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Debra Schmidt

Deb has always been fascinated with both the human and animal form.  For years, she's worked hard to refine her skills for figure and genre painting, as well as portraiture.  She truly admires artists who have the ability to use the figure to directly communicate a feeling or idea to the viewer.  This, for her, is the most powerful of all the visual arts.

Recently she has been inspired by early Dutch and Flemish painters, with an emphasis on rural farm paintings.  Aside from working full time as an artist, she also works part time on their ranch in Montana, so the subject is near to her heart.  She has so much respect for those hard working people. They become part of the land as it etches itself into their hands, bodies and faces.  Beautiful!

Right now, Deb works mostly in oils and loves the challenge of their rich and vibrant colors.  They are extremely versatile and a good choice for her, because although she enjoys painting in the studio, other times she wants to paint plein air in a snowstorm. 

Being an artist is about communicating the experience.  If she never left the studio she couldn't give a very convincing account of what she is trying to paint.  Her best paintings come from subjects she's been a part of.  If she can feel it, that emotion translates more easily to her work.  Deb believes that an artist needs to paint everyday and from life.  There is something that happens to the way you see, that sticks with you.  This carries over to studio time when you need to work from photography, which can be so static, or even if you are caught with no reference material at all, you can at least visualize much better.

Deb considers herself to be an espressionist.  She wants to take a subject and just tweak it a little, make it a bit larger than life or romanticize it.  But not too much, she doesn't want to lose anyone.  I just want to help people see things more clearly, help them experience the emotion in ordinary things.  This keeps us compassionate and is what makes us human.  

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