Debra is a self taught felt artist living in the Eden Valley, Cumbria. You can find her in her studio in The Appleby Hub , Appleby in Westmorland. Debra’s passion for art arose in her childhood growing up in the Peak District. Here a love for the wild and the beautiful was instilled and has remained integral to her wellbeing.
After A-levels (including art), Debra left England for several years to live in Tuscany. Whilst there she soaked up the glorious landscapes and spent many an hour sketching landscapes previously observed by Giotto as she was lucky to reside in the same locality.
Returning to England in her mid twenties and now with two small boys, Debra went on to study Psychology and Italian completing a degree at Lancaster University. She remained there for 7 years pursuing a Phd in developmental psychology and teaching in psychology and Italian.
After the birth of her two daughters Debra left academia and travelled in Asia where she discovered the ancient art of felt making in Nepal. Soaking up the rich jewels of colour and form in all the beauty she observed and, overjoyed by the delights of these new cultures, she returned once again to her first passion of art. Debra began to create beautiful felt pieces, first objects but latterly “paintings “ as she calls them. Debra’s artwork radiates energy using rich vibrant colours. Her colours hold a dissonance which fills the image with energy and light. She attempts to portray the natural beauty of light shows observed in person and hopes to convey the experience through her chosen medium, perhaps reminding the observer of the beauty once visited.
Debra’s life is governed by the love and pursuit of beauty!
“The property of beauty is to shine.
It’s light extends infinitely both inwardly and outwardly.
It is both overwhelming and inspiring and whatever it illuminates is consumed as it is also created by it.
In short, beauty is not partial .”
(Inspired by the art and writings of Simon Blackwood, Arabi and Rumi)
She is convinced that the alchemy of felt making is extremely therapeutic and somehow rekindles the child within us. With its familiarity of warm, tactile experience, the result is escape and calm followed by the joy of acquiring a new skill leading to a beautiful piece of art/craft.
Debra has since attended a foundation in Art therapy and hopes to study it further and continue with this practice.
Debra holds regular felt workshops in felt art and feltmaking both locally and in France.
Wellbeing – With the ever increasing pressures of daily life that we are all confronted with, Debra recognises the need for relaxation and wellbeing. With this in mind she employs mindfulness into her workshops combining her knowledge of Buddhism,psychology and art. Debra also runs courses for both adults or children with mental health issues and/or with learning difficulties. Debra’s felt art workshops really help to lift our mood and awareness.
She was interviewed for the Cumbria Culture section of Cumbria Life magazine.
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