The Heroine’s Journey of Debra Keirce

What is the best thing that I love about my work? I love that my paintings take on a life of their own and inspire their own narratives when they leave my easel. I relish when collectors share about what my art has come to mean to them, and the feelings they experience while viewing the works. Sometimes their stories are so different from what I intended, and I love it most when that happens.
What is my idea of perfect happiness? Perfect happiness is a sense of accomplishment…feeling that I have done the best I am capable of today, and created the best art I am able to put into the world. If that art makes someone think and smile, I am over the moon happy!
What is my greatest fear? My greatest fear is that I will realize when it’s too late, that I could have been a better artist if only…(fill in the blank.)
What is the trait that I most deplore in myself? I despise the fact that I am more critical of my own work than anyone else’s. It makes it difficult for me to assess my own works. I am excellent at giving useful critiques for my friends’ art. But for my own I am so blinded by the flaws, I find it difficult to see constructive criticisms.
Which living persons in my profession do i most admire? There are many artists I admire for different reasons. In addition to their talents and technical mastery, I am inspired by these artists. I admire Tina Garrett for the rainbows and unicorns she leaves in her wake as she achieves more greatness each day. I admire David Cheifetz for the zen and focus and commitment to his art that he strives to live out. I admire T J Cunningham for his love of people and nature, and core humanitarian values. I admire Carlo Russo for choosing his path carefully and crafting a life of passions and beauty that he is grateful for every day. I admire Juan Jr. Ramirez for dreaming so big and reaching for the stars, always.
What is my greatest extravagance? I am not an extravagant person. But, I do have a huge still life prop collection!
On what occasion would I lie? I find it very difficult to say unkind things about art that doesn’t appeal to me. Mostly, this is because I know how hard the artist worked to create it. I would lie if an artist asked me what I thought of their work and I despised it.
What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work? I dislike the fact that I want to correct every painting I have out there. This is because I feel like each piece I do is better than the one before it. That is a good thing, but there are consequences.
When and where was I the happiest, in my work? Honestly, TODAY! I am happier in my work with each passing day. I am living my dream, and getting better at it each day.
If I could, what would I change about myself? I would change to a younger age. I fear I have more art to create than I have time for!
What is my greatest achievement in work? My greatest achievement is the degree of improvement I continue to see in my work each year. This past year, I studied others’ methods and streamlined my process. I now paint quality pieces faster than I ever have before. As a gallery artist, this was something I felt was necessary to achieve.
Where would I most like to live?

I love where I live now in Northern Virginia, USA. I would love to visit lots of other countries though!

What is my most treasured possession? I really don’t treasure possessions. I treasure relationships. I treasure the relationships with my artist friends, gallery owners, and loved ones who encourage and support me in my art journey.
What is my most marked characteristic? I specialize in creating miniature fine art paintings you can hold in your palm. I create them under a magnifying glass.
What is my most inspirational location, in my city? My studio is the place in my city that I am most inspired. As a still life artist with a large prop collection, I have a lifetime of painting to do in my studio.
What is my favourite place to eat and drink, in my city? I am from Northern Virginia, about an hour from Washington, DC. When I am downtown, I love to stop and have a vegetarian meal and cup of tea at a restaurant just north of the Smithsonian Mall, called Teaism.
What books influenced my life and how? James Gurney wrote a wonderful book on color and light that touches on so many basics in painting and illustration. Also, the book “The Shack”, while fictional, has the most beautiful Christian metaphors. There is a scene where the reader is called on to imagine a world where each of our five senses is only experiencing a fraction of what really exists. I think about this everyday. What if the part of the color wheel we see is only one percent of what there is to see?
Who are my favorite writers? I love Elizabeth Gilbert’s books. Big Magic and Eat Pray Love are my favorites. But Diana Gabaldon wrote my all time favorite series, Outlanders. Game of Thrones author George R. R. Martin is a close second.
You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day? Fleetwood Mac. No question.
Who is my hero or heroine in fiction? My fictional hero is Bilbo Baggins. Who isn’t inspired by a hobbit?
Who are my heroes and heroines in real life? In real life, as the mother of a police officer who puts his life on the line everyday and makes less money than the teachers in our community, my heroes and heroines are the first responders the world over.
Which movie would i recommend to see once in a lifetime? The Notebook, a total chick flick.
What role plays art in my life and work? Art is what emotions look like. Art is my life and work.
Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime? My husband is the fan and partner who has sacrificed the most to support me in the pursuit of my passion.
Whom would I like to work with in 2017? I would love to find another reputable realism gallery team to work with. After having just worked with a gallery in Santa Fe, NM that closed, and one in Taos, NM that also went out of business, I have been hesitant to reach out to more venues for representation.
Which people in my profession would i love to meet in 2017?
Daniel Gerhartz, David Gray, and Tony Curanaj would be fun to spend time with, I think.
What project, in 2017, am I looking forward to work on? I have several commissioned pieces to work on this year. I enjoy the challenge of being the instrument, and laying down in paint, the images my collectors convey to me.
Where can you see me or my work in 2017?
I am represented by
Huckleberry Fine Art Gallery in Rockville, MD
Seaside Art Gallery in Nags Head, NC
Ellis-Nicholson Gallery in Charleston, SC
Also, I am part of a five person show at Customs House Museum in Clarksville, TN in July and August 2018.
What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me? Tenacity is required in pursuit of passion. If you pursue with dogged determination, you will prevail.
Which creative heroines should Peter invite to tell their story?
Tina Garrett, Maria Bennett Hock, Kim Minichiello, Helen K Beacham, Carrie Waller
How can you contact me?
YouTube video introducing me:
Last of seven videos showing me painting my work titled “Sips”, winner of 2017 National Oil and Acrylic Painters Society best still life award:
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