Colleen is a master
One of my first drawings, at about age 3, was on the wall of the living room. I cut my knee when no one was around and didn't cry; I just picked up the lovely red stuff and drew on the wall. So I can say blood, sweat, and tears have truly gone into my art from the beginning.
After a lifetime of practicing art, and years of study in universities and art schools across the nation, zigzagging through all kinds of media and styles from abstraction to realism, I'm so happy to feel at home at last with representational paintings in oil. Painting this way demands a higher level of skill and technical ability than abstraction or Impressionism because I am painting a reality that is shared in everyday life. I feel connected to the whole history of art, going back to the Renaissance when oil painting was invented. As a painter, I face the same challenges of expressing the experience of our 3D world on the flat canvas that artists have faced for hundreds of years.
I like to paint directly from life. Slowing down to the pace of painting I can fall in love with an onion, seeing it like a beautiful pearl. I discover worlds of subtle light and color that we miss in everyday life where an onion is for chopping up to flavor food. I often choose very simple subjects in the spirit of Wabi-Sabi, a Japanese esthetic whose premise is to find beauty in the imperfect, humble, modest, and unconventional. I work to capture and describe fleeting moments of light over forms and to get the paint stroke itself to create the experience of how we see. By leaving things a bit unfinished and painterly, there is room for the viewer to participate in resolving the image for their own eye. Painting is always a challenge. I'm always a beginner, but that is the joy and fun of it. You can never reach the end; there is always more to awaken the senses and the creative mind within us.