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Ensenada’s Terra Peninsular Gallery Showcases the Shamanistic Art of Martina Dobesh

Ensenada’s Terra Peninsular Gallery Showcases the Shamanistic Art of Martina Dobesh

It is not unusual for many of those who travel through Baja to experience an ethereal sense of spiritual presence permeating both the land and sea that surrounds this magical peninsula; but for Martina Dobesh, it was an epiphany that eventually manifested itself in mystic artistry.

Martina shows off a few of her works exhibited at the Terra Peninsular gallery in Ensenada.

In referencing an early visit to Baja Surback in the 1990’s, she offers, “My whole life changed the instant I stepped off the plane in San Jose del Cabo for the first time, and saw the Baja sunburning in the sky over the purple hills. There was something so powerful, almost overwhelming in how the land greeted me. I knew I was home.” She then promptly added, “It was not enough to just visit, it became increasingly hard for me to leave and I finally gave up and made the move in 1999 to live in Baja permanently.”

“I call my work Shamanistic Art, because for many years I studied the Shamanic path.” Martina says, “All the while, the spiritual community was growing around the world. There were many awakening hearts here, but we are separated by a thousand miles, a fairly uninhabited landscape, and often a language barrier. The experience of separation was frequently difficult as my spiritual heart began to truly blossom. I continually asked why I was on the planet and what I was supposed to be doing.”

And, after well over a decade of creating inspired renditions of animistic expression that often incorporate natural artifactsfrom the landscape, she has now become a well respected artist who is simply known to her significant following of supporters and patrons as ‘Martina’.

Martina 1 Martina 3

As a third-generation California native, Martina says that she has been on a spiritual quest since her mid teens when she first set out on a path toward personal enlightenment. Over time, she has worked in many mediums, and was once a potter with a ceramics cooperative until she found that too artistically constricting and moved on to dabbling in watercolors. Later, she began to integrate various sculpture and collage techniques into her projects, always following her inner voice, even when she wasn’t quite sure why.

Martina expands upon the asthetic imagery involved in the creation of her unique works of art.

“At first,” Martina confides, “I didn’t call what I do art. Not until other people started to. It actually created itself.” And even today, she never sets out working with any specific objective mind. She offers the example, “When I begin cleaning and sanding a piece of driftwood, it expresses to me what it wants to be.” As with many other dedicated artisans, she is firmly anchored in the strong belief that her art comes through her; not from her.

After a recent showing at the Terra Peninsular Gallery in Ensenada, Martina mused, “It’s really a magical process that always takes me on a mystical journey.”

And, indeed, it is also to the benefit of all attending her regular shows and gallery exhibits who have the good fortune to be able to tag along for the ride. is a comprehensive online source of first-hand travel information for the Baja California Peninsula, supported by a full-service tour operator staffed by Baja locals (our “Baja Travel Savants”). We offer Baja travelers expert advice about local restaurants, hotels and vacation rentals, as well as guides, maps and articles about events, sports and activities. We provide bilingual customer support, information and sales seven days a week, 365 days a year. For more information, please call toll-free (US/CAN) 855-BAJA or email us at


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About Tom Gatch

For over a decade, Hooked on Baja author, Tom Gatch, has built a solid reputation as one of the foremost writers and columnists focusing on travel and recreational activities in Baja and southern California. His company, El Puerto Creative Consultants provides professional copy writing services and creative support for business entities on both sides of the border.

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