From a quiet farm in Red Deer Alberta, Canada comes a vibrant message – full of color and emotion. You see the life in the eyes of Deb Weiers surreal portraits. You believe they’re alive and feel that they feel. The images are powerful enough to stand alone but she occasionally adds a poignant message to the portrait, a message we would all be wise to receive.
Ryan: Where did you grow up?
Deb: I was born in Paradise Hill, Saskatchewan, grew up in Quesnel, B.C., and settled in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada.
Are you still in Red Deer Alberta? And Is there a supportive art scene there?
Yes, I am still in Red Deer, Alberta. And yes, there is a vibrant art community here. However, I don’t get off the farm much, so I am mostly involved in the ‘online’ art community.
Do you remember when or how you became interested in creating art?
I first became interested in creating art in Grade 6. It was the first official art class I had, and I fell in love immediately and have been so ever since.
Did you go to art collage? If so, when and where?
Yes, I enrolled in the 2-year Visual Arts Program at Red Deer College in 2000. I took 4 years to complete the 2-year program. I absolutely LOVED it!!!
What type of art were you focusing on while attending Red Deer Collage?
In the two-year college program, I wasn’t really focused on any particular type of art but rather was trying everything – drawing, printmaking, ceramics, painting, sculpture. I did not narrow it down to one field.
When did you begin doing your portraits?
I started doing my portraits in the beginning of 2016 when I enrolled in an online art class that focused on drawing and painting faces (Let’s Face It 2016).
How did you develop your style?
Gosh, I guess I developed my style by putting in hours and hours and hours and always ‘pushing my edge’, trying to grow and move forward in my art. It kind of just happened along the way.
You recently did a second book cover for the author, Dorata Ciechanowska – called “Praktyczne Aspekty Kultury Studiowania” (Practical Aspects of Learning and the Learning Process) is to be published in Poland. How did you come upon this opportunity?
Dorota Ciechanowska contacted me privately through FB Messenger and asked if I would be interested in working on a book cover for her. I said I couldn’t promise results but would give it a try. It ended up working out.
Are your portraits mostly watercolor, Ink and collage?
They’re mostly inks, collage, and acrylics.
What inspires you to add text to your portraits? Is it mostly political?
I love playing with words in whatever way I can – sometimes it is political, sometimes humorous, sometimes regarding things I feel strongly about such as climate change, kindness to all sentient beings, living a low carbon footprint, etc. Adding text is just one way of communicating my feelings in my art.
‘Rebel Rebel’ is a great double portrait! What were you trying to convey in this piece?
I was mostly trying to be brave in using color in “Rebel, Rebel” but I also wanted to convey a sense of ‘partnership’ and ‘acceptance’.
“Resignation? Hell No!”- is a very balanced and expressive piece. Please explain your inspiration here?
“Resignation? Hell No!” Well, hahaha, it was actually my feelings about the US president and how I was not going to resign myself to accept his position of power and all his follies. So, the ‘resignation, hell no’ pertained to my feelings at the time.
“Trying to Listen”- is absolutely fantastic. I love that you have your own portrait style art hanging on the wall behind the subjects in the foreground. How did this piece develop?
Regarding “Trying to Listen”. I wanted to do a larger piece, and have it look like the people were in a ‘hall’ with their ancestor’s photos hanging on the walls. Hence the ‘small portraits’ of my work behind them. I am not sure why I left all the ears off, but I really like that I did.
Any plans on publishing a book of your work?
I would LOVE to publish a book of my work! I am working on that at the present time.
You have over eleven thousand followers on Instagram. That’s amazing! What would you attribute this too?
What would I attribute my followers on Instagram to? Hahaha, pure luck maybe? I’m not sure. Perhaps my art is unique enough or different enough to catch people’s attention. I always try to portray emotion in my pieces and I like to portray struggle or hardship as well as humor. Maybe people can connect to those things universally.
Are you a full-time artist?
Yes, I am a full-time artist. However, my husband and I also grow and preserve all our own produce, so I am kept fairly busy with that as well.
I didn’t see a website connected to your social media. Do you sell your work online?
I don’t have a website or a shop. I am fairly computer illiterate – technology is my biggest challenge. But I do sell my work online. I have sold pieces to Canada, US, Mexico, Barbados, Australia, Holland, Britain, Italy, and Poland. I feel very, very fortunate to have reached so many people. People have to contact me privately to purchase my work and I really like the fact that we have a personal connection. Especially in this day and age of ‘instant shopping’ and ‘hyper consumerism’.
When people see this article and want to purchase a painting should they just message you through Facebook?
Yes, to purchase my art people can contact me directly through either FB Messenger or direct message me on Instagram.