receiving a Bachelor degree in Art Education, Debra completed
post-graduate work in painting at the San Francisco Art Institute. She
continued her studies of fine arts at various institutions around the
Bay Area where she devoted her concentration on both painting and
environment either through painting or photography has always intrigued
me,” Debra states. “Observing how light, shadow, color, and texture
transform shapes and forms into compelling compositions, drives my
desire to record what I see in the world around me. My work reflects two
components. One is visual and the other is emotional.”
The current body of
her work examines several themes – water, cycling, night scenes, old
cars, and narratives. Regardless of the topic, the visual and emotional
elements are always constant.
Her water series has
its early roots. As a teenager, she spent summers as a lifeguard with
hours devoted to gazing at the shimmering water. Later as an adult,
while accompanying her own children to their swim meets, she was
inspired to focus on swimmers, divers, and water as subjects.
“The reflections of
light bouncing off of water, distorting shapes and color, creates
another world- a dimension of calm solitude where the subject drifts
into an elevated state of being. Submerged in water, one is weightless
and free-flowing, leaving the worries of the world above the surface”
Her cyclist series
focuses on another dimension - the freedom and exhilaration of the ride–
being outdoors in the elements with the wind brushing past, momentarily
escaping from the daily routine. Embracing the regional passion for
cycling and the striking beauty of California scenery, makes for the
visually engaging compositions.
Debra’s night scene
paintings are a visual cacophony of lights and color, infused with a
human narrative. The imagination of the viewer takes over to create
one’s own personal story into each painting. The interaction of
musicians, dancers, and random people are interlaced. Taxis in the night
are seen transporting individuals to unknown destinations and to unknown
countless adventures. All are a part of the human tapestry that
formulates a story in the viewers mind.
The old car series
reflects upon a bygone era when cars resembled massive sculptural forms.
During a time when the world moved at a slower pace, and the gas prices
were affordable, drivers ventured out without a destination in mind for
the sheer pleasure of the drive.
Debra describes her
work as a fusion of photography and painting. Using photographs as well
as on-location sketches as references, she brushes paint onto the canvas
and organically develops the composition. Sometimes, she will transfer
actual photographic images onto portions of the canvas resulting in a
mixed media composition.
As she weaves together
all of the compositional and emotional elements, she allows her
imagination to take control, resulting in compelling scenes and
narratives that oftentimes only exist in her mind.
In 2000 and 2006,
Debra was selected as a commemorative artist of the Sausalito Art
Festival. In addition to being juried into numerous art shows and
exhibits, her paintings and images have been selected since 2002 to be
included in the annual publications, “Art of Northern California” and
the “Art of Seeing” by