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The Creative Kind: Artist Donna Martin

This week we’re featuring artists from The Creative Kind, a Facebook Auction Group, The purpose of this group is to create original works of art to be offered during a monthly auction where part of the proceeds from each piece sold will collectively be given to a charity of the artists choice. This month, a portion of the sales will be donated to the Innocence Project. The auction will be held June 23-24 on Facebook.

Today, we are meeting artist Donna Martin.

I was born and raised in Colorado, so I grew up loving the natural environment and the wild Rocky Mountains.  I live in Castle Rock and I have worked at Douglas County on and off, since 1999.  On the days that I don’t work at the County, I call myself an “artist”, which sometimes is still hard to say out loud!  I love that I get to live here and I would never want to live anyplace other than Colorado.

Being painfully shy as a kid, I always had my hands on paper and crayons.  It was the best way I found to express myself when I didn’t have words.  When I was little, we would often go up into the mountains and cut firewood for the winter.  I would wander off by myself and write, draw, and dream.  Fast forward, life happened.  I had my children and was busy raising them so I gave up artwork.  After I had raised them, I dabbled in oil painting and watercolor painting, but never quite felt “connected”.  Something was missing.  So, I took a workshop in mixed media art techniques.  Through this medium, I realized I could express myself and my feelings like I never could before.  I painted and painted.  The funny thing is, people started responding to my work.  My best friend told me she had never seen so much emotion in my paintings.  This new way of doing art was healing, expressive, and so emotional.  I was never the same.  I’m on a constant quest to find unusual and discarded “things” to use in my paintings, to tell a story.  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.

I’m so excited to share the Facebook group that I belong to, called The Creative Kind.  We are a group of artists, from all over the Country that met online through mutual admiration of each other’s work.  Our group began in July 2018 and consists of myself, Natalie Chamberlain-Mecham (Idaho), Ellen Brenneman (Indiana), Robin Mead (Georgia), and Donna Buchanan (Michigan).  Our mission is to use our artwork for good and to spread kindness, to “pay it forward”.  Every month, we do an online event, offering our work for sale.  20% of every sale goes to a pre-determined charitable organization.  We have donated to various organizations such as Canine Champions for Veterans, Meals on Wheels America, the Pro Literacy Organization, and New Eyes for the Needy, just to name a few.  In 2018, we also donated over $800 to the Hands of Hope Rescue (formerly the Douglas/Elbert Taskforce).  To date, we have donated $13,873!  This group of women are amazing artists but more than that, truly have the biggest hearts and so much compassion.  Even though we’ve never met in person, there is connection and community among us.

I am so honored to be able to work alongside these ladies and to be able use my art for something good.  It’s so important to me to be able to give back and provide a little bit of help where it’s needed.  I feel like these days, people need ordinary heroes doing extraordinary work.  The ladies in this group are my heroes and they inspire me every day to be a better person.

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