Making my own Sunshine

“My paintings evolve organically from life’s everyday glances.  Rather than trying to force my will on them, I give them total control.  Each layer determines and guides the next.”
-Dion Archibald

Strength of the Sun 48" x 48" work on canvas

Strength of the Sun 48″ x 48″ work on canvas   ©2015 Deborah T. Colter

Signs of spring are finally peeking through here. Spring greens and sunshine yellows have been making their way into my work. In the depths of winter working with yellows and greens always lift my spirits. I’m making my own sunshine!


Golden Sun I, II, & III  works on paper  21" x 21" each  ©2015 Deborah T. Colter

Golden Sun I, II, & III works on paper 21″ x 21″ each ©2015 Deborah T. Colter

There have been some terrific changes on my website lately. I have been working with my web designer Heather at Goffgrafix – she is wonderful! Check out the new zoom capability for images. There is now a search element if you are looking for something specific. Work on paper has been added along with grouping or companion pieces if your home, office or client is looking for multiple pieces. I am quite pleased with the results and invite you to take a look and share your thoughts.
I hope I have added a bit of sunshine to your day!
I am most grateful for your continued support of my work.


Corporate and residential commissions welcomed.
Contact me for price quotes, availability & shipping policy.

“Only he can be an artist who has a religion all his own – an original way of viewing infinity.”
-Vincent van Gogh

A Thrilling Joy

“All of us have had the experience of a sudden joy that came when nothing in the world had forewarned us of its coming – a joy so thrilling that if it was born of misery we remembered even the misery with tenderness.”
-Antoine de Saint Exupery


My work is in the HGTV Dream Home 2015
on Martha’s Vineyard!

"Blue Banter I & II" Great Room HGTV Dream Home 2015

“Blue Banter I & II” Great Room HGTV Dream Home 2015

‘”Two large paintings on either side of the front door were sourced locally – much of the art in the house is local,” says interior designer Linda Woodrum of the striking artwork art found in HGTV Dream Home 2015.’
quote from HGTV site

Allow me to share some wonderful news with you – I am thrilled to have had my work chosen for the HGTV Dream Home 2015 which was built on Martha’s Vineyard this year. The designers for the project visited my studio in late October and chose 3 original works they felt would enhance the interior spaces of the home. The two pieces above, titled Blue Banter I & II are featured in the Great Room of the newly built home. There is also a third work titled Chartreuse City which is featured prominently over the fireplace in the Master Bedroom can be seen below. has some wonderful photos posted on their website which show the works installed.
Every year HGTV builds a Dream Home which is given away to some lucky winner along with other great prizes. HGTV will air a special TV program on January 1st at 8:00 pm EST which will be a full reveal of the spectacular property. I invite you to join me in watching the program this Thursday evening.
You can begin entering to win the Dream Home online at the site.
I appreciate you visiting my blog.
May 2015 bring you all the best!


Master Bedroom HGTV Dream Home 2015

“City Chartreuse” in the Master Bedroom HGTV Dream Home 2015

Thank you. 


A Way of Communicating

“Painting is a way of communicating vision and experience so that it reaches beyond a single moment in time. What fills our hearts and spills over must be shared.”
– Stormy Bailey

Blue Harbor  40" x 40" work on canvas  ©2014 Deborah T. Colter

Blue Harbor 40″ x 40″ work on canvas ©2014 Deborah T. Colter

What fills our hearts and spills over must be shared.”

Please allow me to share a new painting recently finished from the studio. Blue Harbor consists of multiple layers of acrylic paint, paper and collage elements. It is built on a canvas substrate which is stretched around a birch wood frame.

To my eye, a painting needs to have rhythm, balance, harmony, life, a spark of magic. Making paintings requires a great deal of fearless trust in the process of creating.

To create something, really out of nothing, and see it transform into a piece that is alive with energy, exciting and intriguing is my main objective. Color, pattern, textures and other various elements need to meld into a compelling language all their own. I invite you to fall in love with the unknown.

“My paintings evolve organically from life’s everyday glances. Rather than trying to force my will on them, I give them total control. Each layer determines and guides the next.”
-Dion Archibald

Blue Harbor is available from the Artist.

Selected Quotes from Robert Genn’s Art Quotes: The Painter’s Keys Resource of Art Quotations

Copyright © 2014 Deborah T. Colter. All rights reserved.

A Small Show

I am grateful to be included in an exhibit at the Featherstone Center for the Arts on Martha’s Vineyard. Featherstone Center for the Arts is nonprofit dedicated to promoting the arts and developing community through the arts. In celebration of Featherstone’s 18th  year they have invited artists to submit work that is no larger than 18” X 18”. The show is currently up and includes the work of 53 different artists.  I am pleased to be able to support this wonderful organization and show 3 small original works on canvas. That’s my work in the middle of this photo. Small works are such a great way to start or add to your collection and you help out a nonprofit at the same time!

I hope you will be able to take in this show and perhaps find a treasure for your collection!

18" x 18" Show At Featherstone Center fo rhte Arts  Martha's Vineyard MA

18″ x 18″ Show At Featherstone Center for the Arts – Martha’s Vineyard, MA

Photo shared from the Featherstone Facebook page.

The 18×18 show runs daily, 12 noon to 4 pm, through March 19. The entire Featherstone 2014 schedule of shows, classes, and events is currently posted on its website,

The Color of Love

“Through some memory, feeling, experience, the passion wells up and spills into my palette; it mixes with my paint. And the paint tells me what to do. I listen. I act on it.”
Ann Dettmer

Seduction 1399  40" x 30" work on canvas

Seduction 1399   40″ x 30″   work on canvas

“February is the month associated with the color purple and the birthstone for those born is February is Amethyst.” Purple is also said to be uplifting, calming to mind and nerves, It offers a sense of spirituality and encourages creativity.* In my experience the color purple has a very strong effect on art viewers. You either love it or hate it  – no middle of the road with purples. Personally I find the color to be exciting and passionate – the color of love. It feels warm and comfortable, seductive in its beauty. How does purple make you feel?

“In our life there is a single color, as on an artist’s palette, which provides the meaning of life and art. It is the color of love.”
Marc Chagall

Seduction 1399 is available from the Artist.
Selected Quotes from Robert Genn’s Art Quotes: The Painter’s Keys Resource of Art Quotations

Copyright © 2014 Deborah T. Colter. All rights reserved.

Working and Reworking

“I destroy things every day in the act of working and often recall a picture I had
considered finished in order to rework it.”
– Frank Auerbach

Scarlet Allure  40" x 40" work on canvas  ©2014 Deborah T. Colter

Scarlet Allure    40″ x 40″    work on canvas     ©2014 Deborah T. Colter

Often I am asked, how do you know when a painting is finished? This is a perplexing question. How do I explain what it feels like to know a piece is done? Is it ever done? It seems artists for centuries have battled with this question. Leonardo da Vinci is quoted with saying; “Art is never finished, only abandoned.”

In building up layers of paint and collage elements I am constantly balancing visual elements within the work. I look for relationships to develop among these elements. Often there is an “aha moment” when I step back and ask myself (and the painting) the very same question – are you finished? Learning to listen to the work takes patience. This is where a little abandonment comes in. Letting a painting have some time allows for a new perspective.

There are occasions when I rework canvases that I have abandoned, only to find new and pleasant surprises in their evolution. Art for me is constant motion.

How do you know when a painting is finished?

Work is available from Artist.

The Impression it Creates…Color!

“A color is as strong as the impression it creates.”
– Ivan Albright

Beyond the Boundary 36″ x 48″ work on canvas ©2013 Deborah T. Colter

I write to you as the snow is piling up once again. It has been a cold and snowy winter but then again, it is winter isn’t it? I am grateful for the solitude and the time I can devote to my painting.

I have been thinking a lot about color. I find I tend to focus on certain groups of color for a time period and then rotate into something different. I love using bold color, color that grabs and holds the viewer long enough to beg a longer look. Karla Araujo writing for the Martha’s Vineyard Times wrote an article last summer about my work. She mentioned just this thought when interviewing me; “Color is extremely important,” she told The Times, pointing to groupings of archived paintings that range in hue from deep rusts and reds to royal blues and teals, citrons, and mossy greens. Color is what first draws the eye to Ms. Colter’s paintings. But it is the complexity of shapes and patterns that holds the viewer’s interest.” (read the whole article here)

In my pieces I build multiple layers of collage elements that create patterns and subtle shadowing. I often feel as though I am creating something out of nothing – transforming paper, paint, collage & mark making into a painting that is alive, provocative and thrilling is my goal. Color for me, provides an invitation to look deeper and longer – it is an invitation to breathe in the pure pleasure of the impression it makes on the soul.

What impression does color make on you?

“Just as there are connoisseurs of wine, there are connoisseurs of blue,”
said the French writer Colette.”
–Quote from the January 28, 2014 newsletter of Robert Genn

Painting is available from Artist.

Reversal of Orbit

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense.”
-Melody Beattie

Reversal of Orbit   24″ x 24″ work on canvas ©2013 Deborah T. Colter

As we move into the New Year with all its vast possibilities, I would like to reach out to each of you with heartfelt thanks for your continued support. I am most grateful to each and every one of you.  I could apologize for my absence on this blog but that’s is not why you are here. Time sometimes slips by faster than we realize and the longer one is away from something, the harder it is to return. Where to start? How to begin? It somehow just makes sense to begin here and now – it’s January 2014.

I am painting, setting goals and focusing on fine tuning my approach to the business side of my art career. I count myself among the lucky ones, I do what I love and I love what I do. Of course there are always times when the path is difficult but those are the times I remind myself how fortunate I am. I do believe that being grateful unlocks the fullness of life and I am truly grateful to be living the artist life, with all of its successes and struggles.

I am pleased to share with you my newest gallery representation Exhibit by Abersons in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I have never been to Tulsa but would love to have feedback from any of you who are in the area. I look forward to working closely with Aberson Exhibits and sharing my work with a new audience.

Another new development is my listing on the new website. The website states “CODA: Collaboration of Design + Art. The global online community that celebrates design projects featuring commissioned artworks.” I have posted projects and artwork and look forward to expanding my connections there.

An exciting start to the New Year! I welcome your thoughts…what’s new in your art world?

I am filled with gratitude for the ability to live the artist’s life.
In my studio. Being an artist. Everyday.”
-M. Acierno

Mayan Gold   24″ x 24″ work on canvas ©2013 Deborah T. Colter


Painting Mayan Gold is available from Aberson Exhibits, Tulsa Oklahoma
Painting Reversal of Orbit is available from Artist.

A Controlled Magic…

“What I dream of is an art of equilibrium, purity and tranquility,
devoid of upsetting or troubling subject matter …”

-Henri Matisse

Controlled Magic 30" X 30" work on canvas ©2012 Deborah T. Colter

I regularly receive a studio newsletter titled “The Painter’s Keys” from fellow artist Robert Genn in Canada. It is always full of interesting thoughts on the business and pursuit of Art. The newsletter seems to magically arrive when I am searching for some particular answer… this time I thought I would share with you, a quote from the newsletter which jumped off the page at me… 

“Abstract understanding doesn’t mean arbitrary sloshing and messing. Abstract art is controlled visual magic based on laws and methodology. Abstraction generally involves implication, suggestion and mystery rather that obvious description. Like a good poem, a good abstraction attacks your feelings before your understanding. Abstraction within realism adds zest and excitement to otherwise dull subject matter. Abstract understanding takes time and patience.”

-Robert Genn
“Five skills worth learning”
Newsletter dated February 14, 2012

Painting is sold.

Stand by Me

“A painting requires a little mystery, some vagueness, some fantasy. When you always make your meaning perfectly plain you end up boring people.”
-Edgar Degas

Idle Reverie  48" x 36" work on canvas

Idle Reverie 48" x 36" work on canvas ©2011 Deborah T. Colter

Next week my work will be featured at the Cousen Rose Gallery in Oak Bluffs, Martha’s Vineyard, MA. Owner Zita Cousens has exhibited my work since 1997.  We met when I was waiting tables and she and her husband Mike used to come in for dinner on a regular basis. They always came late after Gallery openings and the other wait staff wanted out – I always volunteered to stay. After a time Zita found out I was a painter and asked me to bring in some of my work. From the beginning she believed in me. I was working very much off the beaten path of the other local artists who primarily sell representational work. She has stood behind my artwork through all of its growth and changes without ever questioning where it was headed.

Next Saturday night my work will be up and I will walk into the gallery reception and Zita Cousens will have outdone herself in the modest space she has to present my work. For a few hours we will celebrate the exhibit and win or lose, sales or no sales, I will walk away knowing that the work is a true extension of myself, an accumulation of my own personal expression, represented by a Gallery owner who has always believed in me.

If you are on Martha’s Vineyard at all this summer, please come by and have a look.

Opening on Martha’s Vineyard July 16, 2011

Cousen Rose Gallery
Will feature the works of Deborah T. Colter
71 Circuit Avenue, Oak Bluffs, MA, 02557

Exhibit runs from July 16 – July 23 and work will be on location the entire summer 2011.

Opening Reception Saturday July 16, 2011 7:00-9:00pm
gallery website

On another note, I was very excited to have Mary Grauerholz interview me a few months ago and write a feature piece about my work for the Cape Cod Life ART 2011 special annual edition which has just been published. The magazine is widely availabe on the Cape and Islands and can be viewed online here as well.

Painting is available.