Debra Dee Art: Blog en-us Debra Tonge (Debra Dee Art) Thu, 07 Apr 2016 07:48:00 GMT Thu, 07 Apr 2016 07:48:00 GMT Debra Dee Art: Blog 120 89 Yoga Studio Mural - Nepal

All creation is a combination of the masculine and feminine.

This image represents a Hindu god who's form is created from a story of love. Shiva being the symbol of ultimate man shares his body with the divine goddess Parvati . The synthesis of these two energies equally divided within oneself is said to create a perpetual state of ecstasy. When this balance is achieved on the inside one is then able to find this harmony on the outside with the joining together of man and woman in relationships and love. Unity and equality balance love

 After an exhausting and incredable two week hike in the Everest region with a new travel companion I had met my day of arrival in Kathmandu.

I was Solo again, So my next mission was to get creating some art. This Yoga Mural jpb opportunity just magically appeared the first day arriving to my next destination -Pokhara, Nepal. 

I had met a Californian yoga teacher on the journey up to Pokhara, and she introduced me to her local friend who was building an Ashram and Yoga Studio. 

How Perfect !  Art is needed to create ambiance

I feel so lucky and within a few days I was set up in my own art studio and hotel and I started painting -  using lots of gold paint three different tones of gold to give rich effects very fun project

Lots of visitors and art admirers as I created that week, The painting I now hung in a beautiful  Ashram and have been asked to return and create more art


]]> (Debra Dee Art) Thu, 07 Apr 2016 07:47:34 GMT
Vintage Car Art Slideshow

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]]> (Debra Dee Art) Abandoned Vehicles American Cars Antiques Cars Classic Car Art Classic Motors Debra Dee Art Paintings Cars Rust Rusty Wrecks Vintage Car Art chevy vintage car paintings Fri, 20 Nov 2015 22:53:22 GMT
Donated painting - Nepal Communitere Nepal

Below is the painting I donated to help toward generating funds for Nepal disaster relief

Communitere is an innovative non-profit, pioneering an effective international model for sustainable disaster recovery. We create dynamic, collaborative hubs in affected communities that make a powerful impact by giving individuals the means to become self-reliant.

To find out more please visit  Communitere website

Village GirlsVillage Girlshref="" target="_blank">purchase</a> page for more details


"Our proven grassroots approach involves an active, experienced, on-the-ground presence with a focus on providing the resources, processes and tools required to empower local communities to take an active role in the renewal of their own community. In addition, we are committed to bridging the gap between individuals who are willing to help and organizations that can effect change. Central to that commitment is the notion that communication, information and strategic partnerships are vital to effective emergency response, recovery and renewal of affected communities"  -



Communitere has been on the ground in Haiti since the 2010 earthquake and in the Philippines since the super typhoon hit in 2013, and now are setting up aid in Nepal


]]> (Debra Dee Art) Thu, 19 Nov 2015 06:23:28 GMT
Blast from my artistic past - Vegetable Characters

These charismatic children's book characters were commissioned by a publisher to be printed as educational book marks.

The happy and vibrant illustrations on the front and nutritional information on the reverse to encourage a healthy living in children's diets.

Miss Orange Miss Cucumber Miss Tomatoe Mr Corn  
Miss Orange Mz Cool Cucumber Little Miss Tomatoe

Mr Corn

Mayor of the Corn Fields

Mr Carrot Mr Apples Mr Onion Mr Grapes  

Mr Carrot,

The Comedian

Mr Apples

Mr Onion


Farmer Grapes  
Dancing MushroomsDancing Mushrooms Mr and Mrs CherryMr and Mrs Cherry Mr String BeanMr String Bean Mr Broccoli  HeadMr Broccoli Head  
Miss Mushroom

Mr & Mrs Cherries

joined at the stem in marriage

Mr String Ben Mr Broccoli Head  
Mr Pear Mr Potatoe      
Mr Posh Pear Mr Potato      

Commission a Children's Book Character
A perfect gift for a friend or a child. For example, your child loves their pet cat and also loves to have stories read to them, so I would custom design that visual. Maybe your friend collects frog ornaments and loves to dance the tango or your grand child tells you stories of how they enjoy tea parties with their favorite teddy. Maybe you have an idea for children book and need to translate your vision into art

]]> (Debra Dee Art) Thu, 19 Nov 2015 05:45:12 GMT
Adam - We are all in this together

'We are all in this together' - in memory of Adam


 Three cliffs beach on the Gower Peninsular in Wales, A Father

Daughter project on a quiet sunny winters day on my favorite childhood beach

The words 'We are in this together' are written sung in memory of beautiful Adam

Salar de Uyuni  are the Largest salt flats in the world11,995 ft  above sea level - Bolivia

The Salar was formed as a result of transformations between several prehistoric lakes and the  exceptional flatness of the surface make the Salar an ideal object for calibrating the alimeters of Earth observation satellites

  A good bye message - Lake Titicaca lies between Andean ranges and boarders both Peru and Bolivia, It is culturally known as the sacred centre of the Andes and is highest navigable lake in the world and the largest in South America.

This ancient lake is thought to be over million years with many cultural traditions preserved. Inca mythology claims that Lake Titicaca was the site where civilization first began and in Andean belief, Titicaca is also the birthplace of the sun.


Drift wood in Wales  Sea Shells in Cornwall England Gravity challenging volcanic rock -Arbol de Piedra, Bolivia

 Adam written in the desert sand

Magical Oasis town of  Huacachina located on edge of the Atacama Desert in Peru. A tranquil lagoon lies in the midst of one of the driest climates in the world.

Adam in the Grass at beautiful and serene high altitude Laguna Colorada in Altiplano, Bolivia 

The home of thousands of rare nearly-extinct pink flamingos set amidst a pink and red lake and volcanic peaks 

Andean flamingos in these salt  lagoons with backdrops of snow-capped volcanoes. Colca Canyon in Peru is reportedly the deepest in the world, thought to be twice as deep as the Grand Canyon in the USA

Gokyo Lakes trek- Nepal

Fourteen day hike in the Everest Region for a picturesque view Mount Everest and of the world’s highest glacier-fed freshwater lake wetlands. The Gokyo Lakes are considered sacred by both Hindus and Buddhists 

Amongst the Tibetan Prayer Flags peak of our trek 17,575 ft elevation

Backdrop of Mount Everest so happy to share it with Adam 

thank you for our blue skies and perfect panoramic mountain views 

Bali A Beautiful Sunset in Bali Emergency Bear under Golden Gate Bridge San Francisco Jenkat on her birthday celebrating her love for Adam Cornish Sands - I sit and watch as the tide comes in

Woke up this morning -  I suddenly realized - We're all in this together
I started smiling - Cos you were smiling - And were all in this together
I'm made of atoms - You're made of atoms - And were all in this together
And long division - Just doesn't matter
- Cos were all in this together

I saw you walking - In the city - We're all in this together
The city's changing - Cos we are changing - And were all in this together
Every twelve seconds - Someone remembers - That were all in this together
In the kitchen - Of your rent-control apartment - We're all in this together

Ask a scientist - It's quantum physics - We're all in this together
And on the subway - We feel like strangers - But were all in this together
Yeah I love you and you love her - And she loves him - But were all in this together


Adams golden candle and collection purple and yellow items that I took to be blessed by a shaman in Alasitas Festival

An event that  honors  Ekeko, the Aymara god of abundance in La Paz - the highest capital city in the world - Bolivia


]]> (Debra Dee Art) Thu, 12 Nov 2015 22:20:33 GMT
Christmas Discounts on Custom Artwork Mr WorrallMr WorrallCommissioned Portrait In Oil on wood Panel
custom made to fit clients antique Frame

To commission a portrait in oil please contact Debra

Its already that time of year - I've got my Calendar out and taking Christmas artwork commission's 

If you are interested in a custom portrait (graphite or oil) to be completed in time for a Christmas gift

please message me

20% discount for my Facebook Friends and Fans

To ensure your Christmas gift project on my calendar please put in your order soon

LIKE me on Facebook for the discount Debra Dee Art

For more detail on process and prices please go to my commission page

Nine MonthsNine MonthsGraphite on Archival Vellum Paper
17 by 14 inches

COMMISSION a portrait in Graphite or charcoal CONTACT DEBRA
Sacred Valley GazeSacred Valley GazeGraphite and Charcoal on Archival Vellum Paper
24 by 19inches
Original $1900
Located near the Ollantaytambo Inca Ruins Urubamba province
Peruvian Andean mountains in the Scared Valley

PRINTS AVAILABLE - click Buy Button for details and options
Vivid Metal Prints - Contemporary, Vibrant with a High Gloss finish and precision detail.
TristenTristenGraphite Drawing on Archival Vellum Paper
17 by 14 inches
Commission Portrait
COMMISSION a portrait in Graphite or charcoal CONTACT DEBRA

A Portrait in oil creates an everlasting memory and is a wonderful means of celebrating those we love. Debi captures an authentic likeness of her subjects, infusing vitality and moods through her color palate. Recreate the innocence of childhood, celebrate the intensity of love, beauty of a nude, or commemorate an achievement honor a deceased relative with an oil painting or pencil sketch. Gift your self the opportunity to own beautiful timeless art that will be cherished for many years to come.


]]> (Debra Dee Art) Sat, 10 Oct 2015 22:36:17 GMT
Earth Quake Nepal Answering your questions about my experience in Nepal during the earth quake.
It is taking a while for me to share my experiences, simply because I am totally devastated - words can not describe the emotional impact this disaster is having on so many people. I am now safe and coming down from the adrenaline surges of feeling frightened and fearing for my life and for friends whom I could not locate.
I can now gather my thoughts because today I just now found out that my Australian friend and his sister are alive . Tears have been streaming each time I hear that a friend still in the effected areas has survived.
My heart is broken. I love Nepal. I now feel numb as I sit alone in Bangkok try to process this catastrophe .
Thank you all whom have reached out to me, all the amazing messages and posts and for hours I had many tears flowing as once I reached Thailand I could access the internet.

I want to answer all of your questions, concerns and also explain my personal experience as requested.

I have not attempted to watch the news or view tragic photographs yet - Just being there in those moments and hearing the stories from survivors is enough to know the impact -and its just too painful for visuals at the moment
My post may be a bit jumbled - but its okay I am aware that I am dealing with some heavy emotions.

My experience in Nepal prior to the earthquake I described as magical, with warm welcoming people whom have touched my heart on several occasions.
Nepalese are now facing huge trauma so much loss to a country that is already so poor . It destroys me I love Nepal.
Seeing the destruction in this beautiful land and being amongst this enormous amount pain and frightened people is really something I struggle to write about. I am grieving this tragedy and it's going to take me some time.

I got away with just few bruises -experiencing some flashbacks and nausea but generally I am ok and looking after myself.
So to share a bit about the experience, I was inside the airport during the big 7.9 quake, and got thrown to the ground a few times by the shakes, I found it very difficult to stay on my feet, It was chaos and very frightening .Its also quite a blur but I do remember making decisions on which way to run, being aware of the screaming panicking people and metal structures falling in my pathway.
My instinct was not to get amongst the mess of dashing people in flight, for fear of being trampled or struck. I believe I got shoved to the floor by a running man, so I knew that it was safer to trust that the building was going to stay intact and that I should try to stay on my feet and be conscious of my surroundings to avoid getting hurt.
Honestly, It was more scary later, because your adrenaline takes over in those few moments and for me it seemed to keep me calm- I think?.
The alarming and overwhelming emotional experiences comes as you gradually find out the details of the devastation through other peoples conversations. People bursting into tears as they find out the amount of destruction the quake as has caused.

The unknown was the most frightening part for me - the worst - was not knowing if my friends that I just said goodbye were ok, especially when I heard that the location I had just left behind had experienced lots of structural damage and many collapsed buildings.
I was so lucky that I was able to reach my family through Facebook, I found a local man who let me use his phone soon after my rushed post the internet failed to work until I reached Bangkok

Stories whirled around the parking lott of the building being flattened in Katmandu and trekking regions, avalanches on everest, and the beautiful old temples I had just visited the previous day Gone!.

Later that day as traumatized people started arriving at the airport, I meet couple from Europe - they told me that they were sitting underneath one of the temples that collapsed -grabbing his girlfriend and running as temple was crashing around them and witnessing other getting hurt and buried - I heard many of these dramatic and terrifying stories.

It was beyond dreadful and gut wrenching.

I got invited to go to the Australian Embassy for the night, driving back into Kathmandu I found it difficult to look out of the windows, we were all nervous and felt at risk. Everywhere people siting on the streets too scared to be near buildings crying to their gods to stop being angry. In a culture that dedicates so much to time and love towards worshipping their gods, I can only guess must have been confused as to why they were being punished.
All the aftershocks- so many of them-! and seeing the destruction - and for those who have asked NO I did not take photographs it was simply too traumatic of a vision for me. I will however share my beautiful photographs of the temples as a remembrance,with the hope to inspire people to donate to the people of Nepal.

At the embassy we were welcomed, feed and slept in big tents I was were unable to contact the British embassy as communications were down. Sleeping on the ground I could feel the ground moving all damn night continual aftershocks throughout the entire night plus two more big sized one that shock all awake. I did not sleep.

The next day getting back into the chaos at the airport was terrifying, crowds of people trying to squeeze through the small broken door into the airport -the one that I had ran out of the previous day during the quake.
My nerves were flipping whist in the middle of this crowd, fears from yesterday came back . I really did not want to go back inside but took that risk to get on my flight- even though we had no idea if we would be able to fly.

Then another earthquake 6.7 occurred -I had just boarded the airplane it rocked and so did the huge grey army plane along side ours, like Saturday people came running out of the building in fear .. I dread to think what was going on downstairs in the ticketing department during sunday quake as there was no way out of the building - Absolute chaos.
My experience frightening but was relatively easy compared to some other tourists I spoke to, those who wittiness collapsing buildings near and around them. and their struggle to get to a safe place quickly.

It is evident through all the stories I heard that humans react quite different in moments of fear. Some will grab a strangers hand and help them -an instinctual reaction - whilst other push you out the way and put you in further danger to safe themselves. The security guards in the airport were an example of the later! its was awful.

I heard so many stories of the Nepalese taking in foreigners and sharing what that had, taxi drivers risking there own lives to get tourist to safe open spaces or to get them to the nearest foreign Embassy. We must help these kind souls

This is Tragic time. So many friends have offered me their help to me, I urge you all Please Please donate these beautiful people to this beautiful land . They need Our help (my two homes) -America & Britain.
The situation is miserable please do what you can.

Brave aid workers are starting arriving, these volunteers are putting themselves in a very dangerous situation .. so many buildings are destroyed and continuing to crumb and fall .
Please do what you can please donate ‘Today’ these people need help.
I Love You Nepal . Namaste


]]> (Debra Dee Art) Wed, 07 Oct 2015 05:12:17 GMT
Nalma School, Annapurna Mountains
Nepal, Nalma New school appeal proceeds direct to village
Nepal holds a special place in my heart, always has since my first visit in 1998. An intense amplitude of emotions was experience on my recent journeys, a life changing exploration. Grief, Love, Fear, Inspiration, Determination, Captivation.  My experience prior to being in Katmandu during the earthquakes, I describe as magical, from the open-hearted locals I met to the breath taking  mountains I climbed.  I believe the depth and combination of these intense moments must be catalysts for creative motivation’s that could take many directions.

I want to introduce Nalma, Majestic rural small villages located high-up on a ridge way overlooking the huge Annapurna Mountain range Nalma welcomed me with huge smiles, receiving an invite into their community and learning about authentic traditional Nepalese living will have an everlasting beautiful impact.

Whilst teaching English and getting creative with art, I was immersed amongst children who’s laughter is huge and who's bright playful energy’s contagious. I feel so fortunate to have had such an incredible experience here, humbled by the generosity, delighted by the eagerness and engaged students who love to learn. I learnt about Organic farming, watched baby goats prance, picked delicious mulberries off the trees with the children, ate healthy yummy dal batt vegetable dishes with families and woke up to incredible backdrop of snow mountains on one side of the ridge and distant views of rice fields on the other. Lucky the people of Nalma survived the earth quake, but there was some structural damage to buildings including the school, frightened children and many people sleeping outdoors whilst the earth continued to move.

In all honesty, a new school is really needed in Nalma. the children need more space, it is not an appropriate building during all the seasons, in the winter is far too cold for the children. And now after the earthquake it is even more essential that this new school happens soon.

Thank you for reading, If you would like to support and gift to my wonderful friends and young students that would make us smile wide.
Reposting truly helps tell the story
-Those little ones deserve the opportunity to learn.



]]> (Debra Dee Art) Mon, 03 Aug 2015 08:39:41 GMT
Nalma School Face Lift ( Nepal April 2015)

Before and after Photographs. Our Nalma Classroom color facelift

A Small Donation makes a huge Difference and all the children are smiling. Its amazing what a coat of paint can do,  now these kids no longer have to sit next to grubby classroom walls everyday. Their learning environment is bright and cheerful and now matches the radiant personalities of the students. Thank you to my wonder friend Leni who paypaled his donation whilst I was Traveling and volunteering up in the Annapurna  mountain range. All Nalma's Teachers worked in secret throughout the weekend to revamped the interior of the whole school so that we could  surprise the kids - I had tears in my eyes when I saw the children's faces light up and jump around in excitement  


'Our Deepest thanks from Annapurna School Nalma to Leni for your kindness'- Rabindra


]]> (Debra Dee Art) Mon, 03 Aug 2015 06:01:53 GMT
Self Portrait Artwork- step by step drawing and thought process

My first real attempt of a self-portrait - A Raw Realism  -One of the most challenging projects I have worked on  

'Selfie Sketch'  -looking at yourself is not an easy task especially when you are visually expressing a somewhat intense emotion and attempting to tell the truth

I have reached the age of 41 and have been creating art most my life, yet this is the first self portrait I have ever tackled I have probably shyed away all these years because it's quite a uneasy challenge- I have to say at times I quite disliked creating this piece of art forcing myself to sketch in all my little beautiful wrinkles that I like to call laughter lines but hey self portrait is needs honesty. 

I have an intense look in my eyes Determination I believe is the expression that has revealed itself in this piece 



]]> (Debra Dee Art) drawing graphite self portrait Mon, 28 Apr 2014 16:55:06 GMT
Mural at Indian Clay Oven Restaurant
Mural for Indian Clay Oven in San Francisco 
Color is an intricate and symbolic part of the lifestyle in India,

 We choose to work with a rich warm paint pallet, using colors that are celebrated and found in rich spices used in traditional Indian cuisine.

The mural design depicts a simple romantic love story told though a series of eight trompe L’oeil style golden archways with a continuing landscape that links the mural story together

 Symbolic elements are used through out the artwork such as peacocks symbolizing grace and pride, lotus flowers symbolizing peace, tranquility and purity.
The couple rejoice in nature and the changing seasons during their courtship and unity

  ]]> (Debra Dee Art) Tue, 12 Nov 2013 08:11:00 GMT
Mural for an Orphanage in Cusco - Peru

One of my favorite experiences during my recent trip to Peru, was the opportunity to paint a mural for an orphanage in the fascinating city of Cusco, the historic capital of the Inca Empire located in the Andes

Maybe I believe in the power of manifesting since this project arrived at the perfect moment during my travels and was exactly something I had envisioned doing. I was  sitting drinking tea in the amazon jungle, reading through my lonely planet travel guide book and looking for information for volunteer work in the  Cusco  area. I struck up a conversation with a lady and her daughter sitting near, they were from U.S.A and they had actually been living and working in Cusco for quite a few years, teaching and fundraising for orphanagages. How perfect, especially since I was having no success with my guide book,  So I closed my book and asked if I could help out in any way – I explained that I was an artist and suggested that could buy art supplies and teach,  Then she mentioned that she had been looking to gift the orphans a colorful mural but has not yet found a volunteer who has the skill The next day I flew back to Cusco and visited the boy’s orphanage to discussed visual ideas for the mural. The manager, Jeremy, had a basic graphic design that he wanted me to include in my composition on and some writing in German explaining the meaning of the design. So  early morning coffee shop next day I found a friendly German man to help translate the meaning of the text. To summarize the text talked about the sun’s incredible energy and about gods creations, mentioning such beauty and forces of nature and all that all thrived under this bright light. Requesting love and compassion amongst human souls and allowing healing for all. So my attempts were to create a cheerful bright nature inspired image with animals native to Peru cradled in the suns light

Talented new artist friend of mine Davis Torres,  helped me with the entire creative process.

Davis, grew up through the care of ELIM orphanage, he now speaks fluent English has an education and he is encouraged to follow his creative talents too -I love his art.  As we were painting together that week, he shared with me his story of his past abusive family life that had forced him to take to the streets and how tough it was to survive out their so young and emotionally lost. He explained to me how grateful  he now is to have been rescued and given  a chance of a decent life. Davis now works at ELIM orphanage helping to counsel the children staying here, encouraging and inspire the children through his own story so that they too will have a second chance to create a enjoyable life.


It was such fun project and I absolutely adored the kids I interacted with.   Witness them giggle amongst themselves as they proudly and enthusiastically painted the walls in bright colors really warmed my heart. Most of the orphans I met had run away from very abusive homes and were found alone begging on the streets of Cusco, from ages as young six years old with their daily chore being one’s of survival. One of the cute little girls I danced with was only 4 years old when her mother chopped two of her fingers off in an anger rage.

“The life of street children is very hard. Day in, day out, only in the Peruvian city of Cusco more than 1000 street children have to fight for their survival, the streets are their home. They sleep in the cold and the rain; they have to steal for their food. They often they use drugs and don’t go to school. ELIM offers these children a shelter and a place to rest. It also gives them love, protection and a chance for a new beginning. Besides sheltering the organization offers children from extremely poor background a place to stay in the afternoons. They also provide meals to street children under police custody”


In the photo  below, Jeremy the director is to my left and my apprentice art buddy Davis is on my right .

 Such an overwhelming amount of love pours out of these people hearts at ELIM orphanage. Jeremy Cuba, the director and his mother Nilda Escobar the main fundraiser were so thrilled with the mural we created that they threw me a leaving party. All the orphans danced routines and sang songs they had practiced, (a group of the boys danced to Michael  Jackson Thriller which just made my day!)  After all the performances I got gifted hand made cards from the girls and we ate lemon cake and drank lemonade and had a disco.  The adults encourage joy and laughter which helps there healing, these kids learn to live love and enjoy expressing themselves



]]> (Debra Dee Art) Tue, 12 Nov 2013 08:00:00 GMT
San Francisco Mayor Willy Brown Luncheon and Awards Ceremony- giving recognition for Community service, Merchant and Humanitarian Awards. I was commissioned to paint Mr (ex Mayor) Willie Brown as a surprise gift to be revealed at todays social function. 
Greater Geary Boulevard Merchants merchants and property owners association


]]> (Debra Dee Art) Mon, 11 Nov 2013 20:00:37 GMT
Snap Shots Used To Create Oil Paintings (Vintage)

 When people view my artwork online I often hear the comments  “It looks like a photograph “ or experience having been mistaken for a photographer. So I often have to point out that what they are viewing on their laptop , ipad or phone are oil paintings not a photoshopped image. This confusion happens more frequently with with my travel & portrait gallery collection. It is my intention that my artwork gives onlookers a certain depth of realism. My draftsmanship with the oil paint is quite meticulous and intricately handled in the focal areas such as the classic cars. Though much of the artwork is built up using textures and glazes and is really quite a loose painterly application to give an impressionistic appeal.

I have observed when onlookers view the original art in person, they instinctively move closer to inspect all the delicate visible brushstrokes and pallet knife work I have applied. It is quite fun to create art that gives a certain illusion of photography but more rewarding when it becomes evident that it is actually layers of paint. (below are some new reference photographs soon to be developed  into oil paintings)

I have never revealed my vintage reference photographs on the internet before as I did not feel that it held much interest, but when you compare the difference between the snap shot and end creation, it actually tell a visual story of how I go about making my art. One can see how I adjust the compositions add or eliminate objects that could enhance or distract and use color to develop a charm and elegance. I often completely change the surroundings and location of the vintage classic’s I paint, inventing more appealing landscapes with the attempt to bring more charm, elegance and interest. Sometimes the weathered classic’s I find are stood on concrete floors in an un-appealing  environment, so I will invent a dramatic sky or attractive landscape and use tones that indicate could indicate a certain time of day or even season.

For the Vintage collection I like to use photography snapshots as a visual tool only, as my attempts are the push the overall visual impact yet keep  lines and forms of the vintage cars accurate and thus realistic. 

This photo was taken on my American road trip with my father in Utah, what I love about this photograph is the how the light falls across the cars with shadows casted from the trees behind. For me the background lacked visual interest and the twisting branches were too distracting so I decided to decrease the complexity so painted in some leaf foliage to give more of a summer season look.

 The cars in the photograph did not stand out much from the background, so I simplified and deepened the darks to give a better contrast, I also positioned the vintage cars higher up in the composition as I felt that it would create a better balance.

 On the left side of the photograph the third car in background was not very visible so I opened that area up with some blue sky and eliminated the branches. I played with the color balance and contrast in the shadows and highlights, softening and enhancing and also gave the car in the middle a slightly different paint job by painting in some blues tones that reflect the color of the sky.

 Tahoe City Electric

This painting was a commissioned piece of work, for a gentleman who had seen my art in a gallery exhibition in lake Tahoe and was inspired to have his own beloved vintage truck painted in oil. This was the first car I had painted that was not beat up and rusty.

 My clients request that I create a Tahoe style atmosphere so we drove around beautiful Lake Tahoe in his wonderful shiny GMC, so we did a fun photo shoot around the lake. The chosen composition agreed upon was simple background of aspen trees and snowy shadows. As you can see in the photograph most of the snow had melted off the road and the golden leaves had already fallen. It was already wintertime but I wanted to create an impression of early snow fall in an autumn season.  I covered the tarmac with snow fall and popped in a bare aspen tree foreground for more interest, plus created more definition with the wonderful shadows that lead the eye into the painting, used some coppers and olives greens and browns in the foliage and softened the shadow contrasts on the vehicle.

Quite simple changes that I feel give an over all calmness about the piece. 

Autumn rust

Evidently altered this one quite significantly. Pushing my paint color pallet to create a vibrant piece of art, I took on a challenge as the photograph really did not have much of a visual impact and there were moments during the process that I was not too confident. Quite happy with the end result 

Gas station – Grass Valley

I choose not to alter this painting too drastically from the reference photograph, thus paying a lot to attention to all the wonderful fun detail in the building with all the vintage signs. I took this photograph with a wide angle lens that is why you see some distortion in the lines of the building, so in the painting I straightened things up and cropped in to avoid that obscured view.As i am creating this blog i have realized that this is quite a good practice putting reference photo and final piece side by side. I am seeing a pattern with my style and how eliminating certain certain parts of the reference gives the piece less clutter . I am also noticing areas that i could improve upon, I have literally left the blog a moment ago to return to the painting above to put in a few touches of paint     I put more foliage in the background as i dod not like the one tree central in the composition and i created a dapple light effect with some of the sky peeping through the trees and brushes. I worked into the painting with glazes enhancing certain areas and deepening shadows and contrasts. I also took away the white cloth in the rear of the truck as it was a distraction and gave more definition to the pipes on the truck bed. I felt like the foreground was untidy so simplified and put in whispy golden grass in stead of the shrubs, this also allowed me to work more with the shadows cast by the vehicle . I made the grill more pronounced and gave it a bit more of shine as if sun was bouncing off it.

Quite a lot of artistic license went into this piece. I completely changed the lighting and mood of the painting by inventing a stormy rainy sky. It has a more dramatic and intense mood as the storm clouds cast patchwork shadows across the fields. To create more of a visual story I added an American flag on the red white and blue Chevy and a shattered rear window, cracked windscreen, a for sale sign and on the horizon I added wind turbines. The visual message is open to the viewer’s interpretation 

I must have used another  photograph for this piece because as you can see the view point is at a different angle, but you can see that took out the building in the rear and instead added some building in the distance.  I preferred a backdrop of just sky with the  suggestion of the modern day by adding in an airplane trail . I also created a pathway leading up to the to the truck .


]]> (Debra Dee Art) Antiques Rust american cars chevy citroen gmc motors vintage Mon, 26 Aug 2013 22:00:35 GMT
Title Competition - winner gets a signed print

One of my recent vintage car paintings -  I posted this painting on my personal 'Debi Dee' facebook profile on facebook and below are some of the title suggestions i got - was fun posting for my friends

plus the person with the chosen title will receive a copy of this art piece - if you can think of any more ideas feel free to post here 

Keith Hopkins: Old truck rusting in field under dramatic sky? i ass thinking of pieces which actually have titles like that. like a Lina Wertmeuler film. Made me chuckle.  I like the wry commentary of the windmills,

James Cottle: Wind of change

Chuck DiGuida: Wind, Rust and Shine or American Steel For Sale

Tiffany Schoepp: "Out to pasture" it's lovely Debbie!

James Cottle: The wind mills and the for sale sign their selling us the wind but I can't think of a 3 word title with that in that works so ill shush

Shaggy Thompson :America's Future

Andreja Vasiljevic: Rusted dream

Jim Wolff : Step-side before the storm - - awesome work

Dam Twente: old school

Allison Grote Gerlach: Sold

Debi Dee: you guys are great .. better than me at titles .. keep em coming ..I love them

Pilar Starr Woodman : american beauty, or american dream

Yess Bryce: american dream: sold out ,  i love it btw really just keep getting better and better!!

Lis Sun : I love the old technology juxtoposed slightly with the new greener technology in the background. This piece says a lot and I love it! Wind beneath my Dreams

Debi Dee: yep lisa that was part of my intention .. plus a few other hinted elements to create more of a visual story to the viewers interpretation

i am going to choose a title from this thread .. and use some of the other wonderful titles to create new paintings . thank you all

Kim Herrlein : The New American Dream...Great piece!

Ali Mae :  crimson ride... I love this Debi delight, kudos mamasita

Ponta Ghofrani: Amazing art Deb. I really had a moment of aesthetic arrest. Thanks!

Eric Eliki Garcia: American Ride

Michael Clancy: Dust bowl rust bucket.

Debi Dee: American Pride,

Jonathon Waters: Storm Troocker! Or Storm Truucker?

'Matthew John Senior: Fucked truck for sale near an onshore windfarm!

Debi Dee: LOL not sure thats a very sellable title

'Matthew John Senior That's what Damien Hirst would call it...cos that's what it is.

Debi Dee : true !

Amber Defazio : Upwind

Benjamin Wester : Low mileage, like new.

Steven Renner : My Last Truck

Ravynns Mystic Lair: Unique Antique

R.j. Filiatrault: Ol Betsy.

Steve Dekrone: Now or Never

Boenobo TheKlown : Holy Shit!

Benjamin Wester : I dunno, Boe... I think "Holy Shit!" might be a bit too controversial of a title as well. What about "American Shit!"?

Sean Holt: America for Sale

Danielle McCord : Stormy wheels

Justin Lewis : One carefree owner

Debi Dee: love this thread .. brilliant I have too many to choose from and lots of new titles for more vintage car paintings .. hurray much love

Justin Lewis: Dischevrolet'd

Debi Dee: brilliant

Byron Scott Gay i: Rusty old timer , great painting 



]]> (Debra Dee Art) Mon, 26 Aug 2013 21:50:59 GMT
Old College Art PART 2 - Hyper Realism

Science illustration college project. Using gauche paint and extremely small brushes a magnifying glass.

The images you see below are actually enlarged for your viewing purpose,the original paintings are about

40% decrease in size so you can imagine that this requires a very steady hand and very fine observational skills 



]]> (Debra Dee Art) Tue, 30 Jul 2013 08:06:02 GMT
Travel Photo Slide Show

These Photographs were taken on my travels through Thailand India Laos and Nepal in 1996 and 1997, this was back before I owned a digital camera, probably before they had even come out on the market. So all these photos are taken with a film camera and the black and whites were hand developed in my college photo laboratory. 

My travel experiences were empowering and changed the way I viewed my own life, I became instantly absorbed in the cultural charms, although the misery of poverty ached on my heart. I  learnt how to be truly thankful and felt compelled to paint moments and characters I met on my adventures. The vivid expanse of landscape colors, the beautiful array of of vibrant silt sari's, the expressions on faces all enticed my visual mind.

Unlike today's  instant visual gratification with using a digital camera, I had to wait until I returned back to England after months of traveling to see the moments I had captured on film. I distinctly remember the overwhelming excitement and  anticipation .



]]> (Debra Dee Art) Fri, 30 Mar 2012 03:41:41 GMT Expressions of Life - Tahoe This Week 2004 Expressions of Life written By Barbara Hass, published in local newspaper 'Tahoe This Week'

Internet, optic-fiber phone lines, faxes and digital cameras are making the world a smaller place in which to live. With instant access to Western pop culture and the increase in travel to what used to be remote locations, the advanced, modern world is homogenizing cultures and people toward a more Westernized way of life.
Debi's "Rust and Wrinkles" exhibit on display at the North Tahoe Art Center captures the feelings and expressions of traditional tribal people before the onslaught of Western culture. By reproducing the exact facial expressions, Debi hopes to preserve the unique and very non-Western atmosphere of the places where she travels.

"I love to travel," she explains . "The first time I traveled for three-and-a-half months in between my school courses, and the second time I left for four months. During all my travels I kept a visual diary of my journeys, similar to a scrapbook, to keep straight the mass of ideas, thoughts and opinions conjured by inspiring occasions and spontaneous moments."

Debi started out at a College of Arts in Cornwall. After she earned a degree in illustration, she was offered a job at a publishing company, where she worked for a few years. At Hodder & Stoughton Publishing (a big publishing company in London) , she was in charge of illustrating children’s book covers.

Drawing from her experiences abroad to places like India and Nepal, Debi has created a series of works that not only incorporate her own feelings, but stays true to the expressions of her subject matter. While traveling she would oftentimes visit the local libraries to learn about the culture and traditions of the places she visited. It got her thinking about the impact tourism has on these remote cultures and how they are bombarded with Western pop culture.

"In Ladakh, Nepal, I noticed the global changes that have occurred since tourists have discovered this isolated area, some good and some bad," she recalls. "Only 20 years before the area was entirely self-sufficient and unaffected by outside influences. Now, there is litter, poverty and a loss of the traditional way of life."

Capturing these traditions and people before they are lost in the tidal wave of modernization is one of Debi’s goals. Her detailed renditions of faces preserve for people elsewhere the aspects of a culture that may be swept away by the Western world’s globalization. Many times on her trips, she spent time people watching, sketching and photographing, often waiting until she saw that face with a story hidden in the facial lines and eyes – and she remembers every story behind the hundreds of photos she has taken.

"I saw this woman walking in Katmandu, and I was intrigued by her face. I ran ahead of her so that I could take a snap shot of her in front of this darkened doorway. Just as I took the picture, she turned and looked at me," Debi recalls . "Her face tells many different stories, and I have often wished I could speak the language so I could hear the stories myself."

Facial expressions are her favorite thing to paint, and she always knows what she wants the painting to look like before she starts. She achieves a balance between the faces and background by using color and composition. As an illustrator, she used color to draw attention to a book, now she uses it to draw people into the stories told by the facial expressions of her subjects in her paintings.

"Lately I have been painting into the night in my studio," comments Debi. "I sketch out what I want, then resolve any issues while I am painting, and oftentimes I will wake in the middle of the night still thinking about them. I like to use board rather than canvas to get my own texture, and I utilize glazes, oil and alkid paints, along with gesso, to bring intensity to my work. I am a total perfectionist, and I have to be completely finished with a painting before I will let it be hung."

Faces aren’t the only things Debi likes to paint. On a recent trip to Utah with her dad, she discovered rusty trucks, which can be just as expressive as her faces. "When my dad came over to visit, we took a trip through Arches, Canyonlands and Bryce National Parks. While we were driving one day, I saw an old broken-down truck on the side of the road. After a few miles went past, I couldn’t get the image out of my head, so we turned around and I photographed it with a painting in mind. Now I am on a mission to find more rusty trucks."

Whether it’s faces or rusty trucks, Debi plans to keep painting what she wants. "Rust and Wrinkles" is her first show here in the States, and it has only wetted her appetite. After this summer, she plans to travel along the coast, checking out bigger galleries (and of course more faces), while promoting her oil paintings. She is also looking for more commission work (she recently was commissioned to paint a six-foot painting for a family in the Bay Area).

"When I left England, I was tired of the rain and dreariness," expresses Debi. "I love Tahoe for its sunshine and active lifestyles, and I’ve made lots of great friends here. I think I will always come back!"

Make a point to stop by and check out this incredible artist. Her work, along with her scrapbook of her journeys is on display at the North Tahoe Art Center, 380 N.Lake Blvd., from now until the end of May. Lose yourself in the stories of her art and experience a snap shot of life.

]]> (Debra Dee Art) Fri, 23 Mar 2012 21:03:46 GMT
Artist Profile: Local Artist Paints Travel-Inspired Realism Artist Profile: Local Artist Paints Travel-Inspired Realism

by Ingrid Tistaert, Action Reporter

As a little girl in pre-school, Debi was always the last to leave the art room and would sneak in when it was not her class. Covered head to toe in finger paints, a large grin on her face, she reveled in the joys of art and painting. Some things never change. Today Debi still loves to paint, only she has matured into one of north Tahoe's most accomplished artists and her medium of choice is not finger paints but oils.

Debi honed her painting skills as a student, earning an illustration degree at College of Arts in Cornwall, England. After graduation and a two year stint working as an illustrator for a London publishing company, she decided to pursue a career as an independent artist. "Despite gaining an invaluable experience, I found my position as an illustrator far too restrictive." Debi left her position in England to embark on a series of trips to Southeast Asia, India, Nepal Thailand and Laos. Whilst traveling in these countries she established a passion for painting subjects- particularly people- she encountered in her day to day experiences. Her interest in portraiture began with a travel journal in which she sketched charcoal drawings of people she met on the streets or roaming around in the mountains in the north of India and Nepal. Upon returning to her studio, these drawings set the mood for larger works done in oils. "I am constantly searching for ways to echo my own experiences in my paintings," she said. "It's important to capture my subjects with a scene of immediacy. To create a snap shot of daily life." One of her goals is to portray the contentment of the people in these countries despite their poverty and lack of material goods. More recently Debi has met with great success switching focus to an Americanized theme- the vintage American automobile. The idea for this series was born when she went on a road trip across the Western states with her father. On one particularly long, farm lined stretch of a highway in Utah, Debi spotted a weathered old pickup truck standing abandoned in a field alongside the road and she immediately knew she must paint it. Verbalizing this to her father, she convinced him to turn around and the two went back so she could photograph this Antique American icon. To her this truck symbolized a juxtaposition between the vehicles proud past and its current state of disrepair. Debi glimpsed a certain elegance in the erosion of this rusty old touch, and sparked her interest in the reproduction of classic autos on canvas. "My most recent series of work depicts powerful images of American culture," she pointed out, "these deteriorating statues saw many a hard working day during the 40's and 50's and now rest proud, despite the fragility of their increased age." When recreating these subjects she finds the play of natural sunlight on old rusted metal particularly fascinating. "It is important to me to pay attention to how the light and darkness travel across the surface of the metal," she explained. "Colors alter according to the intensity of the light and as an artist I can exaggerate or subdue contrast with my palette." The truck Debi found in Utah was the first painting in her American series and a private buyer purchased before she had even finished it. Since then she has produced a number of paintings of classic automobiles, a few of which have been commissioned or sold. Wishing to broaden the scope of her sales, Debi is now considering offers of galleries and shows in Carmel, California. Although further success looms on the horizon, Debi seeks additional inspirations through future travels. She foresees more trips to India and Nepal where she intends to focus on the socio-economic situations of specific regions. Whether she decides to pursue a travel-related series at this point or continues her trend of American-influenced realism, it's clear she will continue to be one to watch.

]]> (Debra Dee Art) Fri, 23 Mar 2012 21:02:03 GMT