"Fairy Tales and Illusions"
Originally from Huntington, WV, Ms. Raines received both her BA in Art Education and Masters in Sociology/Anthropology from Marshall University. She recently retired from 31 years of teaching art education, both in West Virginia and Georgia. She has worked on state and national committees for the support of the arts, been the recipient of several grants, and co-founded a support system for Appalachian artists, but her proudest artistic accomplishment has been the four STAR Teacher awards she received while teaching art in Georgia. Her art work has been exhibited in local, regional and national exhibitions.
Deborah’s art has evolved over the years, until it comes as a surprise to her when she describes herself as a painter. In the past, she worked with pencil/Prismacolor and in clay. Even with these media, she would apply them in layers, cut the paper or clay and add other elements. A few years ago, she found herself more and more intrigued by complex, textural surfaces.
She began using magazine collage materials, added painted elements, cut the paper and layered more paper behind and on top. Then she began experimenting with textural elements on canvas, slicing the surface and weaving raw-edged fabric through it. She continued to add other things like raffia, cord, scrapbook paper, and foil, and then began beading the surface. The beading took on a life of its own, growing from an added accent to an integral part of the painting. Even on her non-beaded canvases, she creates a richly textured visual surface, giving her “realistic” images a surreal and fantasy aspect.
What she wants the viewer to gain from her work is a sense of mystery and intrigue. She wants her work to become a personal experience for the viewer.
Says Deborah, “Art should evoke a personal response; positive or negative. It can speak to us on a technical level, bring forth memories or experiences from our past, remind us of a moment in time, have a political or social agenda or repel us. Even in repelling us, the work has still made a personal connection and moves from a compilation of color and shapes to the realm of art. I am overwhelmed when I see other peoples’ art; good, bad, tacky and horrible.
All of it springs from that intrinsic urge to create; the one thing social scientists say truly separates us from the other beasts. We are driven to draw, paint, dance, sing, muddle in the dirt and write love stories that no one may ever read. It is what makes us human; and I am thrilled to be a part of that great, messy glorious crowd.”