San Francisco Bay Area artist, Debra Maddox, has been painting and making art her entire life. After her parents gave her a set of oil paints in grade school, she never looked back or doubted her desire to be an artist. After receiving a Bachelor Degree in Art Education, Debra completed post-graduate work in painting at the San Francisco Art Institute.
"My favorite medium is oil on canvas. I love using layers of oils to create depth and luminosity. Observing how light, shadow, color, and texture transform shapes and forms into aesthetic compositions, drives my desire to record what I see in the world around me."
Her work consists of two components. One is visual and the other is emotional. Many of her paintings include figures. Individuals in unguarded moments caught unaware, or figures in motion: dancers, swimmers, and cyclists.
The dancer series provides visual kinetic energy. The interaction of the subjects serves as a narrative for interpersonal relationships. The push and pull of the dance movements between two individuals remind us that relationships are precarious in nature, requiring a give and take interaction in order to be harmonious.
The water series celebrates the vibrant beauty of light refracting on top of the surface and beneath. Figures swimming under water enter into a realm of serenity and a meditative state. While the divers above the surface exemplify the exhilaration of motion and freedom.
Her water series has its early roots. Incorporating swimmers, divers, and water as subjects in her paintings occurred organically for her. As a college student, she spent summers as a lifeguard with many long hours devoted to gazing at the shimmering water. She observed how light refracted and bounced off of the water's surface. Later as an adult, she loved swimming under water: a realm that produced a state of equanimity. The under water theme serves as an archetype that taps into our collective unconscious.
Her cyclist series focuses on another dimension - the freedom and exhilaration of the ride. Figures in motion is a reoccurring theme reminding us that nothing in life is static but always changing.
The old car series evokes a time and place of a bygone era when cars resembled massive sculptural forms. During a time when the world moved at a slower pace, motorists ventured out without a destination in mind for the sheer joy of the drive.
As she weaves together all of the compositional and emotional elements, she allows her imagination to take control, resulting in compelling images that only exist in her mind.
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