Colleen Attara - Artist - Doylestown Alive
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Creative People

Colleen Attara

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A few thoughts on my creative process………..

A few years ago, I was at an art festival and two young men stood looking at my work for several minutes. All the sudden one of them smiled and said” I get it! It doesn’t match”. I laughed and said “you’re on to me”.

He was right; I am not trying to match. Often times I use colors that would not typically be next to each other, but somehow by repeating the colors over again and mixing in some other hues it all comes together. After I am finished with a painting, I am always surprised with the outcome. I do not plan my paintings out. I start with one color and just go from there.

Painting on glass is extremely forgiving. If I do not like something I’ve painted, I can take it away with a sharp razor blade. After several years, I try not to do that anymore. I simply push through the painting, being extra creative in an area I’m questioning. Without an exception, when the painting is complete, it is whatever I was questioning in the painting that is my favorite part.

I really enjoy using objects that are headed for the trash in my work. All the Plexiglas in my art is scrap Plexiglas from a Trenton sign shop. The windows are usually found on the side of the road. I try to use “oops!” paint from home improvement stores as much as possible.

I’m pretty much an all or nothing kind of artist. When I am getting ready for a show, I have a few weeks where I do nothing but create. There is paint on my face and even on the bottom of my feet. Sleep and food become less important. Coffee, music and candles become more important. Pressure spurs me and makes me even more creative. By the time this frenzy is over, I will go weeks without picking up a paintbrush. I’m lucky to have a husband and children who tolerate the ebb and flow of my creativity.

You’ll see that next to the bright acrylic paint there will be paint drips on the window frames that have been there for decades, and dents in the wood. It is impossible to aim for perfection when the canvas you are painting is perfectly imperfect. I do not try to fix these dents and drips because they take the pressure of possible perfection away.

Colleen Attara
April 2009

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