Artist Deb Tomasone said she isn’t an activist or a “greenie” but holds the landscape and the earth with such honour her paintings seem to live and breathe.
“My way of contributing to the environment is to paint the landscape and give it a story,” Deb said.
Deb is not someone keen on the limelight. She prefers her work to speak for her, but with exhibitions coming up and local artwork proudly on display in the Camden Haven Deb briefly stepped in front of the camera to speak with the Courier.
Local landscapes feature prominently in her paintings. Deb also paints still life, flowers, abstract patterns from dreams and human figures. From soft tones using a gently coloured palette to thick bold linework, layers, textures and dot work the paintings each have a unique mood and theme.
“When you live in a place for long enough you get a feel for the land and the country. It’s embedded fairly deeply,” Deb said.
“The reason behind my paintings isn’t always obvious, but there is always a motive. I like people to see my paintings and buy them for what it means to their own mind and eye, rather than me explaining the story.
“So I don’t do much in the way of talking about my work publicly.”
Deb’s landscape paintings are a three-dimensional experience. When looking at a landscape to paint, Deb said, she sees the vista in terms of what lies beneath, the layers of earth, rocks, stones on which the landscape is built.
“When I’m ‘in the zone’ painting it’s almost like I’m reaching into the canvas to paint the layers.”
Deb has been painting for 17 years. While some of her work uses dots and lines, she said her work doesn’t intentionally have an Aboriginal influence.
“It took a long time to find my signature style. I haven’t had any formal training in art. The style has just evolved organically, not corrupted by conformity or genre, technique or stylisation.
“I feel my heart’s compass points me to paint and my heart wants to venerate the great symphony of the earth and the cosmos.
“I deliberate over every representation of the living, vibrating world. Each blade of grass, each song in the wind, each droplet of precious water, each magnificent tree and tiny pebble are no less important.”
Deb said she paints with a sincere heart and empathy for the earth.
“Adding my voice to my paintings is often inadequate. My canvases are my way of rising above the seeming impotency of words in giving respect to the planet.”
Deb’s work is on display at the Village Cafe in Laurieton. Next month her work will be at Four Espresso in Port Macquarie. The paintings will be part of the Art Walk exhibition in Port Macquarie on April 21.