FREEDOM ART. PAINTING AND OWNING ART, IS A JOY FOR YOU AND FOR ME, AND FOR THE WOMEN AND CHILDREN IT RESCUES.
I love what I do.
When I am free to paint, I can’t wait to get up in the morning and get started. It takes huge discipline for me to first go for a run or head to the gym, I’d much rather just play with my paints. And, yes, there are days the gym comes in second place and my art room wins. Probably the reason my clothes keep shrinking. A phenomenon.
The bright part.
Ideas are everywhere. Vibrant flowers, my dear old lab, the magical clouds, bouncing dolphins, wafting waves, children sliding down the dunes, sailboats glistening white on the deep green water, frilly little girl sun dresses, seagulls marching silently on the beach, Victorian cottages, cat in a birdbath, an elderly gentleman in his garden, a cloud of pink whizzing by me on her bike, a dear old woman walking cautiously with a cane as Tiffany tugs on her leash. And that was just this morning!
The sweet part.
Totally grateful I have landed at a time in my life that I can choose to paint full time. Illustrating and painting have been my passion for as long as I have had memory. Life has interrupted my painting on several occasions, but I ultimately never give up and I continue with what I love. (A few of those interruptions are narrated in The Whole Story. If you choose to read them, grab a coffee and put your feet up. My son told me no one would ever read all that. He may be right. It’s OK. I enjoyed recounting that time in my life.)
My favorite part.
What’s your favorite color? My favorite color is JOY. And color is everywhere in my artwork. Others often tell me they would like to live in my paintings. Me, too. For years, I painted whimsical, fanciful, watercolors. I have always taken common, everyday subjects and paint them singing an extraordinary song. Today, I still love and still sell many of my watercolors, but I am also enjoying the freedom of acrylics and mixed media. Part of me feels like a second grader again with white paste and lots of construction paper. I’m sure I would have loved knowing and working alongside Matisse when he got to his cut paper period. I love the cutting and pasting beautiful papers and outrageous colored paints all together on a canvas and calling it art! I enjoy the freedom and intricacies of colors and shapes in abstract paintings. And even the exactness of realism at times. There are so many different subject matters that I continue to search for “my style.” Most clients say I have a definite style, and they recognize it. Mostly I see a menagerie of colors and joy swirling on the paint surface. You can decide; you can take a look at my acrylics, pastels, watercolors and mixed media. You will find them in the Gallery on this site.
The owning part.
I am told by the “selling guru’s” of artwork that someone may care about where I have been, so I will list them below. I would rather you just look at my artwork and if you love any of it as much as I do, you would honor me by taking it home with you or offering to let me show it in your place of business. AND, please, send a photo of where it lands. When you buy my art you own a piece of my heart. Almost like part of my soul. I’m so glad to share it with you, as the process of painting for me is not complete until someone also loves it enough to own it. So thank you if you make that decision.
The giving part.
Every time you purchase an Original Art, 40% of the price is given to RESCUE women and children that have been stolen into the sex-trafficking industry. I am passionate about rescuing them and rehabilitating through counseling and education so they are forever freed from that hellish slavery. I have a strong relationship with Jesus Christ. I believe He guides, protects, and enables me as He gives me assignments to work where He is working. Helping with the rescue effort is as much a part of His assignment for me as is the joyful painting I am part of. Thank you for your part in making it possible for me to paint and help in the RESCUE.
The “Where I Have Been” part.
Deborah Burow-- Artist, Painter, Illustrator, Teacher
Art Director for Advertising Agencies
Taught K-8 in Sea Isle City, NJ public school, and Sandman Elementary, Cape May, NJ--- Art, Language Arts, Special Education
Taught Art classes for Cape May Center for Community Arts
Illustrated 3 Sandpiper books by Meryl Bishop
Sold Original Art and prints and cards in retail stores in Cape May, NJ
Exhibited in shows in Cape May, Millville, and Upper Township, NJ
Taught Homeschoolers Art
My Whole Story - (starting in the middle)
Transitions are not my best thing.
My standard list of reasons things should stay the same:
Any sound familiar?
--- Not enough money
--- Not necessary
--- Might not even like the change
--- Not THIS house, I’ll wait for my dream house
--- Takes too much effort and time
--- Not a good idea
First off, let me be clear, houses do not or should not define who we are.
But in my case, what was happening (or not happening) to my house was a reflection of what was happening in my heart. Some people have favorite colors of pink, blue, orange...my favorite color has always been JOY.
10 years ago we had to move from my favorite house. Now, in the back of my mind (or the front of my mind, wherever deception resides), I always hoped we would someday buy that house. It wasn’t an amazing house, but it felt like me; it had a wonderful porch where I had a table and my paints, and I spent many hours creating at that table. It was a perfect birthday party house. Great place for friends to gather. And three blocks to the beach. We had lived there for four years.
Well, it was over. We had to move. The owner wanted to move back in. Fantasy over. Get a job, pay a mortgage, go back to work, put the paints away, and stop breathing. Bought a newish house (I wanted old) and off the island away from the beach. A lot of dreams crumbled in one short month. Boom! Squash! Flattened!
We bought a house we could afford, and we settled in. Not a joyous occasion. Put on a smile, I am a survivor, I can make this work. Grit teeth. Time passes. Ten years. However... in the new house was a 2nd floor room with sloping ceilings and a sink, and one window. Hope and Possibility lived in that room. It had the potential to become a studio one day. But mostly it just collected all the stuff I couldn’t figure out what to do with it. But I was never crazy about the house. It represented too many broken dreams. It seemed dark, disappointing, like someone had turned out the lights. Dark furniture. Dark colors. Any joy that may have ever been there, leaked away. The only thing I added to the house during the entire 10 years was a small bathroom rug, BUT it had awesome colors and a great cat design. Everything else except that rug stayed the same as the day we moved in. Oh, yeah, I forgot, we did get a new kitchen floor, ceramic, because our dog ate the vinyl tile floor.
Now the crazy thing was that in the mist of disappointment (and, despair at times) my art was blooming in that attic storage room. At some point I had posted a sign on door, and declared that the storage room WOULD BECOME my Art Room someday. So even in the disappointment I felt around me in the rest of the untouched house, hope and possibility were blooming in the Rose Garden. A few years had passed and I was now creating big, vibrant paintings in bold strokes of joy. They lived behind the closed door. I loved the arts and friends who saw them always said, “They are so joyful! Happy! Bright!”
Life can be very serendipitous. Had to look that word up, it sounded right, “adjective—Come upon or formed by accident, serendipitous”. A friend called, thank God for friends, and asked me to join her to visit a designer show house in our town. I was so busy painting, I almost said no. But I went and the rest is history, or “her-story” as this case may be.
As we visited the rooms in the designer house, I was particularly drawn to a bedroom that had gorgeous oranges, blues, yellows and joy! My colors! For the first time in 10 years, I thought, maybe I could, maybe I SHOULD, try to do something with my house.
The room’s designer, Lesa Knowlton, was in the room. We talked. I told her I was an artist and of course pulled out my phone and showed her my artwork, just what any good artist would do! Lesa assured me she could work wonders in my house during a 1 hour walk and talk design consult. She could give me ideas and then I could implement them. Not too scary. And I really liked her immediately. We set up the appointment. Once back home, the objections started tumbling in. Not enough money. Not necessary. Might not even like the changes. Not THIS house, I’ll wait for my dream house. Just not good at house stuff. Takes too much effort and time. --- I label all those thoughts: deception and joy stealers.
I almost cancelled three times before she came. (Lesson: usually when we are about to walk into goodness , resistance is the strongest.)
When Lesa came into my house we did a quick walk through and her first comment was, “Where is your art? You need to have it hanging on your walls.” Oh, that never occurred to me. Duh! There is this strange thing that goes on in this artist’s head. I love my work, others love my work when they see it in my studio, but I didn’t like my house enough to share it with the walls of my house. I know, I should probably be in therapy.
We climbed the narrow winding stairway to the Rose Garden and Lesa looked through my art. ( She even offered to buy one!) We got excited with the possibilities. The house has tall cathedral ceilings and wall space begging for color and joy. (How could I have missed that?) What a fun hour we spent together. She had opened the door to hope and possibility.
Once the art went up on the walls, light happened! Brightness beamed! My house finally, after 10 years, finally looked like me. I was emerging from a cage. Now the rooms have personality. The Original Art speaks out color and ideas for pillows and window treatments. The art was my starting point. Sometimes we just need a little direction, someone to agree with us ...and courage to step into change. Everything was repurposed. A floor bookcase moved to the wall and became an amazing kitchen cupboard displaying lots of colorful pitchers, with a little art tucked in.
I was surprised by all the color in my house, just waiting to be rediscovered and enjoyed. I started looking at design magazines. Where had I been for 10 years?
The invasion of color added life. And choices. Giving ourselves choices opens doors for change and growth. Dreams take on new possibilities. Hope dawns.
I invite you to think about adding “excessive” color to your life. And if you are one of those black and white or neutral gray decorators, you might be surprised how a splash of color in a painting can breathe new life into your room. And into YOU. Lori, a client, had this to say about a commissioned portrait of her children,
Just as a new piece of art changed the way Lori looked at her environment, art can have that effect in your home also.
Add some fun. Smile every time you come into your rooms. We should all love the spaces we live in.
If you have made it all the way to the end of this ABOUT dialog, I applaud you and would love it if you would leave me a comment below about what spoke to you in the midst of my story.
In my blog I will be sharing (much shorter, I promise) snippets about how color impacts you and me and our surroundings every day. I’ll give you the view from these artist eyes. And I would love to hear from you and how color impacts YOUR life.
Please sign up for my blog, in the side bar, if you would like fun ideas and stories of how color changes things. It will be a place where I would love to hear from you and how you get “unstuck”.