Artist Bob Coletti creates “Photo Illustrations” while contributing experience gained through 40 years as a commercial photographer. Courtesy photo
A Brush with Art

Photographer contributes expertise to local causes


Photo illustrator Bob Coletti seems to have an endless capacity for altruism. With a lengthy career as Commercial Photographer and Graphic Designer, he generously contributes his professional expertise to organizations to bring public attention to their causes.Coletti says, “Without a doubt, living by ‘The Golden Rule’ can bring much satisfaction and can benefit all parties concerned.” In addition to his role as exhibiting artist with the Del Mar Art Center, The Sargent Art Group, San Dieguito Art Guild, and the San Diego Museum of Art Artists Guild, his contribution of web and graphic design helps promote public awareness of the organizations. Based on his belief that helping out as much as possible benefits all involved, he comments, “We’re all in this together.”

Consistent with his charitable philosophy, since 2010 Coletti has published “California Art News,” a monthly online newsletter, providing a showcase for artists’ work while highlighting local art events. The newsletter is a free public service for the benefit of emerging artists who otherwise have little opportunity to show their work.

With similar intention, Coletti recently co-founded “Group7Art,” a collective of artists working individually in sculpture, oil painting, watercolor, wood block carving and photography, whose group exhibit “First Impressions” is currently on display at Carlsbad’s Oceanside Art Gallery.

Coletti’s altruistic attitude emerged early in life. Growing up in a small seaside town just south of Boston, Massachusetts, he describes his formative years as a “Leave To Beaver World.” His natural artistic talents became evident at an early age, but he was also “all boy,” viewing life as a great adventure. He says of taking part in every available sport, “Whatever season it was, I was on a team somewhere competing and supporting my group.” During summer months he focused on surfing, a love that led to his current participation in the Swami’s Surfing Association, known for its philanthropic community involvement.

Coletti’s formal art training began in 1968 as a Fine Arts major at the Art Institute of Boston, while his weekly visits to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and the Gardner Museum inspired him to paint large impressionistic canvases. However, he later turned his focus towards photography, which provided a smooth transition into a career in advertising photography – a pursuit he found equally as satisfying as creating with paint, brush, and canvas.

Coletti is quick to express gratitude for the personal contributions towards his artistic development by abstract expressionist painter Bill Georgenes, portrait painter Clement Micarelli, and sculptor Kahlil Gibran (cousin of “The Prophet” author). He states, “The work of these three artists and their views of the world have inspired in me an undeniable influence in whatever artwork I produce.”

After 40 years as a successful commercial photographer and graphic designer, Coletti refers to his current creative work as “Photo Illustrations,” a term by which he describes its dual aspects. His images begin as original digital photographs, which are then manipulated in various computer applications. The final images are printed on a cotton-based canvas or archival papers, resulting in long lasting impressionistic works of art.

Employing vivid color in his photo illustrations, Coletti says, “Since all of my work is taken directly from nature or real world scenes, color is the one common element that I use to bring a continuity to my work.”

Coletti shares a love of travel with his wife Ursula and gathers inspiration for his current work through expeditions to exotic locations. He says, “Traveling is an art all to itself. Those of us who are lucky enough to be able to travel and use those travels to inspire our artwork are certainly very fortunate.”

Coletti states, “As artists, we are beings that convey to the world through various means of communications ‘who we are.’” He continues, “I would hope to think that anyone who has met me or has known me could see the correlation between how I live and the manner in which I create my work.”

Bob Coletti’s Photo Illustrations, along with work of other Group7Art artists, will be on exhibit in “First Impressions” at the OceansideArt Gallery, at 300 Carlsbad Village Dr., Carlsbad, from Feb. 23 to March 23, with an artist reception Feb. 28, 5:30 to 8 pm.

For more information on Bob Coletti and his work, visit

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