Photo: Self-Portrait with Hat, Metal Plate Transfer

Artist Statement

As a fine art photographer, my goal is to present the wonders of the world around us as a sanctuary to be contemplated, honored, and preserved. I am intrigued by the fundamental structures of nature and the way the elements - Earth, Air, Fire, Water, Gravity, Light, Space, and Time - imprint our world with their magic.

My introduction to fine art photography was through the work of Ansel Adams, Edward Weston, and Minor White. I immediately resonated with their portrayal of nature and landscape. However, I was first influenced artistically by painters. I admired the ability of impressionists to render the feeling and experience of a scene, instead of simply an accurate depiction of it. The abstract expressionists have also been a major creative influence, with their move away from realism in art.

Some of my images do indeed border on the abstract. By focusing on a certain element of a subject, it becomes distilled to its basic shapes and forms, revealing patterns and textures inherent in nature. Other work falls into the category of photo-impressionism. Here I use long exposures to blur the borders between objects and the space that surrounds them. Movement of the subject or the camera adds the element of time, transforming points of light into “brushstrokes” and creating a fluid, impressionistic interpretation of the scene.

The concept of duality is also conveyed in my work… the physical and spiritual, cause and effect, past and present, yin and yang - existing together as one. I portray duality in nature through the fusion of color and monochrome, a technique I refer to as “ChromaSynthesis.”

The exploration of nature on all levels is at the heart of my photography. I can’t think of better words to describe it than these by John Muir, “The clearest way into the universe is through a forest wilderness.”

Click here to view and download complete artist statement. (PDF)

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Education

  • University of California, San Diego BA in Visual Arts / Communications
  • Edinboro State University, Edinboro, PA Major: Art Education

Affiliations

Background

Born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA, Debra's passion for art began at a very young age. She majored in Art Education at Edinboro State University before completing her BA in Visual Arts and Communications at the University of California, San Diego. Her home and studio are now located on the scenic Monterey Peninsula, an area steeped in the history of West Coast fine art photography and an environment that provides endless inspiration for her work.

Click here to view and download complete biography. (PDF)

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