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KUSA - Artist Lisa Martin has been painting almost her entire life.

Growing up watching Bob Ross and playing with a box of 3D bubble paints, Martin decided to be an artist by the time she was in second grade.

But the Colorado native from Fruita had yet to experience the beauty of the outdoors until later in life.

"I didn't start hiking 'til after I graduated from DU," Martin said. "A close friend invited me to climb Mt. Bierstadt and I quickly fell in love with being on top of a 14er."

She painted the mountain and donated the piece to a nonprofit, which was very well-received. From there, an idea was born.

Martin decided to summit all 53 Colorado 14ers and paint the view from the top.

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Climbing to the summit is no east feat, and carrying all the art supplies needed for the project proved to be extra adventurous.

First, there were time constraints. Having to leave a 14er by noon meant there was little time to paint.

"I practiced 30 minute paintings this winter," she said. "After that I prepared a painting kit for the top."

That kit included plastic sheets to ensure none of the paint hit the ground, spill-proof water paint and snacks. One of these things attracted the wildlife of the first 14er summit she painted -- Mt.Evans.

"A marmot came up next to me and watched me for about five minutes," said Martin. "When I backed up to take a look at the painting from a distance, it took the lid of my blue paint and ran down the mountain."

It left behind the chocolate and peanuts next to the paint. Martin carried the open paint container down the rest of the way.

Then there was the weather. Martin has already been through hail, rain and snowstorms.But the paintings have made it through,relatively unharmed.

"Paint dries quickly at 14,000 feet," she said.

With nine painting now completed, Martin hopes to finish the "addicting" project in the next two years.

"It's a new challenge for me artistically and there are so many different variables that can change how a painting turns out."

She plans to have all the finished pieces on display at an art gallery with a portion of the sales going to trail maintenance for the parks.

To track Martin's project, visit http://lisadiannemartin.com or follower her @lisa.dianne handle on Instagram.

(KUSA-TV © 2014 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)


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