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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Taming a Wild Heart

Living in Oklahoma has given me appreciation for Western Art.  It’s not a form you see much of in NY where I’m transplanted from.


Taming a Wild Heart

©2013 Debi Coleman

The rodeo horses (where the reference photos for this piece originated) never cease to amaze me.  They are so angry that anyone dare to try to sit on their back that they will practically destroy themselves trying to throw the interloper fast and hard on the ground in the rodeo ring.  I’ve seen them get all four feet off the ground and land on their gut in sheer rage.  The heart of this horse is only resistant, not raging (perhaps because of the restraining rope).  Hope you enjoy.

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Escape From The Zoo (untitled piece)


©2012 Debi Coleman

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