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Meet Donna Martin

Today we’d like to introduce you to Donna Martin.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I am so lucky to have been born and raised in Colorado and still call it my home. The essence of Colorado is deep in my soul. I grew up loving nature and the wild Rocky Mountains. I was always outside, hiking, biking, playing in the dirt. I was also always using my imagination and creating something.

Everywhere I went, I carried my paper, crayons, and markers. As a child, my parents would gather us all up and we would go up into the mountains to cut wood for our fireplace. It was a simpler time, and we were allowed to wander off on our own, as long as we could still hear the chainsaw in the distance. I would run off and set out to build my own “fort”. After I had constructed it, I would lay in the soft, withering autumn grass and look up and the crisp, blue Colorado sky. The aspen leaves would be gently swaying in the wind, almost singing me a gentle song. I wrote and drew as I was immersed in these magical moments. I used my imagination and I wished I could stay in that moment forever.

I’ve never had any formal training, but my love of nature has had a huge impact on who I am and my work. I’m always trying to capture that magic, that feeling in my paintings.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
No, this journey hasn’t always been easy. Life happened and I became a very young wife and mother. Art was put on the back burner, along with any hope of going to school. Family came first and they were my priority.

After my kids were raised, I began to take watercolor lessons from a local artist. But for several years, I always felt like I had put myself in this little “box” and watercolor was the only medium that I could do. I felt stuck.

Then, about eight years ago, I had a friend who took his own life. There were so many feelings that I couldn’t express, including extreme guilt. I couldn’t believe that I hadn’t seen this coming. I thought that I could have and should have somehow prevented it. For a long time, I couldn’t pick up a paintbrush. In an effort to heal and move forward, I decided to take a class on mixed media painting. I told myself that I could sit in a corner and just paint, that I didn’t need to talk to anyone, just paint. That’s what I did. I found that I could express emotions that I just couldn’t say with words. It came through in my paintings and it was healing. I feel like there is still such a stigma around suicide and even talking about it. But I want people to know that there can be hope and there can be healing after such a tragedy. Sometimes I still don’t have words, but I can say it with paint.

Donna Martin Fine Art – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
As an artist, I’m on a journey hoping to evoke a feeling or an emotion with my work. I feel as if there’s also a sense of mystery to my work because there are so many layers that go into my paintings.

Many times, I will use vintage pieces of wood, metal, even old hankies to include in my assemblage pieces. The old and the new work together can really make an impact. I will also occasionally incorporate natural elements to use in my work. I’ve used everything from bark, plaster, twine, metal, foil, and even broken windshield glass. It all somehow becomes symbolic in my paintings and signifies a feeling or emotion. I’ve also become intrigued with and started experimenting with encaustic techniques.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
One of the proudest moments that I’ve had as an artist was when Mr. Floyd D.Tunson bought one of my paintings for his wife, Florence. Mr. Tunson is a well-known and renowned abstract artist. Florence said that she became emotional when she saw my painting and that she had not had that reaction before with a piece of art. To me, that is the highest compliment!

I’m so honored and humbled when someone purchases a painting. A piece of heart and soul goes into every piece of work.

On Facebook, I’ve had the opportunity to connect with several artists throughout the country.  A few of us (about 5 “core” artists) formed a group on Facebook called the Creative Kind.  We do an online art auction every month and donate 20% of our sales to a different charity each month.  We started in July last year and we were able to donate $5,038 in 2018.  Every month, I’m so honored to be part of this group and have a small part in paying in forward with our artwork and hopefully making a little bit of a difference in this world.  This group of women artists are truly amazing and have hearts of gold.m  Here is the link to our group:  The Creative Kind

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Getting in touch: VoyageDenver is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

2 Comments

  1. Beth

    April 23, 2019 at 2:04 am

    Thank you for featuring Donna Martin. I am privileged to have several of her pieces in my home. I must also agree that Donna’s art provokes emotions and memories.
    Colorado is fortunate to call Donna a citizen of your state.

  2. Bob Zettler

    April 23, 2019 at 1:17 pm

    Have known Donna for many years and her journey is amazing as an artist and person.
    Well deserved story

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