Where I am
Tell us a little about you, what is your background & where do you come from?
I grew up as a child in Montana, and attribute these early memories as the reason for my subject matter. My Art degree is in Computer Animation/Photography. It is here that I fell in love with the camera and how to “show” the story. Eventually I found myself wanting more independence and creativity, and a friend suggested I look into the Fine Art side. This is when I took up oils.
When did you first start painting?
16 years ago, I started dabbling in acrylics, some watercolor, nothing too serious. I returned to painting 9 years ago with an interest in oils.
You paint more than just horses, what is your favorite subject to paint?
I always come back to animals, each take turns being a favorite!
The only way I can answer this question: regarding domestic animals, Horses because they will always have that “wild, instinct” inside that remains part of their spirit. Regarding Wildlife, definitely the larger animals such as the Big Cats, eventually Bears, Wolves. It’s a respect thing; they’re mysterious, elusive and independent.
Who are your main influences?
Regarding the drive to have an art career, people in our history and present time that did not give up on their dream. Everyone from Martin Luther King Jr. to Leonardo Da Vinci to Steven Spielberg.
Do you (or did you) have an animal that is the muse behind your work?
I have 3 rescued pets with their own personalities. Regarding painting, every animal photographed has a story; it’s just my job to find it, zero in on it.
You are passionate about animal causes also, which ones mean the most to you personally?
I’ve had a connection with horses for a long time, there’s a gentle vulnerability about them…haven’t had that connection with Lions and Tigers of course! Can’t go wrap your arms around their neck, usually. Though observing them the ways I can, their story is there, you can see it in their eyes.
If I have to prioritize, the rescues that mean the most personally are the ones preventing extinction, getting specific animals off the extremely endangered species list. Good place to start!
Do you have any secret rituals you do to help you get in the zone for your art?
I have a collection of scores from films I love, have to put one on. And no distractions for at least a 3 hour block! I did put on “Pirates of the Caribbean” the other day; having this type of film on that I’d seen before let me “escape” as well, but not be distracted. I got a lot done in those few hours!
Is there a particular place that brings you inspiration?
I always come back charged with inspiration after “seeing” animals. This could range from my neighborhood of horses to watching Wildlife Dvd’s.
What effect do you think the Internet will have on art in general?
The internet gives limitless exposure and really lets the client research art on their own time and pace.
Has it had an effect on yours?
Sure! I’ve had clients request my work that have only seen it on my website, and not in person. Couldn’t have done that before internet!
Which one is your personal favorite piece?
All my babies take turns being a favorite, truly. At the moment, Jungle Eyes.
The Amur Leopard is on the Critically Endangered list with only about 30 left in the wild. When I look at this painting, I can’t help but think how horrific it would be to for the world to lose this face forever.
Would you ever sell it? Yes, the more exposure, the better for awareness. Prints too!
What else are you passionate about?
Honesty, loyalty in giving and receiving friendships. We’re only here for a short while. That’s the least we could give one another.
Working on anything new?
Horses for a bit, then on to more Big Cats and Wildlife. Be sure to check out my website periodically for updated works!
More to Come
Thanks to Deborah for answering the interview and sharing her art. Be sure to check out her art website periodically for updates about her latest works.
Also stay tuned for more interviews with horse artists and photographers.
Are you a horse artist or do you know an equine artist you’d like to see featured? Add your name and website in the comments below or drop me a note to get involved.