Thursday, July 12, 2018

"There is Always Light", Original Mixed Media Painting by Colorado Artist, Donna L. Martin

There is Always Light

Well, this one was a wild ride!  This is fresh off the easel and for a while, it was a true ugly duckling.  I decided to run, out of my comfort zone and use colors that I don't usually use.  The photo below is the beginning of the process, using stencils and collage, and then trying to tone it down with some titanium white.

After this, I added texture around the piece using molding paste and stencils, layering one stencil over the other so it wouldn't look so "contrived".  After it was dry, I began adding colors that I wouldn't normally use.  I used a purple ink that had just a small amount of shimmer to it.  It was very, very bright and I needed to tone it down again.  After the "wild colors" had dried, I added sepia ink over the whole piece...several times.

At this stage, I was pretty sure I had ruined it, but what happened next was pretty amazing.  The colors started showing through the sepia ink in the most beautiful way.  It still had a beautiful and translucent quality to it, but the ink toned it down and gave it so much more depth.

I decided to add trees, since I have been created a series based on trees.  I added the trees with the same color inks that I used in the background and added some tiny, white branches in some areas.  The texture came out beautifully can see it in these close up photos.

This painting is full of emotion.  We just found out that my dad was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.  Everything about that at this point is unknown.  When I don't know what to do, I paint.  It's the only way I know how to express myself sometimes.  It's ironic that I "didn't know" about how beautiful these colors would turn out...just diving in and trusting the process.  I feel like with my dad, I just have to have the same kind of trust and faith.  Heading on into the unknown and looking for the beauty in each, single, precious moment and never taking any of it for granted.

This painting will be available at Art in the Park in Parker, CO on August 25th and 26th from 10:00 - 4:00.  Also, at the Castle Rock Artfest in Castle Rock, CO on Sept. 8th and 9th from 10:00 - 5:00.  I would love to see you there.  Meanwhile, keep looking for the light!

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

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

"Stand by Me"

This is one of my latest paintings in my series of tree paintings.  It was created using layers of hand-painted papers, acrylic paints, and acrylic inks.  So many hours were spent on the trees and trying to create sort of an ethereal feel and look to this one.  Here is a photo of how this one began and the progress:

This painting will be available for purchase during a couple of art shows I am participating in this year.  The first is in Parker, CO, Art in the Park, on August 25th and 26th from 10:00 - 4:00.  The second show is the Castle Rock Artfest in Castle Rock, CO on Sept. 8th and 9th from 10:00 - 5:00.  I would love to see you there!  In the meantime, feel free to send me an email, or follow me on Facebook and Instagram.


Tuesday, June 19, 2018

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

Winter Day

This little painting is fresh off the easel.  It was created with hand-painted papers, inks, and acrylic paints.  It has a dreamy, luminescent quality because of all the layers and glazing of paint.

This one measures 8 X 8 and is finished with a simple, black floater frame.  It is available.  Feel free to send me an email for questions, comments, or if you are interested in purchasing.

Be sure to follow me on Facebook, Instagram, or check out my website.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

“The Road Less Traveled”, Original Mixed Media Painting by Colorado Artist, Donna L. Martin

"The Road Less Traveled"

The finished piece!

I had been wanting to create an elephant in mixed media for quite a while.  I have been admiring Tracy Verdugo's work and I love the elephants that she creates, so that was the inspiration for this piece.  I was actually fortunate enough to be attend one of her workshops a couple of years was magical!  

This is how it started.  I gessoed a piece of 20 X 20 cradle board.  Then I added texture with molding paste and stencils.  I also added some molding paste to the elephant's trunk and head.  I had some textured paper that I love and decided to add some of that to her ears.  I then gessoed over the molding paste and the paper on her ears.

Here you can see I started adding some paint.  I used Golden's Quinacridone Nickel Azo Gold and Burnt Orange.  I'm all about the Turquoise lately, so I threw that in too.

Now for the scary part...starting on the elephant.  I had her sketched out and I started adding some paint.  I mixed Paynes Gray, White, and Anthraquinone Blue, and a little of the Turquoise to get a blue-gray color.  I wanted her to tie in with my background.  It needed more darks, so I added some Van Dyke Brown.

Here I started adding some of the Van Dyke Brown to the textured area in the middle.  I didn't want it to be one solid brown color, so I added some water to fade out some of the brown tones in the middle of the texture.

This part of the piece had me stumped for days and days.  I could not figure out what color to do the bottom of this piece.  It had such nice, nice texture from using the stencil and I didn't want to mess it up.  Finally, I gave in and told myself "who cares if I mess it up, I'm just doing what I like".  So, there again, I used Turquoise and smudged in some of the Anthraquinone Blue.

I had some gorgeous, gorgeous paper that tied into the colors behind my little elephant.  I tore out a border and added it directly under the brown textured border for a pop of color and to tie in with my background.

I also felt like the bottom of this needed to be distressed and not so "in your face" with the blues.  I took some alcohol ink and some of the Van Dyke brown and punched it in under the paper border.  Then I hit it with a spray bottle of water to make it run into the blue.  Fun!!  

So just when I think I'm done, done, my husband, who is an Engineer by the way, takes a look at her.  He points out that her head is too much of a globe shape and that her tusk was going in the wrong direction.  As much as I hate to admit it, he was totally right.  Had to make some slight changes, but here she is.  She is all finished and I LOVE HER!  The only thing left to do is finish her off with resin.

I titled this piece "The Road Less Traveled" because that's how I want to live my life.  I never want to be afraid to take risks and take chances...sort of what I did with this piece.  It can be scary for sure, but let go and see where it takes you. You may totally surprise yourself!

This piece is sold, but please feel free to contact me with any questions, comments.  I would love to hear from you!

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

"Today I Choose to Be a Light", Original Mixed Media Painting by Colorado Artist, Donna L. Martin

"Today I Choose to Be a Light"

This is the latest in my little series.  The title is, "Today I Choose to Be a Light".  I've been pondering the thought that every day we can choose our attitudes towards others and towards life in general.  This is the thought I chose for today.  I'm not perfect, but how can I be a light for others?  Can I extend a kind word, look at someone and smile, acknowledge someone and look them in the eye without just brushing past them?  Today I will make that effort and do my best.

This little painting is 8 X 8, framed in a simple black floater frame.  It is available.  Feel free to send me an email with any questions or comments. 

Friday, May 25, 2018

"Make Memories", Original Encaustic/Mixed Media Painting by Colorado Artist, Donna L. Martin

Make Memories

This is my latest Encaustic/Mixed Media piece.  The background was done with layers of hand-painted papers and inks.  The trees were created with acrylic ink, as were the leaves around the trunks.  After the encaustic wax was added, I scraped in additional branches and marks.

I decided to add these words to it, "make memories".  I see so many people on their phones and just not making connections face to face anymore...truth be told, myself included.  Even at events, vacations, or something as simple as spending time with family, some moments, some memories, are lost because we are trying to capture it in a photo on our phones.  I wanted to remind myself not to take these moments for granted, to actually live it and cherish the memory of it.

This piece is available.  It is a small, 8 X 8, that I've framed in a simple, black floater frame.  Feel free to send me an email if you have any questions, comments, or are interested in purchasing.  

Today, I encourage you to live in the moment and make memories!

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

"The Circle of Life", Original Mixed Media/Encaustic Painting by Colorado Artist, Donna L. Martin

The Circle of Life

I can finally share this piece!  I think it's become one of my favorites.  This was a commission piece for my husband's sweet Aunt.  She loves butterflies and she had seen another piece that I had completed last year and asked if I would create something along the same lines for her.  Although this didn't turn out to be an exact replica of the piece I created before, I love this one even more.  It is lighter and more luminescent than the other was.  I added 5 butterflies representing her "original family".  Now, the family has evolved and transformed, with the blessing of grandchildren and spouses.  I feel like this painting symbolizes the evolution of it can change and become even more beautiful than we ever dreamed possible.

I used a vintage handkerchief for the background.  I also added some spackling paste for texture and depth.

I added various paints and inks.  Finally, I finished it off with a layer of encaustic wax to give it that dreamy effect.

This painting has found its way home, but I am open to commissions.  Feel free to contact me at: 

You can also check out my website:

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