Colette Smith obtained her J.D. from Seattle University School of Law, was a civil litigator for several years, and now works as an attorney for the federal district court in Seattle. It was just within the past decade that Colette began experimenting with a brush and a small tube of acrylic paint. Since that time, she has exhibited her work in a solo exhibit, at charity auctions, and open juried shows. Two of her pieces (including A View From Above) are currently on exhibit at the 2021 Peninsula Art League Open Juried Show at the Gig Harbor History Museum. Colette’s work combines color with textures to create depth and light and is greatly influenced by the beauty of the Northwest. In addition to mixed media, Colette creates pieces using the techniques of paint pouring and collage.
It never occurred to me that I had creative power but once I discovered it, I took to heart the words of Van Gogh, who said that the “creative power cannot be repressed, one must give vent to what one feels.” Now, when I am not working on a piece or thinking about working on a piece, I feel a void.
I am greatly influenced by nature and am lucky to live in the Great Northwest which abounds with beauty and layers upon layers of color. I find wonderful inspiration in my gardens and in long hikes in the mountains and along Washington’s beaches.
I learned early on that I am happiest when I allow my work to be uncontrived and free flowing. Abstract expressionism is where my creativity comes to life. I love to mix color with textures and mixed media to create depth and to tell a story. It was this process that drew me to paint pouring — a surprisingly fun and explosive technique where color and flow take center stage. With collage, I can create drawings from virtually any material and am learning to balance my pieces.
I am never quite sure where my creativity will take me but I enjoy every bit of the journey and I am always excited when a piece evokes more than one feeling.