Featured Member Artist– Deb Prum

Next in our occasional postings featuring our members, member Deb Prum bravely accepts our challenge and shares her art, a bit about her “journey” to date, and her creative mindset .

I’ve always been fascinated by faces, all of the variety in features, shades and expressions. I never took an art course in high school or college, but have found myself sketching people, in class, in meetings, at airports. I earned money as a cartoonist at the University of Connecticut and then later in graduate school at Dartmouth.

Deb Prum

Out of the blue, a few years back, I started attending a weekly workshop with Sharon Shapiro. I fell in love with color. I started dreaming color, not dreaming in color, but dreaming of swaths of vibrant hues. I’d never painted with acrylics. I felt thrilled to goop big plops of paint on a white canvas. My first painting, an exercise really, was based on a photo of a Sikh. I loved the process of painting it. That picture launched my obsession to start painting portraits.

Next, I took a watercolor portrait course with Suzanna Reese Winton. I’d never worked with watercolor before and felt terrified. Suzanna’s methodical and detailed approach to painting portraits grounded me and gave me confidence. Using her techniques, I painted several watercolor portraits and also the acrylic painting, “Campbell“.

The more I’ve painted, the more I’ve wanted my paintings to express feeling and reflect a backstory. I also wanted to evoke emotion from a viewer and perhaps inspire that viewer to create a backstory to my painting from her own imaginings. Online, I discovered the work of Ted Nuttall, an artist who creates gorgeous, loose paintings filled with emotion and story. I saved up my pennies, worked up my courage and took a marvelous weeklong class from Ted in Santa Fe. I painted “Hoodie” in that class and later painted “Red” and “Bachelor“, trying to keep Ted’s techniques in mind.

Of late, I am fascinated by light and dark, shapes and shadows. I’m trying to create paintings that are intuitive and bold. I paint with a big brush, use two or three colors and try not to fuss much. “Indigo Winter” and “Blue Over You” [at the top of this page] are products of those efforts.

Because I am a complete novice, the act of painting takes my full attention. When I paint, I focus on of solving one visual puzzle after another. The task absorbs me. The cares of the world fly away. And, for a few moments, I feel bliss, which is just fine with me.

Deb Prum

Make sure you get in touch with Deb by email or at our next meeting. Until then, stay healthy and use the current orders to stay close to home and paint!

One thought on “Featured Member Artist– Deb Prum”

  1. how lovely to see your painting and read your commentary. I have a similar background, but have never yet taken a class. You are inspiring me to do so.


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