We had the good fortune of connecting with Donna Martin and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Donna, how does your business help the community or world?
I belong to a group of 5 artists on Facebook called “The Creative Kind”. Along with these artists, every month we do an online art auction and we donate 20% of all of our sales to a different charity. The Creative Kind has supported charitable organizations from small-town America all the way to Australia. With the support from our buyers, we’ve donated $15,600 since this group began in July, 2018! Some of those charities include The Innocence Project, Love for the Elderly, No Kid Hungry, and Ordinary Nurses. I am so honored and grateful that I can use my art in this way to give back and make a bit of a positive difference in the world.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
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. 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. Smooth Road? No, this journey hasn’t always been easy. I was painfully shy growing up and that continued into adulthood. I always felt like an “outsider” and felt like I didn’t have a voice. It was always so hard for me to express myself and my feelings. I gave up my art for years while I was raising a family. My family was the priority and I knew I couldn’t divide myself between art and precious time with them. After they were raised and gone, I began to explore my creative side again. I got lost in it and began to paint with passion and emotion. Painting became a way to express so many emotions and a way to express what I couldn’t say with words. Once I started letting go of any expectations and began painting as an expression of who I was, my art started resonating with people. People began to ask if my work was for sale and they began to purchase my paintings. I was amazed and so excited that I could connect with people in a very real way through my work. Sometimes I still don’t have words, but now I can express myself through paint and brushstrokes. I feel like I finally have a voice. 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. Like nature expresses itself differently each season, I too use different mediums for expressing my unique voice. Mixed media, watercolors and encaustic painting keeps my art growing and evolving in many different ways. One of the things I’m most proud about is the work I do with The Creative Kind. I feel this work keeps me grounded and reminds me that “it’s not about me”. Having this purpose in mind also helps me to not compare myself and my work with other artists, which is an easy trap to fall into in the world of Social Media. That “trap” truly steals the joy of creating. Using my art for good and donating to a good cause each month is the goal. I think we should all use our unique gifts to make a positive difference in the world.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
If my best friend was in town visiting, we would definitely plan a trip to the Denver Art Museum and then over to Lo Stella Ristorante for an authentic Italian dining experience. We would also take a trip up to Breckenridge for a few days to hike, relax, and check out the Breckenridge Distillery. Love that Colorado Breckenridge Bourbon! When we got back from the mountains, to finish off her stay, we would go to downtown Colorado Springs to check out The Rabbit Hole. It’s a fun and quirky place to get cocktails and a fabulous dinner.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would like to dedicate my shout out to my best friend and husband, Chris Martin. He supports me unconditionally in everything I do with my art and my business. I’ve never had anyone believe in me so much! I’d also like to give a shout out to The Creative Kind. The artists that I work with in that group have the biggest hearts and give so much of themselves to our world.