acrylic on standard canvas


Experimenting is at the heart of most art.  The desire to push the limits of what’s been done before or to express ideas in a new unconventional way continually lures the artist.  Hence my recent fascination with collage.  Acrylics have some wonderful properties but most artists will admit that the colors have a tendency to plasticity, and the quick drying is both a blessing and a bane.  Collage is one way to give the colors greater nuance and depth.

I’ve used collage in a unique way in my latest two pieces, where the collage is actually the underpainting and a semi-transparent layer is painted over it to create the final image.

Here’s what I started with as the collage underpainting for “Dauntless”.

20140617_092024  The paper pieces are torn and adhered permanently to the canvas with matte transparent gel.  Texture is created primarily with a glass bead gel medium.  I love the way that the paint interacts with the beads, filling some of the spaces and leaving some of them with the original underpainting showing through.

I then began to paint the image over the collage using Golden’s open acrylics which in addition to having a longer drying time are also semi-transparent.


The final image “Dauntless”


© 2014 Debi Coleman

The papers, beads, and colors peek through to add depth, texture, and interest.

The other collage piece I’ve done recently entitled “Ephemeral” is shown below in two of it’s stages.  I forgot to photograph the initial underpainting.


But here you can see the second step where I’ve begun to paint over the collage with a semi-transparent layer of color.

The finished piece  “Ephemeral”


© 2014 Debi Coleman

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Most if not all artists can do many more types of work than what they are generally known for.  It’s the business end of art that forces artists to “specialize” and produce what is considered “a unified body of work”.  While it’s a great business model,  I think most of us find that particular mindset stifling.  So, for fun in this 25 day challenge you will see lots of different styles of artwork.  This piece is an acrylic landscape on standard canvas (which is the type that requires a frame).   Living in Oklahoma I find that I miss the pine forests of the North where I was raised.  I call this piece “Tranquility”.  Hope you like it.


© 2013Debi Coleman


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