Oil portrait painting

18 x 16 in.
Oil on linen
Available through the artist

Deborah Allison: Art is powerful, and the creation of art is a means of expressing and invoking power. As an artist, I am not always aware of how my work might affect a viewer. In fact, as I am painting, I can only be sure of my feelings and reactions toward my piece. It is my desire to create beautiful and evocative paintings that touch and inspire the viewers. I build a relationship with my models and fall in love with them as I am putting their faces on the canvas. Whether I am painting in a traditional realism style based on observation, or a more whimsical painterly fashion using an intuitive approach, it is my goal to portray their soul beauty as well as their physical likeness. Once the painting is complete, the relationship between the viewer and the model is then out of my hands.

My painting of “Faith” started out as an exploration into the effect of light and lace on the model’s features. Following my initial studies, I realized how intense her expression was and how that intensity conveyed her personal strength and conviction. These days, our faith is being tested and questioned and compared to other’s beliefs. The head covering represents more traditional, orthodox doctrines, while the floral decorative pattern and the background feels more contemporary and worldly. Still, the light in her eyes reflects her willingness to be apart from the world.

My portraiture journey has led me to study with Tony Ryder, David Kassan, Xiang Zhang, Milt Kobayashi, Perrin Sparks and others, absorbing their diverse techniques and qualities. Memberships in Portrait Society of America, Oil Painters of America, Women Artists of the West and NOAPS, have provided opportunities for me to take part in national and regional juried exhibitions. This year, I have moved my studio to Santa Fe, New Mexico, following many years teaching, painting and gallery ownership in Texas. My work is currently on display at Holder Dane Art Gallery in Grapevine, Texas, and I have work in the 51st National WAOW Exhibition at the Museum of Western Art in Kerrville, Texas, through March 19, 2021.

Make sure you check out my website for more artwork, upcoming shows, and a monthly newsletter.