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 ago...it 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 life...how 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:  www.donnamartinfineart.com

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Tuesday, May 15, 2018

"Today I Choose Joy", Original Mixed Media Painting by Colorado Artist, Donna L. Martin

Today I Choose Joy

This little painting is the latest in a series I'm working on.  I was thinking about how amazing it is that we have the opportunity to actually choose our attitudes, every day, and we get to choose how to deal with our individual situations.  This painting symbolizes how I was feeling on this particular day and how I decided to "choose joy".  I'm hoping it brings the viewer some joy when looking at it!

This painting was created with many different layers of hand-painted papers, acrylic paints, and acrylic inks.  This painting is sold, but commissions are available.  Please feel free to contact me with any questions or comments...I would love to hear from you.  

Thursday, May 10, 2018

"These are the Moments", Original Mixed Media/Encaustic Painting by Colorado Artist, Donna L. Martin

These Are the Moments

“Paradise has never been about places.  It exists in moments.  In connection.  In flashes across time.” – Victoria Erickson

Seems like in this life, we get those rare and beautiful moments of just pure joy.  I was reminiscing about one of those beautiful moments when I created this painting.  I embedded a photo that I took off the coast of Oregon into the background.  I embellished it with paints and inks and added another small tree.  The background also has a portion of an old deed embedded into it along with some fabric and painted papers.  The whole piece was then finished with a layer of encaustic wax.

This painting is sold, but commissions are available.  Feel free to send me an email with any questions or comments!



Monday, May 7, 2018

"Peace Among the Trees", Original Mixed Media/Encaustic Painting by Colorado Artist, Donna L. Martin

"Peace Among the Trees"

This is my newest piece.  It was created after learning about a dear friend who was recently diagnosed with a devastating form of cancer.  Sometimes, after news like that, there are no words.  There was and is so much emotion and so many stages of "grief" after getting the news.  My friend is strong and courageous.  Her roots are planted deep and she will fight this with all she has.  She is walking through this battle with grace and fortitude.  She is truly my hero and my inspiration.  


This piece was created with may layers of painted papers, paints, and inks.

It was finished with a layer of beautiful, dreamy, encaustic wax.

This is a small 8 X 8 piece, which I have finished with a simple black floater frame.  It is available.  You can send me an email here with any questions, comments, or if you are interested in purchasing.

You can check out more of my work at www.donnamartinfineart.com

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