Enjoy the exquisite portfolio of artist Déborah Cassolis, whose realistic oil paintings bring her subjects to life. See more by visiting her website.
I was raised in a small town in Canada where both sides of my family had talented relatives in the arts. It was inevitable that I would inherit the passion to create. At the age of nine, my mother entered me for a Call to Artists. Sadly, they sent it back, not believing a 9-year-old could have painted so well.
As I recall my childhood days, even in elementary school my art teachers noticed that my techniques for light and shadows were exceptional. My teachers often kept my art, or it was switched or stolen. As discouraging as it was, it did not stop me from creating art. In college, my art teachers often made me do two paintings per class because I was fast and good, so I slowed down.
Life put some delays in my progress to be a practicing artist. Having been told it was better to have a career with a real job, it led me to be a salesperson for technology. I had a couple of small opportunities to do artwork for the companies I was with.
I moved from one side of Canada to the other after marrying my husband, then moved to Arizona. I decided to go back to school, change my career path and pursue my passion as an artist, acquiring degrees in Fine Arts and Liberal Arts. It was the best decision I ever made for myself.
It was also a mile marker for finding what inspired me to paint, which is palm trees. My art instructors had us do many plein air paintings. As I am not a fan of cacti, and since thankfully we have enough palm trees for me to reference, I eventually became a palm tree artist. Years have gone by and I’ve enjoyed painting palms since then. I do not see it ending anytime soon.
The other thing I like to do when I find something to paint, before I put my brush to the canvas, is to find out about the type of palm trees or subjects that I am painting. Where are they from? How do they feel to touch? Since palms are not trees but related to the grass family, it basically makes me sort of a grass hugger.
I don’t paint palms for just the aesthetics. They all have character, and are a habitat for many animals, insects or amphibians. In recent paintings I’ve included birds and ladybugs and even a camel. When I paint I am in my element, a zone that can last for many hours. It feels as though it was only 15 minutes, yet the actual time would be eight hours or more.
I am just chuffed about my exhibitions being in college galleries, local galleries, out of state galleries, and online galleries. My work has been in prestigious exhibits at the Mexican Consulate and even the Vatican Halls in Rome, Italy along with a few Italian Palace art exhibits. My art appears in over seven published books, articles and magazines.
My goal is to achieve a solo show in places like Hawaii, Florida or even other countries where patrons may appreciate my tropical palm trees.