  How cool is that?!?

These are an angled view of the paper that I added.
 

This is a view from the front - so you can see how the paper lifted.
I am loving the process of working with wax.  The layers can be as simple or complex as you would like.  It's totally like an adventure and there are many surprises, twists, and turns. Kind of like the journey we ourselves are on every single day.  The tree symbolizes hope and new beginnings and the leaves, made out of plaster, symbolizes new growth.  We also have hope, new beginnings, and the chance for growth.  We just have to keep pushing on. We have to be vulnerable and keep open hearts.

This will be available for an online auction that I am participating in at the end of May.  Stay tuned for details!  In the meantime, I would love to hear from you.



Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Chicks Rule”, Original Mixed Media/Encaustic Painting by Colorado Artist, Donna L. Martin

"Chicks Rule"


This is a little encaustic piece that I just finished.  It has lots of layers and subtle colors.  The "nest" just appeared...I really didn't plan that at all, but I love those kinds of surprises.  Of course when the nest appeared, I had to add a bird.  I also added part of an old deed dating back to the early 1900's.  You can see part of it by her left arm and shoulder.


Here you can get a little bit of a closer view.  The flowers were made of plaster.  I also used some stamps to embellish the piece.  Some of the stamping is more visible and some not so much.


I am in love with the process of using wax (encaustic).  You can put so many rich layers and symbolism in a piece.  And above all, it's kind of a mystery as to what you will end up with!

This little piece is reserved for an online auction that will be happening in May.  I welcome your comments and would love to hear from you!




Wednesday, February 24, 2016

"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.


I stenciled some turquoise paint on to the gray background...'cause I just love turquoise!


I added layers of paper -  they just have the most gorgeous papers out there these days!


Adding more blue and a little white acrylic 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.  I try to work on both sides at the same time in order to get a cohesive feel.


Here is a close-up of one of the wings in progress.  I added some more patching paste 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 irridescent 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.  I love combining the old, discarded things with the new.




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 found a new home at the art show in Breckenridge, but commissions are welcome!

I would love to hear your feedback, so please email me with any comments or if you are interested in a commissioned piece!