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Q & A about Debbie's Art Journey

Creating a Beautiful Life

Debbie enjoys painting the beauty of nature wherever it is found. Whether it be wildlife, florals and gardens, landscapes and still life she paints her originals from real life and from photos that she has taken herself. To express her own adaptation of the Creator's handiwork each subject she paints lends itself best to expression in different media - acrylics, watercolour, oils, coloured pencil, pen and ink and scratchart. The challenge of learning new painting skills and techniques, and teaching others how to paint gives her joy. Debbie loves how art adds beauty and inspiration to people’s homes and creativity to life.

I have always enjoyed creating art!

I remember in Kindergarten spending a lot of time drawing pictures in my "homework book." When I was a little older my parents bought me a Jon Gnagy Learn to Draw book which got me started with drawing.  I spent days copying the photos below.


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. However, I got a really bad mark on a project in art class on a drawing that I had spend absolutely hours on and it discouraged me from taking art through high school. I stuck with crafts but I thought I wasn't talented enough to draw or paint!

30+ years ago, my next-door neighbor invited me to a Decorative Painting class (also known as Folk Art) and I was hooked! I started painting and have not stopped since! I found out that you don't have to know how to draw in order to learn how to paint!

We traced patterns that had been designed by other artists. We learned how to do C-strokes, and S-strokes and sideloading to paint our project  in a step-by-step way. There were pattern books and pattern packets and patterns in magazines - and I found out I DID have some ability. My first project - this angel - turned out pretty great!! I made angels for everybody that Christmas!


As I traced, I learned to draw. We painted on wood, tin, glass, fabric and paper. If it didn't move we painted on it!!! More classes added to my arsenal of techniques one by one. I couldn't get enough!

​I love how you can complete a painting within just a couple of hours and have something lovely to give as a gift, or to decorate your home with!


When I started homeschooling our three boys, I cut back on the number of classes and taught part-time. Now the boys are grown, and have all moved out and I have time for:

  •  More study with some great teachers (see below) I’m always learning great new techniques and tips I will be able to share with my own students!

  • More practice, practice, practice.

  • More variety - I love to try all different styles and mediums. I paint with acrylics, watercolour, oils and coloured pencils along with scratch art and art journaling. 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!


In the last few years I have entered some Fine Art shows in the KW area. In April 2015 I had my paintings juried into the KWSA Members show at Homer Watson Gallery in Kitchener and also at the Button Factory in Waterloo where I sold this Bleeding Hearts painting!


Since then, my paintings have been shown several times at Button Factory Arts and at the Hamilton Art Gallery and Etobicoke City Hall Gallery in group shows.

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 past 30 years to have studied and painted with some TERRIFIC teachers. I have collected and studied many artist's books and they have taught me about the wonderful world of colour, design, composition, all kinds of painting techniques and tons of tips and product knowledge that I can pass on as I share my passion for painting. I've learned and mastered a variety of subjects, 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 - they keep me challenged, inspired and excited about sharing my love of art with all my new painting friends!

Painting and art can be learned in a step-by-step way - it can be taught.

Contrary to popular opinion you don't have to have natural talent to learn how to paint !! It just takes practice!  Come and take some painting classes.


Maybe you will find out that you can paint and draw more than stick figures!!! Maybe you know a friend or neighbor who you can bring along to classes and you can both learn to enjoy painting together! Or maybe you will come and make some new friends to hang around and paint with.

During this Covid pandemic however, I have moved ALL my classes online. You can connect with me on Facebook where I teach Painting Parties, or on Zoom where I teach more advanced painting workshops. Soon I will be hosting video classes on my website. 

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!!  (You might START something!! )

If you would like to keep in touch with me and learn about the classes I teach, send me your contact info and I'll send you my really newsy-newsletter with GREAT painting tips, techniques and product knowledge, info about ALL upcoming Keepsakes classes and art events I’m entered in.  I won't flood your inbox with emails - I'm aiming for monthly -depending on how many new projects I paint that I can't wait to teach somebody !!!


Keep paintin'

Create a beautiful life!



Below: Debbie with Artist Robert Bateman at a week long Master workshop at Bark Lake in 2014! It was a thrill to learn from this wonderful artist!



DecoArt Helping Artist

Traditions Teacher

Kingslan Certified Teacher

Artists I have studied with


David Jansen

Neadeen Masters

Sandy Warner McTier

and many others


Karlyn Holman

Gordon McKenzie

David McEown

Marney Ward (online class)

Shelley Prior


Sherry Nelson

Elizabeth Robbins

Mary Kingslan-Gibilisco

Dreama Tolle Perry (online)

Nancy Medina (online)

Get in Touch
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