Since experiencing as a child the majestic world of book illustrations, Collette has loved drawing and art.
Though she later majored in English and Philosophy as an undergrad and received her Masters’ degree in Philosophy, throughout the years, she always looked for opportunities to take drawing and painting classes offered by schools and community organizations.
To finance travel abroad during her college years, she painted murals in her home town of Elmira, New York—at a swimming pool, in the pediatrics ward of a local hospital, and at a little boutique that was the first business venture of now-famous Tommy Hilfiger, who then attended her high school.
For some years, she placed painting on the “back burner” as her life became busy with the greatest creation of all—her son.
But after moving to Fredericksburg in 1995, Collette met artist and educator Johnny Johnson whom she credits with reigniting her pursuit of art.
At first, she worked primarily in watercolor, finding it a wonderful medium for capturing the transforming quality of nature. Currently, she works in both watercolor and acrylic.
She says, "Typically, I paint and draw from photographs of places that our family has visited, attempting to convey the heart and character of a scene, as I experienced it. I am truly grateful for the gift of this world—its depth, and beauty, and message of love."