About me 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. …
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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.
Becoming an artist
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. My work can be found at donnamartinfineart.com.
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 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. Twenty percent of every sale goes to a pre-determined charitable organization. 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.
Why it's important
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.
I try to focus on gratitude every day. It really is true — there is always something to be grateful for. Also, I try to keep in mind that people everywhere are fighting unseen, unknown battles. It's so simple to reach out and just be kind to people, not expecting anything in return. You never know, you could be one bright light in an otherwise dark day.
If you have suggestions for My Name Is…, contact Jessica Gibbs at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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