When beginning a painting, abstract artist Debra Corbett does not adhere to a predetermined idea of what the finished piece should be. Rather, using a variety of tools, mediums, and techniques, she allows her creativity to take control, and the possibilities are endless. After layering her blank canvas with a range of acrylic paints, gels, plasters, and powdered mediums, Corbett adds to and subtracts from the textured surface with numerous types of tools. Not only does she use palette knives and brushes to apply paint, but she also utilizes nontraditional objects, such as old credit cards and sticks, to carve into the layered mediums. Although her art is meant to be nonrepresentational, she is inspired by nature and her surroundings. In particular, Corbett is fascinated with the illusion of depth and decay in her pieces. Corbett strives to evoke poetic and emotional responses in her viewers, hoping they will experience her art with an open mind and be able to discover his/her own response of how the work makes him/her feel.
Corbett displays a magnitude of mastered techniques and styles garnered from her fine art studies in college and multiple artistic careers. For example, her fine sensitivity to color is attributed to her experience as an interior faux painter where she experimented with colors and styles to achieve beautiful and unique faux finishes and murals on the interiors of clients’ homes. Corbett has also worked with landscapes and more recognizable subject matter in her paintings. After a trip to the Southwest seven years ago, she was inspired by the ruggedness and textural qualities of her New Mexico and Arizona surroundings. She was intrigued by the color palette of the layered and rustic scenery. When she arrived home, Corbett experimented with texture and color to represent characteristics of the southwest in her artwork.
Always trying new and different ways to apply paint to a canvas, Corbett is constantly reinventing herself as an artist. She describes the process as “exciting” and her work as both “physical and sculptural.” Corbett experiments with colors, mediums, and tools to achieve distinct and unique works of art, one of which was recently featured in Co|So’s Summer Members’ Show 2011.
Look for more of her unique paintings in future exhibitions!
*Corbett, Debra. Personal Interview. 21 July 2011.