Deborah Elmquist, a professional artist specializing in the still life and portrait since 1996, currently lives in Port Orange, FL. Deborah first enjoyed the works of the Old Masters while living in Europe as an “Army brat.” She credits her inspiration to become an artist with family visits to fine art museums and historic castles and the art she first experienced as a child. Upon returning to the States, Deborah pursued art instruction throughout her teen years, and had the good fortune to study oil painting under artist and teacher Ralph L. Bagley, a Willem de Kooning contemporary and founder of Florida’s first atelier before joining Orlando College, Orlando, FL.
Deborah majored in fine art at the beginning of her college years, but later finished as an educator earning her masters and doctorate degrees along the way. Throughout her 30+ years as an educator, Deborah continued to paint the still life and portrait — with a little landscape mixed in — learning the techniques of the Old Masters through workshop study with accomplished artists such as Greg Kruetz, Michael Siegel, Joshua Fallik, and Sadie Valerie, among others.
Painting from life and life experiences, Deborah’s current work is titled “Thread of My Life.” The work in the series includes family heirloom fabrics and regional pottery from North Carolina (her family historical homeland). “I treat the lay of the fabrics as landscapes, the pottery representing metaphorically mankind and the working of the earth by human hands. I paint in oils for oils too metaphorically represent a complete circle from earth to life and life to art: for the oil and pigments too come from the earth. For me, painting in oils is a kind of spiritual thing.”
Like many artists, Deborah first sold her artwork directly to the public through community and regional art shows and festivals where she received numerous awards. Currently, fine art galleries in Atlanta, GA; Charleston, SC; Fredericksburg, TX; and Kennebunkport, ME represent Deborah. A member of OPA since 2004, Deborah’s work has been juried into national and Eastern regional OPA exhibitions beginning in 2005. Deborah’s professional affiliations include Oil Painter’s of America, Portrait Society of America, and Art Renewal Center. Publications include the Halifax Magazine, the Daytona Beach News Journal, and American Art Collector. Her artwork is also held by Volusia County Art in Public Places, and by the Museum of Art and Science of Daytona Beach for their permanent and loan collections.
For more information see: www.deborahelmquist.com