Introducing Debbie

I have always enjoyed creating art! I remember in Kindergarten spending a lot of time drawing pictures in my "homework book." When I was older my parents bought me a Jon Gnagy Learn to Draw book which really got me started with realistic drawing. From there it was on to paint by number, ceramics, knitting, crocheting, and quilting to floral arranging and calligraphy - you name it, and I have probably tried it at one time or another. 

One day about 25 years ago (gosh! has it been that long???) a next-door neighbour invited me to a decorative painting class and I was hooked! I started painting and have not stopped since!   (Maybe you have a next-door neighbour who might enjoy painting classes with you? Everyone needs Art Friends!!)  I loved how you could complete a project within just an hour or two and have something lovely to give as a gift, or to decorate your home with! Most other crafts took upwards of 20 to 40 hours to complete one item! 

This is that very first painting project that I completed with my next-door neighbour. I'm sorry I don't remember the designer's name or the name of the teacher but I appreciate the great start she and my neighbour gave me on my art journey!

I loved painting so much, and at that time it was hard to find local teachers, so I decided to start teaching classes in my home. My very first class - at the kitchen table with 4 people - was just a start. Soon, I set up a home studio in my basement and teaching painting classes became pretty well a full-time occupation. 

Two happy sisters who have come to paint with me.

When I started homeschooling our three boys, I cut back on the number of classes but I couldn't stop altogether so I taught part-time. Now the boys are grown, and have all moved out and I have time for 

  •  More study with some great teachers. Just think of all the great new techniques and tips I will be able to share with my own students!                   
  • More practice
  • You'll be able to view some of the projects I have been working at on my blog as I finish them. Why not subscribe and keep up on the latest and greatest. And if you're interested in purchasing any of my paintings - just drop me a note! Or visit my (soon-to-be) Etsy shop and grab up the items you just gotta have for your home or for gift giving! I'm running out of room in my house for storing all my lovely hand-painted objects and pictures. Ha! Ha!                                                                                                                                   
  • More variety
  • My interests have expanded from decorative painting to fine art and mixed media. I'm always learning and trying out the newest trends! Variety is the spice of life - or so they say!  What is my favourite media??  I like what Marc Chagall said: "I work in whatever medium likes me at the moment."
I've learned and mastered a variety of painting subjects and a multitude of techniques and mediums just in order to keep ahead of my students but that is half the fun of teaching painting! I learn SO much from my students - and because of my students - and it keeps me challenged, inspired and excited about sharing my love of art with all my new painting FRIENDS!!.

From traditional to contemporary decorative painting styles, to more detailed fine art - still life, wildlife and floral subjects -  to the latest and greatest fads like Mixed Media and  Art Journaling, I'm still learning.  I've had the opportunity over the years to have studied and painted with some TERRIFIC teachers like;
  • Nancy Wekarchuk - Shute (my first great decorative painting teacher - who got me started teaching!)
  • Helen Cavin (Primitive and colour), Linda Wise (Refined acrylic blending techniques), Gary A (Rosemaling), Heidi England (Fraktur) at my first painting conference where I learned all about Jo Sonja Acrylics
  • Jillybean Fitzhenry (Faces and fabric painting), Helan Barrick (her lovely Amish kids!), Londi Rowley (she loves fairy tale characters), and others as a participant in product knowledge seminars by Folk Art Enterprises. 
  • David Jansen (I participated in his early Traditions Teacher seminar and I became a Traditions Artist in this early program)
  • Neadeen Masters ( Art Apprentice online teacher and Creating the Independent Artist seminar - which I LOVED)
  • Mary Gibilisco (I'm a certified Kingslan Teacher and a Genesis Teacher)
  • Sue Pruett, Susan Abdella (other online teachers at AAO and Traditions School)
  • Gordon McKenzie ( LOVED his watercolour class)
  • Shelley Prior (drawing, acrylics - wildlife, floral), Maureen McNaughton ( Decorative Brushstroke work), Maureen (Moe) Shier (colour theory) - local Ontario teachers and friends
  • Diane Eastham ( I took a wonderful week-long Art Journal class with her where we played with paper, crayons, acrylics, ink, stamps, collage techniques and textiles.
  • Terry Isaac - Wildllife artist extraordinaire!!
  • Karlyn Holman - Watercolor artist
  • Elizabeth Robbins (still life and floral - oils) 
  • I'm also working on some on-line classes at Art Apprentice Online and the Traditions Art School. (The teachers there are GREAT) 
Each of these wonderful teachers and many others who have published design books that I have collected and studied over these last 25 years, has taught me about the wonderful world of colour, design, composition, a variety of painting techniques and tons of tips and product knowledge that I can pass on as I share my passion for painting. 
You might see me out and about around Kitchener-Waterloo, because I'm a member of the Waterloo County Tole and Decorative Painter's Guild (WCTDPG), WCAC Sketch Club, KW Society of Artists (KWSA), and the Royal City Calligraphy Guild. I have participated in the WCTDPG  annual sale at Rim Park in Waterloo each November and I have taught and demonstrated at the WCTDPG and Sketch Club meetings. I also belong to the Society of Decorative Painters (SDP) and various on-line art groups like Art Apprentice Online community (AAO), Decorative Artists in Canada (DAIC on yahoogroups) Brushbunch and Tolefriends... You can see I keep  myself busy! I love the friendships and the creativity that having such great Artsy friends inspires.

If you would like to keep in touch with me and learn about the classes I teach in my home studio - for adults and kids - I'll send you my really FUN, really newsy-newsletter with GREAT painting tips, techniques and product knowledge, info about ALL upcoming Keepsakes classes and art events in the KW and Southern Ontario area, please use the Contact Me button to send me a note! I won't flood your inbox with emails - I'm aiming for monthly or bi-monthly depending on how many new projects I paint that I can't wait to teach somebody how to do!!! 

I'd love to hear from you and see you at my painting classes - AND bring  a FRIEND OR TWO! You can never have enough Artsy Friends!! 
Keep paintin'

Deb E

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