Debra’s house portraits are borne from a strong working ethic instilled in her from a young age. Dedication to your work, or in Debra’s case the subject, reaps rewards and the amount of detail captured in her portraits are testaments to that.
Raised in Grantham, Debra followed her passion and studied art subjects to A level at the local college. Her skill clearly impressed and she was awarded an unconditional place at Lincoln Art College. Despite having every intention of taking up the offer and further develop her art, a lack of funding meant she was unable to afford the expense at the time. Instead, a small business offering commissions for house portraits emerged. This was in a time before the world had welcomed social media, so the business was not quite as successful as hoped and as a result, her career took a completely different path at this point.
Until 2006, Debra instead worked in agriculture – happy days spent working on dairy farms and keeping her own flock of rare breed sheep. It isn’t that much of a surprise that this type of career became part of Debra’s life as farming and the countryside had been a part of her family’s heritage in years gone by. In 2006 (and up to the present day), she became a farm inspector, or “Poacher turned Gamekeeper” as her farming friends joked!
Hand-Drawn, Beautiful House Portraits
A move to the Lincolnshire Wolds in 2012 sparked a desire to perhaps pick up the paintbrush again after a great many years of putting all artistic thoughts to one side. The much-anticipated arrival of a log cabin in the garden in 2017 gave Debra space once again to indulge in painting and the former house portrait business was reborn with a new name, DB House Portraits.
So why house portraits when Debra lives and works in areas surrounded by beautiful countryside? Well, Debra has a great interest in history and many buildings have a story to tell and it’s capturing a moment of their “lives” that she really enjoys. She says “If a human being were to have their portrait done, I daresay they would tell the artist some of their life story as they sat for them. Buildings can’t talk, but as I paint them, I hope I am putting some of what they might tell me onto the paper. I’m not sure I could paint a beautiful view and do it justice, but give me a humble 19th century farm workers cottage for example and I can give it the recognition it deserves for being someone’s home and sanctuary over the years. That’s the real buzz I get”.
Without a doubt Debra does have a particular penchant for historic buildings, but fully embraces all of her commissions, from new build to medieval. To date, she has displayed her work at Lincoln Makers Market, Bricktree Gallery in Caistor, accepted as an exhibitor for “Art in the Pen” in Thirsk and featured in an article by Lincolnshire Today magazine. Her work has travelled as far afield as Australia and Canada.