Tag Archives: acrylic

Soul searching, why do I paint?

“Once, Picasso was asked what his paintings meant. He said, “Do you ever know what the birds are singing? You don’t. But you listen to them anyway.” So, sometimes with art,
it is important just to look.”
– Marina Abramovic

Rising Sentiment  24" x 24" work on canvas/panel ©2017 Deborah T. Colter

Rising Sentiment 24″ x 24″ mixed media work on canvas/panel ©2017 Deborah T. Colter

Why do I paint? Why do I make paintings? Why do I include the collage materials in my work? I am at a curious place in my world where I find myself asking these questions and not being totally clear on the answer. I have always done it; it has always been a part of me, habit, pattern, but why? That is a much larger question to answer and do I even know? Let’s do a little soul searching…

I often feel that my paintings take on a life of their own however, the paintings would not exist if I didn’t exist to create them. Making art that comes from the soul is such a deeply personal thing that no two people can make the same thing. I am continually fascinated with building layers of collage into my work. I think of them as layers of experience. The experiences I have had, the life I have led, the happiness in my life, the food I have eaten, the tears I have cried all contribute to what is me. These layers of my experience inform what I paint. For example I love water, flowers, vegetable gardening, fish, cooking, reading, family, stars, circles, a drawn line, color, and the feel of paint, on and on. All these things are imbedded in my DNA; they are what make up “me”. The feelings and emotions I have when experiencing daily life informs the mark making and design of the work. It can be as simple as a single line I remember from the curve of a tree, a color from watching a sunset, a circle seen from looking out of an airplane, tears cried when my mom passed, picking a fresh strawberry. All of things are accumulated subconscious memories that continually inform the paintings I make. I guess my answer to why I paint is that I paint to visually communicate my experiences. I paint to remind myself of the things I love, I paint to escape the doldrums of daily life chores, I paint to awaken my senses to the simple joy of brilliant blue or yellow or green. I paint to see how a piece of charcoal makes its mark on a field of color. I paint to experience life and I paint to express my life experiences, to share the joy and the pain through a singular visual language. I paint to share my world.

I am in gratitude to you for sharing my world with me and for taking the time to just look. Why do you do what you do – have you asked yourself lately?

Rising Sentiment is available from artist.

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

 

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 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 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.

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.

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

Voyage of Discovery

“Each painting is a kind of discovery, a discovery of new forms, color relation, or balance in composition. With every painting completed, the artist may change his viewpoint to suit the discoveries made, making his vision many-sided.”
-Robert Colquhoun

July is an especially busy month and I look forward to presenting my new paintings. As I write this, nine new paintings are on the way to Chicago  for the July 23rd opening of “Surface Elements”, a two person show at Gallery KH. Next week a number of new works will be delivered to the Cousen Rose Gallery for a feature show opening July 17th. Beginning July 22nd, the Lagerquist Gallery will be featuring a collection of my works.

"Shifting Admiration" 48" x 36" work on cnavs

"Shifting Admiration" 48" x 36" work on canvas

Quite often I think of the view from an airplane window and how the surface below is mapped out by the intervention of the human hand. The roads, the buildings and homes, the congestion in contrast with open spaces and how those elements interact with natural elements and each other. There is somehow always an ordered sense of chaos, a quiet beauty, when the landscape is viewed from above. Borrowing from virtual images of the earth’s surface, I have enjoyed the ability to travel over the landscape at will. My paintings for this new series of work have been influenced by the complexities of pattern, structure of lines and vast open spaces discovered through those virtual travels.

Gallery KH
“Surface Elements” featuring the works of Deborah T. Colter & Charlotte Foust
July 23 – September 7, 2010 Opening Reception: Friday, July 23, 2010 5-8pm

Cousen Rose Gallery
Will feature the works of Deborah T. Colter
July 17 – July 24, 2010 Opening Reception: Saturday July 17, 2010 7-9pm

Lagerquist Gallery
Will feature a collection of works of Deborah T. Colter
Exhibit runs from July 22 – August 6, 2010

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes
but in having new eyes.”
-Marcel Proust

Painting is available from Gallery KH, Chicago, Il.

A Blooming Adventure

“Once an artist gets it in his mind that it’s a blooming adventure, then, and only then, everything falls into place and starts to work.”
-Joseph P. Blodgett

"Natural Peace" 20" x 20" work on canvas

"Natural Peace" 20" x 20" work on canvas

Adventure, I love that! It’s a blooming adventure all right. Just back from the most recent art festival, one of my favorites, where we endured 90º plus heat and humidity, 4 am garbage collection wake up calls outside the hotel room every morning, and high winds, which put some exhibitors tents at risk. In addition we were warned of pending weather issues approaching on the last day – over half of the artists packed up and left which pretty much put an end to the festival. I took a chance, watching the radar all the time, and the pending rain never did make it to our location. I had my best sales that day! There was a robbery, a doggie carnival, a drunken celebration by fans of a winning team that left filth overnight in some exhibitors booths. It was three blooming days of adventure for sure! Great meals, nice hotel, good sales, lots of sweat, tears and a little blood. All in all a good weekend…

Looking forward to new adventures next weekend when I will be back on the road again. Leaving Friday to participate in the brand new Scarsdale Fine Art Fesitival on Saturday and Sunday. This will be the last of my spring festival show as I am preparing for up coming Gallery events this summer.

“Your most valuable asset can be your willingness to persist longer than anyone else.”
– Brian Tracy

Scarsdale Fine Arts Festival
Scarsdale, New York
June 19, 2010, 10:00 am-6:00 pm
June 20, 2010, 10:00 am-5:00 pm

Visit me in Booth #82

Painting is available.

Open to the Possibilities

“Unexpected happenings are encouraged through a serendipitous, intuitive openness to possibilities. Although these efforts do not guarantee achieving the goal of each picture, fresh, exciting results are instigated whenever stepping off known paths.”

-Bonnie R. Beaver

"Providence" 40" x 40" work on canvas    ©2010 Deborah T. Colter

"Confidential Providence" 40" x 40" work on canvas

I have been very selfish with my time lately – I have been obsessed with my paintings and have devoted the majority of my available hours to them and them alone. I have been destroying things, rebuilding, removing, applying, sanding, scraping, reworking. Trying new colors, shapes, angles everything I can think of to bring a fresh look to my work by stepping off known paths...

I have been concentrating on slowing my process down, simplifying somewhat and being open to the intuitive process of creating. It takes time to respond to  those unexpected happenings within a piece. I am excited about the results so far and love that renewed spark of energy that comes with new work. Spring is here and there is much to be done for the upcoming show and gallery seasons, deadlines loom and obligations must be met. Although these efforts do not guarantee achieving the goal of success within of each picture, I believe it is true that fresh and exciting results can be achieved by stepping out of one’s comfort zone ocassionally. For that, I will try to remain open to all the possibilities…

I am pleased to be included in a show titled “Mixed Media” presented by Anelle Gandelman Fine Art at the AGFA Project Space in White Plains, NY. The show opens April 8 and runs through June 3, 2010.

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

Painting is available.

All Images ©2010 Deborah T. Colter