Category Archives: Thoughts

The Pause Button

Matter Remixed 24" x 36" work on canvas/panel ©2017 Deborah T. Colter

Matter Remixed   24″ x 36″   work on canvas/panel     ©2017 Deborah T. Colter

Sometimes life events put you on pause. Unexpected, expected it doesn’t really matter – time seems to stop and then one day you look up. Where was I, what was I thinking, what was I doing, where do I go from here?? These are all questions I was facing this past winter when I was able to return steadily to my studio and my work. How do I get back in touch with my inner soul – my work – my passion? The answer for me was to step a bit outside of my comfort zone and to commit to an online creative visionary program (CVP) with Art2Life that has rocked my world. To give myself up to total immersion in an intensive 12 week program that I knew very little about was a real leap of faith. I will speak a little more about CVP in the next time as I am still processing this amazing experience. Some may believe that artists who seek out workshops are just starting out, my feeling remains that there is always something more to learn. I hope I never stop wanting to learn. Stepping out on a limb was the best gift I could have given to myself at this time.

The good news is, here I am posting to my long sleeping blog and while I can’t commit to future posts. I can say that I am glad to be painting, I am working steadily again and I am totally excited about my new work. I look forward to sharing more thoughts with you all about my creative journey.

“As artists, we must learn to be self-nourishing. We must become alert enough to consciously replenish our creative resources as we draw on them – to restock the trout pond, so to speak.”
-Julia Cameron 

Painting the Roses Red 12″ x 12″ work on panel

 

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.

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.

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

The Excitement and Possibilities

“As you work, the mood grows on you. There are certain images which suddenly get hold of me and I really want to do them. But it’s true to say that the excitement and possibilities are in the working and obviously can only come in the working.”
-Francis Bacon

60" x 48" work on canvas ©2010 Deborah T. Colter

"Reconnecting the Dots" 60" x 48" work on canvas

Taking myself back into the studio has been a bit overwhelming. I feel like I have been trying to reconnect the dots! It has been an exciting and busy fall season. My road trips to festivals are over for the moment.  I have been shipping work, delivering work and picking up and rotating work around. I am in the midst of reorganising my studio to best prepare for the long winter ahead. Catching up on neglected chores around the house and garden. Resting. Autumn always seems to bring changes – transition time. After diving back in to the studio this week, the familiar exciting mood is beginning to grow once again. It’s true to say that the excitement and possibilities are in the working…” I feel the excitement – and the possibilities – I do love this time of year!

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

Painting is available. ©2010 Deborah T. Colter

Circular Time

“I have never thought of time as being linear. I believe in circular time,
one season following another.”
Josy Hilkes Britton

Time does seem to move in a circle and the rotation gets faster and faster! Hard to believe we are moving into a new season already but I can feel the change in the air. It has been a busy, fantastic summer and I do hate to see it go, but it is time to refocus. The circle of time is moving…

Timeless Edge 40" x 40" work on canvas

Timeless Edge 40" x 40" work on canvas

Labor Day has come and gone and I will soon be getting on the road. The first weekend in September brings my fall festival schedule into full swing with five exciting events lined up. The September air brings a renewed energy. I am renewed as well with a sense of excitement for the future. I am delighted to have been chosen to participate in these upcoming shows and to have the chance to exhibit my work and meet and greet interested collectors. Studio time will be limited for a few weeks as I participate in these events. However, the break from the studio routine always brings me back in with new direction…full circle.

I was thrilled to have recently been Friday’s Featured Abstract Artist on Lynne Taetzsch’s Abstract Art blog. Lynne features abstract art, abstract artists, and the daily practice of painting and drawing on her blog each week. Thank you Lynne!

“One of the essential characteristics we must have to be happy and productive artists is the skill to navigate our way through random time; so that even without a clock for a compass, and without a clear destination,
we still know what direction to go.”
Eleanor Blair

I do hope to see you at one of the following events…

8th Annual Alexandria Festival of the Arts
480 King St, Alexandria, VA
September 11, 2010, 10:00 am-7:00 pm
September 12, 2010, 10:00 am-5:00 pm
website


Annual Rittenhouse Square Fine Art Show

18th & Walnut Streets, Philadelphia, PA
September 17, 2010, 11:00 am-7:00 pm
September 18, 2010, 11:00 am-6:00 pm
September 19, 2010, 11:00 am-5:00 pm
website

49th Annual Armonk Outdoor Art Show
North Castle Community Park, Armonk, NY
September 25, 2010 10:00 am-5:00 pm
September 26, 2010, 10:00 am-5:00 pm
website

The Gracie Square Art Show
at Carl Schurz Park
East End Avenue between 84th & 88th Streets
New York, NY
Saturday, October 2, 2010 – 10:00 am-5:00 pm
Sunday, October 3, 2010 – 10:00 am-5:00 pm
website

29th Annual Outdoor Arts Festival of the Bruce Museum
The Bruce Museum, One Museum Drive, Greenwich ,CT
October 9, 2010, 10:00 am-5:00 pm
October 10, 2010, 10:00 am-5:00 pm
website

Painting is available. ©2010 Deborah T. Colter

Art is the River

“Art is the river that runs through my life. I drink from it as often
as I can to refresh myself.”
– Loretta Marvel

Gallery KH, Chicago 2010

Gallery KH, Chicago 2010

Settling down after the whirlwind of two openings in the past two weeks. I am trying to regroup and replenish and I find that the summer heat is just making things a move a little slower right now. I always find that Art is the river that runs through my life – a constant that grows wider and deeper. Sometimes it rages and sometimes it just sort of slowly drifts along.

The opening at Gallery KH in Chicago coincided with a freak rainstorm that dumped 7 plus inches on the city – creating real rivers in unexpected places! Fortunately most of the rain fell well after the opening.

I was thrilled to see my work hung alongside the work of Charlotte Foust, it is an exciting mix of abstract paintings. p7230019I love the surprise of walking into the gallery and seeing the show for the first time!

In 3 weeks I will travel again to participate in the Saratoga Arts Celebration at the National Museum of Dance. I am looking forward to visiting this area. My fall festival schedule begins in September and there is much to prepare for, but for the moment, a little rest is on my list…

Saratoga Arts Celebration
August 21, 2010 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
August 22, 2010 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
at the National Museum of Dance
99 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NY

“How fortunate we are to make our life’s work centred on experiencing life with depth and creating a soulful response to it.”
-Linda Saccoccio

What’s your way of working?

“One works without thinking how to work.”
-Jasper Johns

New Piece  48" x 48" work on canvas

"Dynamic Voyage" 48" x 48" work on canvas

This morning I had an interesting conversation with my Twitter friend Alison Jardine. While some may think Twitter is a waist of time, I have found it to be a well of inspiration for thought, conversation and information, all with a dash of fun. Anyway, in our limited 140 character tweets Alison asked me, “what’s the prime interaction that will take place in your painting…do you not have an idea of color set or anything, is it purely ‘impulse’ as you get started?” She shared that when she starts a painting, “I have an idea of the ‘reason’ for it, in terms of what I am exploring, it keeps me on track…” While I admire her technique, it is not the approach that I take at all – I show up and conduct the players so to speak. Now, don’t get me wrong, l always have ideas, so many in fact, that I need to control them or they go mad. While yes, I may start off with a specific color set, I almost never end up where I started. My colors change often as my interaction with the painting evolves. It is building and layering process – a give and take of balance and order, chaos and control. On a daily basis I show up and work without thinking how to work, I believe in my instincts, which comes from many, many days of just showing up to work. There are infinite ways that artists approach their work, and there is no right or wrong. What is your way of working…?

“Love what you do. Believe in your instincts. And you’d better be able to pick yourself up and brush yourself off every day. While life is not always fair, it is manageable. It is a matter of attitude and confidence.”
-Mario Andretti

Painting is available.