Colleen Tully

MEDIUM:  Pastel, Oil painting, Ink, Watercolor

AREA OF INTEREST: Emotion, Dreams, Memory



My artwork displays emotion and memory, engaging in the human experience through familiar subjects and ominous dream like environments or backgrounds, expressing not only a likeness of character, but a unique visual perspective into the narrative of the person being represented. The images of people and environments I create invoke similar and familiar emotions, feelings, memories, events, and dreams, which correspond within the imaginative fictional narrative that I deliver through these portraits. I use human subjects to unite this experience by creating a familiarity between the two.

Often, my work involves human representations with real emotion to initiate familiarity. These images designate stark reality to enrich the intensity of the portraits and the atmospheres they create; I employ selected materials to induce haunting and emotive images that provoke empathy.

Currently, my work is often inspired by gothic, and Victorian literature as well as traditional and contemporary poetry. I am also inspired by other contemporary artists, such as Odd Nerdrum, Zdzisław Beksiński, Hugh Shurley, Kiki Smith, and Ron Mueck. Just to name a few. Many things inspire me; images I find or see, intriguing quotes, and pieces of literature. Basically all kinds of thought-provoking art I find compelling in a certain poignant way that might provoke a new interpretation from my point of view. 

Bertolt Brecht, a playwright once described; visually we must create a language everyone can understand. Visually I demonstrate familiar commonality and shared experience among personal instances. The way these characters and atmospheres are portrayed communicates actual feeling and mood that interconnects with the narrative and character to reveal that commonality among emotions, feelings, dreams, familiar places, events and memories.