Tag Archives: creativity

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.

Play is the Essence of Creativity

“Creativity is about play and a kind of willingness to go with your intuition. It’s crucial to an artist. If you know where you are going and what you are going to do, why do it?” 
-Frank Gehry 

"Pieces of Imagination"  30" x 30" work on canvas

"Pieces of Imagination" 30" x 30" work on canvas

I recently read a piece called Kindergarten Cram by Peggy Orenstein in the NY Times magazine which spoke of the current state of play (or lack of it) in today’s Kindergarten classrooms. “Instead of digging in sandboxes, today’s kindergartners prepare for a life of multiple-choice boxes by plowing through standardized tests with cuddly names like Dibels (pronounced “dibbles”), a series of early-literacy measures administered to millions of kids; or toiling over reading curricula like Open Court — which features assessments every six weeks.” I can not help feeling sad reading this. Ms. Orenstein reminded me of dancing the hokey-pokey, Duck Duck Goose, and the wake up-fairy. Those were magical days with crayons, poster paints, imagined dragons & fairies, spaceships of cardboard, unicorns, wild horses, and dress-ups. After school, more play, more imagined flights to the moon staged in the dark of the downstairs bathroom (the only room in the house with no windows). We cooked on the Easy-Bake Oven, finger painted, spatter painted. Lightening Bug Glow Juice thrilled us with its magical powers. We took pretend vacations to anywhere staged in the family station wagon (while parked securly in the carport). We played. We played and played and played. 

The article in the NY Times goes on to say: “According to “Crisis in the Kindergarten,” a report recently released by the Alliance for Childhood, a nonprofit research and advocacy group, all that testing is wasted: it neither predicts nor improves young children’s educational outcomes. More disturbing, along with other academic demands, like assigning homework to 5-year-olds, it is crowding out the one thing that truly is vital to their future success: play.”  

THERE IS HOPE!! “the one thing that truly is vital to their future success: play” Yes, this line gives me hope!!

Creativity is about play – play the essence of creativity. Perhaps there really is hope that we as a society will learn to value imagination and give play the needed the time and space to grow. I believe if we give our children the tools of creativity they will learn to fly…we need to continue to give them wings for creativity to thrive.

Painting is available from artist. 

“If you’ve ever watched a child with a cardboard carton and a box of crayons create a spaceship with cool control panels, or listened to their improvised rules, such as “Red cars can jump all others,” then you know that this impulse to make a toy do more is at the heart of innovative childhood play. It is also the essence of creativity.”
-Bill Gates

Unconsciously Creating

BRIAN ELSTON said… “Art is when you quit thinking about what you are creating and your ‘self’ leaves the room leaving your mind to unconsciously to create.”

I added my work to the MyArtSpace.com site about a month ago. While enjoying the artist quotes on the blog  I came across the above comment quote by Brian Elston. It struck me that this is very much how I would describe my working methods. I am often asked do I have a plan? An idea that I start with? My answer often is in a nutshell,  Starting a piece I add as much as I can to the surface, layers of collage,  color, build, add, subtract, scratch, draw, erase, and then step back, and reduce. Reduce, remove and balance all that chaotic information into an acceptable order.  It is an intuitive method that is sometimes difficult for me to put into words –  Brian decribes it perfectly – the ‘self’ leaves the room allowing the mind to create. Thank you Brian!

"Mapping Out Bliss" 40" x 48"

"Mapping Out Bliss" 40" x 48"

MyArtspace.com is featuring my work this month.

This work is currently on consignment in Boston.

Hello Blogging World!

In my world of color, paints, composition and creativity the blogging community seems very foreign to me. I create with paint, words often elude me however, I will give it a try…

My challenge as a painter is to find an exciting balance between the pandemonium of my thoughts and the multitude of images and events that bombard our daily lives. I trust the inner thoughts of the mind as they reveal themselves purely through the act of creating.

“Abstract literally means to draw from or separate. In this sense every artist is abstract… a realistic or non-objective approach makes no difference. The result is what counts.” -Richard Diebenkorn

a few pieces in the 2007 gallery show at Mary bell Galleries

I work with an abstract collection of marks, textures and color, repeating shapes and forms, seeking to find a balance of chaos and harmony within each piece I create. Often these marks will reflect architectural landscapes, roads, maps, repeated patterns, or colors as if seen from above or as recalled from within, a sort of visual record book of the mind.

It’s a start…


mixed media paintings