Featured Artist: Deb Cotton

Featured Artist: Deb Cotton

April 2018 Featured Artist - Deb Cotton

Deb Cotton is an artist and teacher with her own Wine & Canvas Workshops in Ontario, Canada. She can often be found at the local pub, teaching art students who have never painted before. Through her relaxed and informative workshops, along with the use of Royal & Langnickel brushes, her students consistently love how their paintings turn out. We wanted to learn more about her creative process and what has helped her to be so successful.

Q: What are some of your favorite Royal & Langnickel brushes?

A: As an Artist, I truly love using Royal & Langickel's amazing line of brushes! A few of my personal favorites are:

Majestic Short Shaders: These are similar to a flat brush with squared off bristles and a chisel edge. The bristles are much shorter, which makes it easier to control with loose and choppy strokes.

Majestic Rounds: These are excellent brushes for control and accuracy. Applying a small amount of pressure will flatten the belly of the brush which creates thick to thin lines.

Zen Soft Scrubber: One of the newest additions to my lineup. This brush is shaped like a filbert and works excellent to blend paint colors wet on wet and creating rust.

Deb Cotton - Bike

Q: When and how did you start out as an artist?

A: As a young girl I always loved and admired art. When we would visit my grandfather he would always have a black velvet paint by numbers kit waiting for me! Remember those? I would sit upstairs in a bedroom and paint to my heart's content. In public school I was recognized for my art. One of my 4'x5' abstract oil paintings from a high school project was displayed at the local art museum for months. One thing lead to another and between painting for many magazines such as Paint Works and creating original unique designs, my career eventually took off.

Q: Who are some artists that inspired your work?

A: Many artists have inspired me. I remember recreating one of Picasso's works for a high school project and loved it. I am intrigued by so many styles of paintings - from Renaissance to Modern Art - that it comes from everything. I have always had an admiration for all things vintage. Especially the old style signs which definitely inspired my first books, "Painting Vintage Style I" and "Painting Vintage Style II" in which you can find unique vintage style paintings with catchy slogans.

Deb Cotton - New Fall

Q: What's your preferred medium to work with?

A: I have dabbled in different mediums but find acrylics work best for me. I can use them straight, blend them while working wet-on-wet using oil painting techniques, and yet dilute them and work in more of a watercolor style.

Q: What's your favorite thing about teaching art to others?

I love seeing the look of accomplishment on students' faces and their self-satisfaction from their creations. Art is a form of therapy and people lose themselves when they are painting. They forget everything else and focus on their canvas. I am simply there to guide them and show techniques that help them achieve their own results. In turn it makes me very happy to feel like I have touched their lives in a positive, pleasurable way.

Deb Cotton - Truck

Q: Can you describe your creative process?

Many different things can inspire a creative process. It can start from a painting surface as sometimes it already tells you what it needs, something tangible such as an old rusty pick up truck saying "paint me! paint me!", or a room in need of art to complete or inspire its decor. These are just some examples but once the creative juices are flowing it all starts to evolve from color choices to style, etc. Sometimes you may be so inspired you cannot put down your brush! I love it when this happens!

Q: Have you always wanted to turn your creative passion into a career? What made you go for it?

A: Art has always been a passion for me and has always been in my life in one way or another. From restoring run down homes into treasures and creating unique one-of-a-kind paintings. In 2004, I was approached by Linda Heller, the editor of Paint Works to do my first article for their magazine. I was tickled silly and so impressed and honored that they liked my works enough to publish that I suppose I dug in my heels and it took off from there.

Deb Cotton - Pond

Q: What one piece of advice would you offer to an artist just starting out?

A: "Be true to yourself." Meaning be inspired by other artists, styles, etc., but try different methods and mediums to discover which works for you.

To connect with Deb and to learn more about her art, please visit her website: www.simply-cotton.com

If you live near (or will be visiting) Ontario, Canada, check out her Wine & Canvas events!

Deb's Wine & Paint