Wildlife Narratives in the Artwork of Debra Hornibrook

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Animals and Birds in Painted Stories on Display at the Tualatin Library

January brings a new art exhibition to the Tualatin Public Library with mixed media paintings by wildlife and nature artist Debra Hornibrook who goes beyond animal portraiture to create engaging visual stories.

Debbie is an award-winning Northwest artist who most often works in watercolor, colored pencil, and ink. Recently, she combines all of these media into the same work along with acrylic marbling to add mystery and texture to her paintings. Her subject matter is wildlife and woodland creatures portrayed intimately in their native environments and engaged in conversation with each other. When you see one of her paintings, you expect it to be part of a book that will go on and on with a plot, a gentle drama, and a happy ending. 

Debbie’s affinity for the natural world began at a young age when her mother shared her love of roses and flowers, and both her parents encouraged Debbie’s creative drive and connection to animals. Her love of nature was inspired by childhood picnics to mountain streams and woodlands, and a family farm life than included horses, chickens, dogs, and cats as well as a few frogs and gerbils. 

Also a spiritual person, Debbie’s creative process is one that restores her soul and helps her develop connections with other people as is so often the case with artists. She believes that perhaps our greatest power is in choosing the direction of our mental focus. While painting and creating, she finds herself immersed in the practice of close observation and appreciation of the beauty and detail of her subjects. The “flow” of being deeply engaged with her subject affirms the power of mental focus and motivates her to capture the beauty she finds all around her. 

Because of the strong positive reactions Debbie receives on her wildlife paintings, she is branching out to make available not only art cards and prints but also several journals and notebooks which use her cover art and will be available in the new year at Amazon Books. 

Debbie belongs to several art organizations including the Watercolor Society of Oregon, Oregon Society of Artists, and the Keizer Art Association. She has served on the board and is an active member of Wild Over Watercolor—Guild of Artists, an artist group based out of Tualatin. When she is not producing beautiful artwork, Debbie works as a Communication instructor at Chemeketa Community College where she has been teaching since 2005. Additionally, Debbie has opened an art studio she calls the Cozy Corner Studio in Salem which attracts artists who come to paint together. 

If you would like to experience artwork that inspires feelings of pleasure and peacefulness, and if you wish to be reminded of what can be seen when we slow down and really take in what the Universe has to offer, then you are encouraged to visit the Tualatin Public Library to see Debbie’s art show which will run through the Spring of 2023. If you would like to meet the artist in the gallery space, contact the Library for the date and time a reception is planned since, as of this printing, that remains to be determined. You may also contact the artist directly at hornibird@yahoo.com if you would like to learn more about her art. 

This program is sponsored in part by the Tualatin Arts Advisory Committee. If you would like to learn more about this program, contact Angela Wrahtz at angela.wrahtz@comcast.net. Angela can also help connect you with Wild Over Watercolor—Guild of Artists, if you would like to learn about opportunities to paint with other watercolor painters in Tualatin.