The Abstract & Surreal Artwork of Colleen D. Gjefle


1994 – Alkyd, acrylic and pen & ink on masonite – 12″ x 15″

“Schizophrenia” was the first painting I did expressing the feelings I had when the repressed memories of abuse began to haunt me, trying to force it’s way into consciousness and affecting my sense of who I was. This often left me with a feeling of disconnection with almost everything, including myself.

I integrated the feeling of “cobwebs in the brain” through the pen-and-ink work in this painting. While yellow is normally a cheerful color, in this instance it signifies a jaundiced perspective and a brightness that feels overwhelming. Blue, as a normally peaceful and calming color, is found in the tenuous strands in the center of the painting, somehow vague and fleeting, as was my greatly desired peace-of-mind. During difficult times, our perspective is often distorted, as is demonstrated in the blurred portrait with a hazy phantom eye beneath the more solid eye that represents my real self, never totally lost though sometimes temporarily forgotten.

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