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Meet Deborah Nagano, Artist


Artist Statement

I am a mixed-media artist working with acrylic and oil paint, charcoal, pastels, and collage. 

My work is typically representational and spans a wide variety of subjects, including landscapes, portraiture, and eclectic humorous subjects. Early on, I primarily made portraits because I was drawn to the idea of capturing someone’s essence. I quickly expanded to landscape painting—since moving to the Pacific Northwest four years ago, I’m never short of inspiration—and immediately loved the freedom the process allowed.

I begin an artwork by referencing a photograph I’ve taken. Typically, my intuitive process quickly takes over, and the composition branches off from the source material. I value the process as much as the final result; I’ve painted compositions from the same photograph ten times using different mediums, and I love that each work has its own character. When viewing my natural landscapes, I hope people find a sense of tranquility and appreciation for the place depicted.

Another pillar of my practice is humor. I enjoy creating light-hearted works that simply make people smile or laugh. For example, I might paint dancing sheep or renegade bees robbing a honey pot. Through my work—whether a portrait, landscape, or funny composition—I hope to create small moments of beauty and humor in the world.

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