Deborah Weinstein

Sign Up for Our Newsletter »

Deborah Weinstein

My goals as an artist are not complicated: I aspire to making something beautiful, and in so doing, to make myself happy, and if possible, to make someone else happy too.

So, what might the public want to know about me, above and beyond what is revealed through my art? Quite a bit, it seems! Visitors often come through the studio I have occupied in Laguna Beach since 2009. Here are some of the questions they often put to me and some of the comments they tend to make, followed with my responses.

John Q. Public: (Eyeing the crowded studio walls) Oh my! It looks like you have been painting all your life!

DW: That would have been great, but that is not what happened. Making art has been a wish all my life, but I was around 60 when I resolved to develop myself as an artist and to give that project my very best shot. I have been at it now for about ten years.

JQP: You paint people! That is so hard!

DW: I find many kinds of art difficult to make, but not figurative art, because that is what interests me.

JQP: So, how do you work? Where do you find your subjects?

DW: Rarely the same way twice!

I paint either from a model who is posing or from one of my own photographs.

I have been taking pictures all my life, sometimes obsessively. When I began painting, I thought, as many people do, that there was something almost sinful about turning those images into paintings. Teachers often advise against it, because a badly executed painting of a boring or clichéd photograph cannot result in good art. The point, no matter what the reference, is to paint well, and of course, that is what I try to do.

I paint people almost exclusively. Young or old, beautiful or less so, I identify with all of them. I often see people or situations that I find beautiful or funny or both, and I am touched by this.

JQP: You paint mostly women, and I can tell that these paintings were done by a woman. There is something different about your work.

DW: Well, you are right about that. I am in fact a woman, and so are many of the models in my paintings.

Every artist wants to believe that he or she is an original.

Whether I am drawing from a model or painting from a photograph, I seek to depict each person in his or her own reality at the moment I observe them, never as an object. Even in figure-drawing workshops where the model is unclothed, I reject the concept of “the nude”. The person before us remains the person he or she is, costumed or not. My task as an artist is not to dominate the model or demonstrate what he or she has in common with every other person of the same gender but to find and express what makes him or her unique. For me, that is the challenge and the fun of it all.

Deborah Weinstein

Deborah Weinstein
Email the Artist
Artist's Website