Artist Statement: Debra's Artistic Journey
Growing up in a family immersed in folk art, I was surrounded by the creative energy that comes from working with clay and porcelain ceramics. My mother, an accomplished artist herself, honed her skills in China painting, breathing life into plates, tea sets, bird sculptures, and even historically inspired porcelain dolls. It was alongside her that I discovered my passion for art, spending countless hours assisting her on various projects.
From an early age, horses captured my heart, and drawing and painting these majestic creatures became an integral part of my artistic journey. I would find solace in nature, observing the animals and the beauty of the woods around me, diligently sketching their forms in my journal.
Seeking opportunities to explore different mediums, I delved into ceramics, leatherwork, pencil, and pastels, constantly pushing myself to gain experience and expand my artistic horizons. Alongside pursuing my business finance degree at Aquinas College, I attended the Kendal School of Design, nurturing my creative talents.
To further develop my artistic skills, I sought the guidance of watercolorist Mark Kohler in Texas. Under his mentorship, I honed my style and gained a deeper understanding of the principles of watercolor. Inspired by the western and ranching culture that surrounds me, my artwork often explores ranching themes, offering glimpses into my everyday life and the relationships I forge with animals and the people I encounter.
My paintings draw inspiration from real-life events and experiences, capturing the essence of ranching culture with authenticity and passion. Horses hold a special place in my heart and frequently find themselves as the central subjects of my artwork.
Through my art, I aim to share the beauty and rich tapestry of ranching life, inviting viewers to connect with the profound connection I feel with the land and the creatures that inhabit it. I hope that my paintings convey the stories, emotions, and reverence I have for this way of life, honoring the traditions and capturing the essence of the ranching world.