Three Questions: Linda Colletta

One of the most satisfying parts of our work at Simply Framed is bringing our pros' work to life with custom fine-art framing, and thereby sharing in the joy that comes along with their major moments of success. So, we were elated (but not surprised!) when we learned that Linda Colletta was chosen to be one of two Featured Artists in the 54th Annual Community Cooperative Nursery School Art Show this weekend, along with painter Julia Contacessi. The show brings together artwork from more than 50 nationally and internationally known artists, and offers one of the largest and most diverse collections of original artwork in Connecticut, all for the great cause of supporting children's education.

Linda’s abstract expressionist works experiment with the intersection of color and texture, freedom and containment, and are based in her realization that art can be purely about creating beauty. Mission accomplished! For more insight into Linda's journey and process, read on. Or better yet, make your way to Connecticut this weekend to see — and shop — some of her gorgeous work. Trust us, your walls will thank you.

Simply Framed: Sum up your journey as an artist. How did you get started and what has kept you going?

Linda Coletta: After many years as a scenic artist and graphic designer, I quit my job to dedicate myself to painting full time. It was one of the most frightening — but best — decisions I have ever made. I spent most of my young adulthood making a living as a scenic painter, but I realized early on that being a full-time abstract artist was going to be utterly new territory, and that this journey would be a self-taught process of trials and errors. The first year of painting was excruciating, and — needless to say — there were a lot of bad paintings. In my second year, there was more of a flow. I learned to stop judging myself enough to allow the process to evolve organically. I began to explore new mediums, color families, and mark-making, layering these techniques. The result was the beginning of a body of work that I am still exploring and expanding on today. What keeps me going is simply a deep desire to paint. I love to paint. I must paint.

SF: Tell us about your process and what inspires you to create each piece.

LC: Color, first and foremost. Color excites and fascinates me. It’s always where I begin and the first thing to ignite a series of thoughts that I want to express. Textures, patterns, and shapes in nature are a constant source of inspiration, as well as fashion and interior design. I work mostly in acrylics, oil pastels, and oil sticks. My work is simply an exploration. I start with a color and let it unfold from there.

I grew up in a very small rural town, and then spent 16 years in NYC while studying and working in the arts. This background caused me to be deeply influenced by the beauty and serenity of the natural world and the grunge and decay of the city at the same time. I express this through layering, washes, drips, scribbles, and textures.

SF: What has been the most exciting moment of your career thus far?

LC: Moving into my first real art studio. It's my dream-come-true studio. It's gorgeous and sun-drenched, in an old lace factory building in Bridgeport, Connecticut. It smells like turpentine, and the building is filled with other amazingly talented and interesting artists and makers. It's my happy place.

Can't make it this weekend? You can still have one of Linda's custom-framed artworks in your life by ordering through her website.

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