Enjoy the nature-filled paintings of artist Deborah LaFogg Docherty, and be sure to visit her website to learn more.
What inspires me? That’s easy! Nature. I grew up on a farm as an only child, so when my homework and chores were done, it was off to the woods and swamp behind our property. If I wasn’t there, I was painting the things I saw. There was something about the sights and smells of the outdoors that fueled my creativity. The same holds true today. Every trip out, I bring my camera and sketchbook to help me decide where and what to paint next. Whenever I can, I do plein air paintings in paints or pastels. It’s great to paint on location, and I’ve sold several while I’m on location.
There is something about the color, composition and lighting, even the texture of an object or scene that strikes me, and I’ll have to do sketches and photograph it. I will then take it back to the studio and pull it up on the computer. I’ll play with the color and crop, and I’ll do more sketches until I feel it’s ready to be painted. Once the painting is started I am compelled to complete it as soon as possible. I often will have several paintings going on at the same time to give me time to come back and fix anything I feel doesn’t work.
Traveling to some of America’s most beautiful national parks inspires me as well. Some of my favorites are Yellowstone, Everglades, Grand Teton, Denali, Glacier and The Grand Canyon. I have been so fortunate to see all kinds of wildlife and landscapes that I believe I have enough reference to keep me painting for the next two years, but I keep going out to get more. There’s so much to see, and every time is different.
Another thing that inspires me is being able to share my passion with others. Normally I do 10 to 15 outdoor shows a year and ship my work to national and international venues. When I do my outdoor venues, I paint while I am there. Being able to explain what and how I paint has lead into doing demos and workshops. I love helping other artists get fired up to create.
Currently, I’m painting and framing like crazy for two upcoming Solo shows! The first is at Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge located in Sanibel, Florida. The show will run from January through February 2015. This show will feature the secret lives of Florida wildlife with a smattering of other American wildlife I have seen along the way.
The second is at the Ernest Coe Gallery in the visitors center at Everglades National Park in Florida City for the month of November 2015. It will feature creatures of the park. I’m enjoying doing the research for these shows since these are here in my backyard, which is South Florida.
During the months of January through May I also do outdoor fine art festivals, demos and workshops in pastel and oils. It’s all very exciting!
Often when I’m in my booth at a show, I’m painting. Many people think my paintings are photographs, which I take that as a compliment. But I try to take the observer past that. I will add in things that one photo would probably not capture… like a wading bird and it’s prey. I add elements that the casual observer may not see with clarity in a photo.
My goal is to have another 25 paintings done by mid summer.