South Bay Art Association caught up with artist Debra Domingos. Join us as Debra shares her art inspiration and motivation and gives us a peek into her wonderfully creative world.

Why do you create art? And where do you find your motivation?

“Creating art for me is as natural as waking up in the morning. Art is hard. I, like many artists, find I spend less time doing and far too much time agonizing over who will respond to the piece and how to price a piece. Learning to shake off the business of art to reach that altered state of “doing it joyfully” becomes intensely more challenging as one finds success in the art world.”

“Artists are always working. When out and about we are conscious of light, reflections, concentrating on forms, and emotionally responding to the play of color and patterns that surrounds us. I’m inspired daily by all the little things around me and I’m forever making notes and collecting digital images.”

How did you get interested in art?

“I have an early memory of walking to the bus stop as a middle school student with my friend. Each morning we would greet each other with a critique of how successful God was creating the sky on that morning. Our reviews included the choice of the cloud shapes, the colors applied, the amount of light and intensity of shadows, and how lines can suggest movement.”

“This is how artists think. When I was an art student in college, I went scuba diving for the first time. That experience had a profound effect on me, for in that moment I realized that nothing I could create could ever be as beautiful as what was already created on Earth. I also knew unequivocally that I had been presented with a challenge to let others experience what I felt in that moment through my art.”

Can you share a bit of your background and technique with us?

“My formal education gave me artistic discipline and practice made me proficient at nature illustrations and drawing. I did a considerable amount of printmaking; but after some time, I felt the need to loosen up.”

“Ultimately, I gravitated to watercolor. I appreciated the medium’s fluidity and transparency. I did watercolor for years, but it wasn’t until I retired and began teaching watercolor and practicing the fundamentals with my students that I became any good at it. When I finally felt I developed a higher level of understanding about the medium, I threw the baby out with the bath water and began pushing the intensity of the watercolor pigments to maximum color saturation. My goal was to bring watercolor paint as far as possible without creating mud or dulling the color. Once the pigment was as dark as it could go, I decided to bring my love of line back into the work by “crisping up” the design with the addition of white ink.”

“This technique suits my floral subjects, as well as my fish paintings and I, am continuing to experiment by emphasizing negative spaces as well as incorporating wax resist, metallic paints, and gouache.”

“Recently I’ve been wintering in Florida which has inspired me to work up some large canvases and paint with acrylics. I’ve continued to use bold colors and fish images but have also gone back to painting big sky and ocean seascapes. Nature puts on a compelling show every day daring you to do something worthy of attention.”

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given about your art?

“The best advice I’ve been given about art is to do something every day. I don’t always live by that advice, but when I do I find I can get into the “creative zone” much more easily and I am far more productive.”

As an experienced artist, what advice could you give someone just starting out?

“The best advice that I give my students depends on their personal goals. To everyone I say, enjoy the process. To serious art students I say, learn to draw and study color theory! Once you can anticipate what will happen when you mix color or place one color next to another you are well-positioned to master the language of art. Additionally, be neat in your presentations and learn the proper way to present your work.”

“Learn to talk about your work and have confidence in what you show. Social media and online marketing are helping working artists find an audience, so learn everything you can about using those tools.”

“Art is hard and the work of art is even harder. Ultimately, we do it because we must and that is something!”

Thank you, Debra for inviting us into your artistic world. We look forward to seeing more of your artwork and being inspired by your creativity.

Debra has a solo show at the Mattituck-Laurel Public Library,
13900 Main Rd., Mattituck, NY 11952,
through the month of July.

To view more of Debra’s work, please visit: SBAA member gallery, Website, Instagram