Abstract & Surreal Artwork

Recent Paintings

Surreal Artwork

Abstract Artwork

The Abuse Series

Artist Statement

My name is Colleen D. Gjefle and I’m an American artist creating both abstract and surreal work primarily in acrylic. I’m self-taught as an artist with paintings in numerous private collections in both North America and Europe, including many commissioned works.

As an artist, I strive to visually capture a world that lives beyond our conventional senses.  My abstracts tend to be brightly colored, highly textured and intricate, frequently with multiple layers giving lots of depth. My surreal works might just be flights of whimsy, but many are more thought provoking, cerebral images that grow from morality, metaphysics and of dreams.

Life has kicked me in the teeth and frequently gotten in the way of art, but I always returned to it. I have a lot of other interests that have frequently provided me with several respites from painting, but again, I always returned. I love technology so I became a website/graphic designer that allowed me to balance out my love of tech with my artistic proclivities. I bring art and design into my house and yard, which further satisfies my artistic urges…

But I always return to art.

I create images that can’t be seen in real life (after all, that’s what cameras are for) which are pulled from my head to hopefully draw the viewer in. 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 creating more abstracts, and my surreal paintings becoming less refined but freer.

I’m no longer always striving for the deep meanings in my surreal works. While at one time I felt a need to “understand” my paintings, I now  prefer to feel them. After all, 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? Each person naturally interprets a work of art according to their own personality and experiences so although I might have my own interpretation, there’s always another way of viewing things.

Through the universal language of art, I hope to understand myself and my world a little bit more, and to share it with others.

Latest Blog Posts

Requiem for Pygmalion

Requiem for Pygmalion

For those of you who are up on ancient Greek mythology, you might be familiar with the story of Pygmalion and Galatea. This is my take on what happens next.

Neapolitan Nightmare

Neapolitan Nightmare

Yes, this painting was influenced by Neapolitan ice cream, more specifically, after watching some kids delightfully eating, slurping and laughing over their bowls of yummy summer treats all while...

Eve Had the Right Idea

Eve Had the Right Idea

"Eve Had The Right Idea" is an acrylic on canvas painting completed in 2022. The  18x24 canvas was gessoed with tissue paper to make it very textured prior to building up several layers of colorful...

Black & White Flowers

Black & White Flowers

Every now and then I do a series of flowers in black and white. We always think COLOR when it comes to flowers, but black & white gives them a different dimension, with the plant's delightful...

Good-bye Bella ❤️️

Good-bye Bella ❤️️

My darling Bella left me for the Raindbow Bridge on August 1, 2018 Bella was a sweet little Papillion mix. She was only a little over 20 pounds but you would have never known it - she filled a room...

Painting a Colorful Abstract Mural

Painting a Colorful Abstract Mural

This mural is a colorful abstract done on a light blue bedroom wall.  It measures 9 x 10 feet and took about 11 hours from start to finish, including the time spent designing it in Photoshop. Here's...

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