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, featherstoneart.org

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
*(http://arts-humanities.squidoo.com/allaboutpurple)

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 CODAworx.com 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.

Motionless Movement

“What I am seeking… is a motionless movement, something equivalent to what is called the eloquence of silence…”
-Joan Miro

The Eloquence of Silence  48" x48" work on canvas

"The Eloquence of Silence" 48" x 48" work on canvas

“The artist is concerned not with a single focal point but with the unfolding of many layers of movement within a fluid language of images.”
-Una Johnson

A motionless movement, the eloquence of silence, the unfolding of many layers of movement within a work, a fluid language of images. How clearly these thoughts describe the surface and textures I constantly strive for. It is always a joy to me to stumble upon an artist’s quote that perfectly fits my present tense. I am reworking of some canvases from an earlier time and finding pleasant surprise in their evolution. Art for me is in constant motion and this just feels like the right thing to be bringing new life to these canvases I had once looked at as complete. This process brings fresh spring growth if you will, new life, an unfolding of many layers that push me towards a motionless movement.

Coming up soon Anelle Gandelman Fine Art of Larchmont, New York will be representing my work at the Spring Affordable Art Fair in New York City. The Affordable Art Fair takes place the weekend of May 5 -8, 2011.

I am excited to now be represented by Joyce Robins Gallery. Joyce Robins has been showcasing quality paintings and sculptures for discerning collectors since 1996. Joyce represents a carefully selected a group of living artists whose styles range from representational to abstract, working in a variety of media.

Work is available.

@2011 Deborah T. Colter

In This Moment

“Creativity occurs in the moment, and in the moment we are timeless.”
- Julia Cameron

work on canvas 48" x 60"  ©2011 Deborah T. Colter

'Seize the Day' work on canvas 48" x 60" ©2011 Deborah T. Colter

It seems as though the days are just speeding by – how could it be that I have not written a post in months? Yikes! Faster than a speeding bullet the studio time just disappears. Painting, painting, and more painting – I have been fully immersed in the preparations for a new show that I will be exhibiting at in New York City. The Artist Project New York will make its debut in at Pier 92, March 17-20, 2011, co-located with the 10th Anniversary edition of the Architectural Digest Home Design Show at Pier 94. I am exited to be included as one of the 150 independent artists who are exhibiting works in painting, photography, mixed media and sculpture.

The Artist Project is not the only event on the horizon. I am thrilled to learn that Anelle Gandelman Fine Art of Larchmont, NY will be representing my work at the Spring Affordable Art Fair in New York City, May 5 -8, 2011.

In addition to these two events my  gallery & festival schedule is being finalised and summer exhibitions arranged. Spring is in the air and for the moment creativity is occurring, making every moment timeless… with so much to do in this moment!

The Artist Project New York
March 17 – 20, 2011 Pier 92, New York City presents a rare opportunity to view and purchase contemporary fine art created by a selection of international artists in New York City. The exhibition offers collectors, curators, dealers and the public direct access to a juried selection of emerging and established talent.

I am very pleased to be able to offer complimentary tickets to the event: click here.

“The pressure of constantly showing work motivates me to paint every day.”
- Linda Blondheim

Work is available.