2012, Webinar; Johannes Vloothuis
2011, Plein Air Workshop; Clark Mitchell
2011, Webinar; Johannes Vloothuis
2010, Oil Painting Workshop; Gary Holland
c. 2000, Oil Portrait Workshop; Stephen Sawyer
(Being a student of art is an ongoing process. We live at a time when information and instruction are so readily available, through books, DVD's, the internet and other electronic media. I take advantage of opportunities to participate in many of these on a regular basis, along with face to face instruction, as I am able.)
Workshops and Instruction by Debbie:
Gift-a-Pastel Workshop for adults, Debbie Harding Studio Gallery, Santa Rosa, CA 2014
Pastel Workshop for Children, Santa Rosa, CA 2013
Pastel Workshop, Rocklin, CA 2102
Pastel Workshop, Ventana Annex Gallery, Sonora, CA 2012
Pastel Workshop, Rocklin, CA 2010
Art Classes for Disabled Adults, Belden House, Santa Rosa, CA 2010 - present
Sebastopol Center for the Arts 2014, 2015, 2016
Sonoma County Art Trails 2014, Artist #102; 2015
Pastel Society of the West Coast, 2011 to present
Roseville Arts!, 2011, 2012, 2013
Artists' Round Table, Santa Rosa, CA 2011
Press and Print:
Love Letters Live, SF Examiner.com, by Janet Gallin
Southwest Art Magazine
February 2014, Art of California, presented via email
February 2014, Art of California edition
August 2012, Pastels edition
June 2012, Plein Air edition
- Art Trails 2015, #39
- Art Trails Preview shows 2015: Sebastopol Center for the Arts; Corrick's, Santa Rosa; Gallery One, Petaluma; Stone's Throw, Cotati
- Gallery One, Petaluma, CA, "Focus on Nature," Invitational Exhibit 2015
- Rohnert Park Library, Invitiational Art Show, 2015
- Sebastopol Center for the Arts, "Wetlands," juried show 2015
- Sonoma County Art Trails, juried open studio tour, 2014 (Preview shows at Corrick's, Ice House Gallery, and Sebastopol Center for the Arts)
- Falkirk Annual Juried Art Show 2014
- IceHouse Gallery Inaugural Art Show, Petaluma, CA 2014
- Pastel Society of the West Coast, juried Membership Show 2014
- Ironstone Vineyard Spring Obsession, Juried Show 2012
- Santa Rosa International Film Festival 2011
- Pastel Society of the West Coast, juried Membership Show 2010
- Roseville Arts! Art in the Garden home and Garden Tour, juried show 2010
- North Bay Art Fair, Art Show, Doubletree Hotel, April 11, 2010
- Petaluma Arts Council, Art Around Town, juried portrait show, 2010
- "First Fridays" in Santa Rosa's Railroad Square, 2009
- Montgomery Village Art Shows and Sales (Arists' Round Table), 2009
- Sonoma Bank in Oakmont, 2009
- West America Bank, Fulton Road, Santa Rosa, 2009
- West America Bank, 1st and Mendocino, Santa Rosa, 2009
Galleries, Consignments and Collections:
Upstairs Art Gallery, Healdsburg, CA
Art for God Gallery, Gatlinburg, TN
Spring Lake Village Retirement Community, Santa Rosa, CA: A collection of 12 prints
Sutter Medical Center, Santa Rosa, CA: A collection of 35 prints in the Birthing Suites
The Ventana-Annex Gallery, Sonora, CA
"All Things New," A mural installation at Santa Rosa Christian Church, Santa Rosa, CA (Also as a vinyl reporoduction in the baptistery of Norwalk Baptist Church, Norwalk, Maine)
Hopscotch Gifts and Gallery, Glen Ellen, CA
IQ Gallery, Rocklin, CA
Fort Ross State Historic Park, California; Showing original pastels relating to Fort Ross and Sonoma County landscape
The Red Paprika , 377 Healdsburg Ave., Healdsburg, CA 95448 - showing, and for sale, selected original Landscapes and Contemporary Floral; giclee prints and gifts. Ongoing
Roseville Arts Gallery Gift Shop, Roseville, CA - showing, and for sale, giclee prints. Ongoing
Glen Ellen Village ARThouse Gallery, 13758 Arnold Dr., Glen Ellen, CA 95442 - showing and for sale, selected original works from her Contemporary Floral Collection, 2011
Human Figure: Pastel/chalk/colored pencil/crayon
2010 International Christian Art Competition (ICAC) Winner
2009 International Christian Art Competition (ICAC) Winner
Sonoma County Fair Best in Medium Oil, for "Lupine" c. 2002
Sonoma County Fair First Place, for "Jordan" c. 2001
Sonoma County Fair Second Place, for "Wisteria" c. 2001
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Debbie’s road to the art world is less filled with art degrees and classes, than it is of a journey of inspiration, encouragement and a love for the beauty of God’s creation.
Beginning her art experience in childhood, Debbie has always loved to create, and was encouraged by her parents, Bill and Irma Kazsuk, to engage in creative activities. Debbie’s parents were creative, artistic people in their own right (Irma painted oil paintings, crocheted and loved crafting, and Bill was a stained glass artisan.), and supported her love of art, through their own interest and excitement in nature, beauty, and in making things with their own hands. Many happy hours were spent together taking road trips, collecting things from nature, and enjoying arts and crafts of many forms. Debbie’s mother instilled confidence by displaying some of her daughter’s works, not in the typical “kid art gallery,” that so many households have, but prominently throughout their house, amongst all of their beautiful furnishings.
“I was so proud to have my bas-relief, paper-maché tiles hanging in a very visible spot above our organ, or to have my painting of the antique water pump, which I painted on a rustic piece of wood, hanging amongst my mother’s wall art. Both of these pieces I did when I was about eleven years old. One of my favorite projects was the above-ground swimming pool that we painted black (so it would absorb heat from the sun - my father was into alternate sources of energy even then), on which we painted whimsical, colorful, undersea creatures, standing out beautifully against the black background. Again, maybe I was about ten years old at that time, but was given the opportunity to showcase my ability on what was, to me, a very worthwhile project.”
Debbie’s first art-class experience was in high school, where she took one painting class. It was a very non-structured learning experience, and the students were given a lot of freedom to just experiment with whatever inspired them. While in that class, Debbie learned “oil reduction,” a technique where you apply the oil paint, and then wipe it away to achieve various values and highlights. She painted about half a dozen paintings using this technique. The painting to the right, titled "Canning Cupboard," is in this oil reduction technique. It was her last painting, circa 1978, before taking a long detour to pursue other avenues, before finally returning to, what was all along, a personal interest and an area of giftedness – her art.
“I really enjoyed painting as a child and teenager, and felt it would be some part of my future. Art was always on my mind.”
Debbie began her college education in 1976 at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California, and though her major was psychology, she always was nurturing the natural inclinations she had toward art, and while at Westmont, she took a print-making class.
Debbie met her husband, Casey, at Westmont College, and they were married at the end of her sophomore year. The couple moved to Kentucky to follow Casey’s education at Asbury Seminary, and Debbie continued her education at Asbury College, where she took pottery classes, which proved to keep her awake at night, planning and dreaming. “I was very excited about pottery. I couldn’t stop imagining what I would make next when I went to class. It was a very gratifying experience for me.”
When Casey graduated they moved back to California, and Debbie resumed her education at Azusa Pacific University, earning a BA in psychology, and beginning their masters program in Marriage, Family and Child Counseling. While in Southern California, Debbie took a photography class at Dominican College. “Though I was taking psychology classes, I just couldn’t be too far removed from artistic endeavors, and loved to try new things, and so found myself learning photography.
Debbie earned an M.A. in psychology in 1983 from Antioch University by attending the satellite program in Santa Barbara (In the middle of her MA program, at Azusa, she and her husband had moved to Santa Barbara, and Debbie transfered to a new school.). Here again, she continued to pursue art through taking courses in pottery at Santa Barbara Junior College.
After years of education, the couple had two sons, Micah and Jordan, and Debbie chose to stay home to raise their boys, and home-schooled for ten years. During that time, she was involved in art as a teacher to her sons, and through various art and craft projects as they would come along. She even took wood shop at Ukiah Adult Education, and made several small projects for their home.
In 2003, Debbie’s mom moved in with them, and in 2004 Debbie and her husband, Casey, bought Belden House, a residential home for brain injured adults, in Santa Rosa, California. “The next thing I know, it’s 25-30 years since the last painting I did at the age of twenty!”
Debbie’s creative, artistic side was looking for expression, however, and it was thanks, in part, to her friends, Gwen and Bill Griffin, that she was encouraged and given the opportunity to emerge and grow. “Gwen had been oil painting, and I felt so compelled by her work, that I wondered if I could possibly do the same. Then, one year for my birthday, they gave me a gift certificate for 4 painting lessons from a local artist. That’s all it took, and I was hooked!”
Debbie painted about 12 oil paintings, dabbled a bit with watercolor, but has spent most of her time and energy using pastels. “I am finding that I am particularly drawn to pastels. I enjoy the intensity, and immediacy of color and the way that the medium pushes me to be more painterly in my style. I am doing less and less blending of colors with tools or my fingers, and am just trying to layer the colors, allowing for the underlying layers to add dimension and depth. Of the three mediums that I have tried so far, pastels by far, seem to keep drawing me back. I now think of myself as a pastelist.”
At the end of 2007, Debbie took an extended leave of absence from her work as Administrator at The Belden House, and is earnestly pursuing art. This emergence of her renewed passion for painting, is a defining force for Debbie, who is driven to make her propensity for art her new career, and to embrace the gifts that she has been given. “I have always known that art was a gift, and though I have done many other things with my life up to this point, I don’t look at it as being a delay, but as part of the whole experience. I am able to bring so much more to my art than I was able to at a younger age. I am amazed that, even though I was not consciously working on painting all those years, my painting skills were growing – simply because I was getting better at seeing and understanding the relationships of the things around me, and I can now translate that to my pastel paintings.”
Debbie has continued to learn and grow these last few years through workshops with Stephen Sawyer, Gary Holland and Clark Mitchell, intesive online seminars with Johannes Vloothuis, and through self-learning by reading, and observing what others have done.
Debbie is developing an impressionistic flavor to her work, using vivid color; depth-of-field and vibrant lighting. This gives her paintings an intensity, that draws the observer in, and holds his/her attention. This is especially seen in her latest landscape and floral works.
“My paintings have become such an extension of a passion from within. It brings me joy to be able to paint, and my goal is to share that joy with others.”