Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Artist Spotlight: Debra Poth with Deebs

Today my featured artist is Debra Poth of Deebs.etsy.com   Debra creates beautiful "paintings" without any paint.  Instead she uses wool fibers to bring to life her portraits and landscapes of nature.  I am so excited to be able to share her work.

Bleu Avenue: Hello, Debra, thank you so much for joining me today.   You say that art was a way of entertaining yourself as a child. Are you self-taught in the many mediums you use?

Deebs:  Thank you Leandra for the interest in my work and for the interview.  My only background in art as a study was in high school. I am self taught in many mediums and am an avid cross stitcher and needlepointer. I do embroidery, counted needlepoint and other forms of stitchery. My love of fiber and threads lead me to needlefelting, and I was hooked from the start. That was about 8 years ago when I taught myself. I had seen some needlefelted animals being produced by others, but I was more interested in the 2D form. I have collected books on different art forms, and love the magazines as well.

B:  You create these beautiful portraits and landscapes out of wool. When you began working with wool fibers, was that where you intended to take it or did these paintings come about as part of a progression?

D:  Some of my creations come from photographs, and I use at least part of a photograph for inspiration. I've been known to start a felting thinking I'm going to make a seascape, but it ends up being better as a landscape! I start with a background and let it take me where it wants. An artistic license lets me do whatever I want or feel, and that's OK. Sometimes I will have a newly purchased batt of wool and I start something because I want to use that color or texture. Then I figure what would look good on top of that background. I do many pieces just out of my head. When I first started I was worried I would run out of ideas. But now years later I have done over 700 pieces!

B:  Wow!  You know you've found your passion when you just keep getting inspired.  What themes do you pursue and what emotions do you most want to convey with your work?

D:  My love of the natural outdoors is my favorite theme to work. I've never been a portrait artist, so the seascapes and underwater scenes are fun for me. I love the streams, rivers and lakes I suppose because my husband has always been an avid fisherman and our house is full of those things. I love doing birds for whatever reason...doesn't really matter, they just make it fun, especially the chickadees. I love flowers as well and I have a big garden of them every year that I tend to. I like the emotion of tranquility and peace and just an overall feeling of 'sweetness' in my art. 

B:  That definitely comes across, your paintings feel so serene.  You live in the Pacific Northwest, how does that influence your designs and do you think the overall look of your work would be different if you lived somewhere completely different? 

D:  The Pacific Northwest has always been my home. I've always lived in the burbs or the country and love it. Washington State has so many different areas to visit. The west side is ocean and rainforests, islands and mountains. Then the valleys where we live, then more mountains before going to the arid dryness of eastern Washington. Totally different looks from one part of the state to the other. A little bit of everything here. If I lived elsewhere I'm pretty sure my art would take on that scene as well. Especially in the southwestern rocky areas. But my love is the trees, birds, and rivers.

B:  What is the most memorable response you've had to your work?

D:  I've had many compliments from people that have purchased my work on Etsy, and it has worked out well for me. My husband and I have a business that we tend to, so my time for selling is very limited. Etsy has provided my with a way to share and sell my work. I don't do fairs and such at this time because of the time it takes to do those things. I also have donated several pieces to fundraisers, and have given many items as gifts. Those gifts provide some of the best compliments. I had one lady who purchased a felting for her mother for her birthday, and she wrote me and told me how happy her mom was to receive the gift. That makes me happy, when people are happy with my work. That makes my day....and why I still produce my art. It has become my love, my relaxation.

 That is the very best kind of pursuit.  Thank you so much for talking with me.

Find Debra's art at www.deebs.etsy.com 
or at http://www.flickr.com/photos/DeebsFiberArts/

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