It's time for another member spotlight and this month the light is shining on...
How did you find Paper Traders?
I was searching for art images on the internet and saw some work done for Yahoo Groups. I went there and searched for collage & mixed media. Many sites were available, but I waited about 4 months before committing to sign up! Paper Traders seemed to be the BEST of all I viewed.
How long have you been a member?
Where do you live?
I live about 45 miles north of Chicago, in a rural/small town called Hainesville. It is actually attached with the same zip code to the town next door where I grew up, Grayslake, Illinois.
How have your surroundings affected your art?
Nature, nature, nature. There was no internet, cell phones, etc. when I was a kid. We were outdoors playing all the time, day and night, during all seasons in a small-town setting.
Please share a little about your own art experience.
I always drew, colored, and painted - even when I was very little. So the adults around me supported that and kept me supplied with art materials. I always liked solitude; and looking back, I think this nourished my interest in art. We all need time to process the visual world and store our impressions. It takes time. I took two years of art in high school and got an Art Education degree in college. I taught Elementary Art for a while. And I may not have been the best artist, but I like to think I was a very good teacher!
What are some of your favorite techniques or genres?
I love collage. I also do a lot of work with watercolors and colored pencils. I like to try new ways to “blend” them and soften their look. Pen & ink techniques interest me, too. And recently I have been making friends with acrylics. I am trying to loosen up a bit and be more abstract. I was a graphic designer (prior to teaching) and that experience with design has been an ongoing influence.
What inspires you?
Everything... not a very interesting answer, sorry!!!
Who are some famous artists whose work you admire and what especially appeals to you about this?
Artists that have taken risks are inspiring. I recently took my first trip to France and walked in the footsteps of Vincent Van Gogh in Arles, where he lived and worked for a few years. He knew his work was not popular at the time and yet he kept painting because it fed his soul.
Describe your work area... Do you have your own studio or craft room?
Finally, I have a space to work. Just this summer we turned an open loft space into my art area. Before that my supplies were in the garage, dining room, laundry room, under my bed, etc... Now at last everything is within 6 feet of my desk. I worked on one end of a dining room table for many years - so now it's a thrill to have my own space!
What tips or tricks have you found to help carve out a niche for your supplies and art?
The biggest issue is time - so I call making art my “work” and when I go to work I allow myself to ignore the phone, laundry, shopping, husband, and whatever else beckons. It helps if the people around you respect your need to be your creative self. I choose a consistent time of the day or week that is just set aside for my art - and hope for the best!
Please share a little about your family and pets...
We have three grown children. Our son is 26 and our daughter is 24. I have a step-daughter who is 32. They all have careers and are out of the house. We often babysit our only grandson (20 months old). No pets yet - but maybe someday!
Do you have any other hobbies or interests?
My husband and I are bicyclists. We have done many 3 - 5 day biking trips where you peddle from hotel to hotel. I think an appreciation of the outdoors and fitness inspired this activity. We also love to travel and hope to do more now that we are both retired.
Below are some samplings of Debra's fabulous work: