Sausalito - Artist Debra Maddox

Debra Maddox San Francisco Bay Area Artist



Debra Maddox Artist Statement

After 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 photography.

“Documenting the 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 Alcove Books. Her work is in private and corporate collections throughout the United States and Canada.


Debra's Art Gallery Preview


Debra's Website




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