The Abstract & Surreal Artwork of Colleen D. Gjefle
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ABSTRACT & SURREAL ARTWORK


Artist Statement

As an artist, I strive to visually capture a world that lives beyond our conventional senses. Arriving at the images that appear on my canvases is akin to a spiritual experience for me, for these images are those of morality, metaphysics and of dreams. Since childhood, I have been intrigued with the spiritual realm and as I grew, so did the urge to experience and somehow relate to these other dimensions.

There was a time when I thought through every detail in a painting. But I gradually began to try to let my subconscious take more control of the process. This led to some paintings becoming more abstract, with others still retaining a distinctly surreal feel. I’m no longer always striving for the “deep” meanings in my works.

While at one time I wanted to “understand” my paintings, I now often prefer to “feel” them. We can only intellectually understand things to a limited degree, but we can feel to the depth of our souls. Do I want others to understand my paintings? I might share my interpretations – if they exist – for a particular work, but each person naturally interprets a work of art according to their own personality and experiences. So I try to let my paintings “simply be”. This also allows me to see a work somewhat differently each time I look at it, depending on my frame of mind or my day’s experiences. With my artwork, I can hopefully understand myself and my world a little bit more, and to share it with others.

Contact Info

Colleen D. Gjefle
Smyrna, DE
215-483-4027

Website and artwork © Colleen D. Gjefle, all rights reserved.

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Artist Bio

Personal
cdgTH-2015-200pxI’m a great animal lover and share my home with my 3 dogs. I’ve been a vegetarian for a few many, many years (for moral and ethical reasons – how can I say I love animal and then participate in their deaths?) and my spirituality is a blend of Zen, spiritualism and science, with a dash of paganism thrown in for some added “color”. I enjoy nature walks with my dogs, lots of cappuccino and frappucino, galleries and museums, horror/sci-fi movies, and photography (both professionally and for personal enjoyment). I also enjoy my backyard garden. In November 2009 I bought a new house and have been happily making both the house and my  new backyard a creation the reflects who I am. I strive for personal and artistic growth and gaining a greater awareness of who I really am and what the Universe around me is really like (which is not always what the eye sees). It’s not always an easy pursuit, but as the old saying goes, it’s the journey that counts. I also present a page dedicated to my Dad, who I loved very much and will miss until the day I die, when I will see him again.

Sampling of Exhibitions:

2011
“Absolutely Abstract” Exhibition – 443gallery, Philadephia PA

2010
“Between the Waterways” Exhibition – 443gallery, Philadephia PA
Please Look and Touch Me – University of the Arts, Philadelphia PA
Group Exhibition – Rosetree Holistic Health, Media PA
2009
Feature Show: Outside the BoxManayunk Art Center, Philadelphia PA
“Bella Toscana” Exhibition – 443gallery, Philadephia PA
Annual Juried Show – Manayunk Art Center, Philadelphia PA
Gallery Show –
Catherine Zeidler Gallery, Philadelphia  PA
Solo Exhibition –
Ven & Vaida Gallery, Philadelphia PA
Relationships –
Manayunk Artists’ Co-Op, Philadelphia PA
Grand Small Works
– FUEL Collection, Philadephia PA
2008
Grand Small Works – FUEL Collection, Philadephia PA
Gallery Artists
– 443gallery, Philadephia PA
Small Works – Manayunk Artists’ Co-Op, Philadelphia PA
Annual Members’ Show – Manayunk Art Center, Philadelphia PA
The Art of Politics – Manayunk Artists’ Co-Op, Philadelphia PA
Serenity and Whimsy in Art – Manayunk Artists’ Co-Op, Philadelphia PA
Poe & Dickens – Characters & Themes – Manayunk Art Center, Philadelphia
2007
Featured Artist – 443gallery, Philadephia PA
100 Paintings for $100 (Miniatures) – Manayunk Art Center, Philadelphia PA
Art to Die For – Manayunk Art Center, Philadelphia PA
Spring Group Show – Manayunk Artists’ Co-Op, Philadelphia PA
Works on Paper Juried Show – Mainline Art Center, Havertown PA
Faces & Places – Manayunk Artists’ Co-Op, Philadelphia PA
2006
Annual Members’ Show – Manayunk Art Center, Philadelphia PA
50th Anniversary Auction – Manayunk Art Center, Philadelphia PA
Spring Group Show – Manayunk Artists’ Co-op, Philadelphia PA
Fall Group Show – Manayunk Artists’ Co-op, Philadelphia PA
2005
Solo Show, Abuse Series – Manayunk Art Center, Philadelphia PA
Cool Art in the Summer Heat – Manayunk Art Center, Philadelphia PA
Annual Members’ Show – Manayunk Art Center, Philadelphia PA
2004
Three Person – Manayunk Art Center, Philadelphia PA
Annual Members’ Show – Manayunk Art Center, Philadelphia PA
2003
Solo Show – Surrealism – Manayunk Art Center, Philadelphia PA
Annual Members’ Show – Manayunk Art Center, Philadelphia PA
2000 and earlier
Several Group Shows – Manayunk Art Center, Philadelphia PA
Invitational Show – Gallery Alexy, Philadelphia, PA
Global Artists for Tibet – Gallery Alexy, Philadelphia, PA
Select Works – Gallery Alexy, Philadelphia, PA
Portraits, Gallery Alexy, Philadelphia, PA
Nudes Invitational Exhibition, Gallery Alexy, Philadelphia, PA
Three Person Show – Gallery Alexy, Philadelphia PA
Contemporary Realism – Gallery Alexy, Philadelphia PA
Solo Presentation – Church of Eternal Life, Westville, NJ
Positive World Visions – Artforms Gallery, Philadelphia PA
Group Show – Philadelphia College of Textiles and Sciences, Philadelphia PA
Group Show – Odds’n’Blends, Philadelphia PA
Free Painters & Sculptors Group Show – Loggia Gallery, London, England
Not The Royal Academy – Llewellyn Alexander Gallery, London, England
Solo Exhibit – Cambridge Spiritualist Society, Cambridge, England
Heads – Loggia Gallery, London England
Not The Royal Academy – Llewellyn Alexander Gallery, London, England
New Works – Loggia Gallery, London England
Solo Presentation – Acton Spiritualist House, London, England
Solo Exhibit – SAWCA Theater Gallery, San Antonio, TX
Group Show – Womens Caucus for Art, San Antonio, TX
Group Show – San Antonio Art League, San Antonio, TX
Group Show – River Arts Group, San Antonio, TX
Group Show – Brooks Library, San Antonio, TX
Group Show – Carver Cultural Center, San Antonio, TX

Miscellaneous Professional:

Currently represented by the 443gallery (Philadelphia) and Barbara Dilsheimer & Associates (Villanova, PA).

Self-taught as an artist with paintings in numerous private collections in both North America and Europe, including many commissioned works.

Listed in “International Who’s Who of Business and Professional Women” (published by the American Biographical Institute) and in “2000 Outstanding Artists & Designers of the 20th Century”, a reference publication of the International Biographical Centre of Cambridge, England.

Several paintings used as posters for the Russek Student Achievement Day at Boston University School of Medicine (2002 – 2005).

Schizophrenia” featured on the cover for an edition of the Veteran’s Health System Journal and to highlight the corresponding article.

Politics” was a featured painting in an Art Matters article entitled “Art of Politics”.

Various other paintings have been used in other publications including Schuylkill Valley Journal, Brainworld, Niederngasse (Germany).

Progressive Equilibrium” was selected to be included in the 2009 Manayunk Art Center calendar.

The Premonition had a Relapse” and “Chinese Zodiac Tiger” were accepted in the “Great Juried Show 2009” juried by James McFarlane, president of the American Watercolor Society. “Chinese Zodiac Tiger” was awarded “No Bare Walls Award for Excellence in Surrealism”.

Unhealthy Obsession” was chosen to be included in the summer 2010 edition of “Philadelphia Stories“, both the online and print editions.

The Abuse Series – “Fighting the Ghosts”

The Legacy of Childhood Sexual Abuse

This is an artistic chronology reflecting the various phases I experienced while trying to come to terms with childhood sexual abuse.