Don Collins

Artist Statement:

Currently I am working on a series of paintings that will go into an exhibit called The Map is Not the Territory.  Because human conception of reality is necessarily an abstraction – an accurate map of the real world would be as big as the world – to have a map that is useful we have to create something simpler, less detailed. We come to the world not only with maps, but with stories, with conversations and of course, with painting and the other arts.  All are abstractions of the world we inhabit.

Art – in its broadest sense, including theater and literature, film, music and dance – now, then and perhaps forever – has been in the business of creating representations of life that are not directly realty, but are representative or reflective of reality. Why would humans need or want to do that?

The science suggests that it is through narrative or story that humans make sense of life. It is in the cerebral cortex, the brain’s most recent evolutionary development, that narrative is created.  However, our immediate experience of life happens deeper in the brain, in a place where the initial point of thought happens before consciousness.  It is here that the accumulation of chemistry, DNA, history, emotion, social mores and patterns acts and reacts before an experience can rise to consciousness. Thought then follows and becomes retrospective.  Our consideration of it is reflective.

I am fascinated by the experience of encountering art, both for myself and for others.  Contemporary brain science, using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), gives tantalizing hints about how a brain creates its reality. I am interested in what that process means to an artist, the viewer and the creative experience that hangs between them.  These are my paintings, sincerely done, but they are only a part of my work.  When the COVID-19 is a memory and human contact is literally embraced again, I hope that you can see one of my exhibits.


Featured Work

Don Collins

Stacked #1

Don Collins

Beach Rivulet

Don Collins

Reid SP Upper Tide Pool

Don Collins

Reid SP Low Tide


I am 68 years old.  New Hampshire born and raised.  I was born with talent and squandered countless opportunities.  Repeatedly “discovered” and mentored by artists from coast to coast – it never took.  As a young man I was reckless and irresponsible; shows here and there, but I never had the passion and discipline to stick with it.  I have wound my way through life with Art as a sidekick, never as the leading character.

Art and discipline have recently given me a second chance.  I have a terrific freedom, but also, at my age, a substantial responsibility to use my talent.  My new work has a depth and quality that I was not able to find when I was younger.

I hope you find my work interesting.


Inquiries:  603-306-7733