I moved to San Francisco from St. Louis in the 1980's to study illustration at the Academy of Art. A summer art workshop in Florence that turned into three transformational years led, instead, to the discovery of my passion for oil painting with traditional techniques. I attended Istituto per L'Arte e Il Ristauro and Lorenzo de Medici, realizing how much more I would have to learn. Committing to the life of an artist, I returned to San Francisco, working as a decorative painter while continuing to take classes in contemporary fine art painting at San Francisco Art Institute and UC Berkeley extension. I deepened my study with lessons from local master painters, Aron Meynell, Sadie Valerie, and Felicia Forte and continue to take workshops and classes when it is possible.
My recent subjects for paintings have been figures in landscapes, expressing my fascination with children and teens enjoying freedom outdoors.
My sons are now both in college and I am curious to see how my work might change in this new phase of my life.
I hope to express through painting the intense mix of emotions that surfaced while waving goodbye to an era of children in my home.
I have had solo and group shows in San Francisco, and my work is in private collections in the US and France.
I was a middle-school teacher in Illinois before moving to California and have taught art to children for the past 15 years. My San Francisco studio is where I teach small group and private classes to adults. I am enjoying sharing what I have learned over the years with them and am amazed at how quickly they have emerged into confident painters. We visit the nearby museums and parks for classes when we aren't working from a figure or a still-life set up in the studio. The adult class is starting it’s second year this month and I am
opening other sections for the newly signed-up. There are still a few spaces available, contact me if you are interested. Debcookshapiro@gmail.com
I am available to do commissions. I capture the emotions and scenic beauty from special moments or occasions to create a unique painting fron a variety of sources,even From memories and stories.
Contact me and let’s discuss possibilities for your one-of-a-kind project!