Artist Debbie Mueller uses a strong contrast of light and shadow in her eye-catching still life and landscape paintings. Visit her website to see more of her portfolio.
My mother gave birth to me twice. In 1960, she gave birth to a baby, and in 2016, she gave birth to an artist.
I have always known who I was—a doctor, a mother, a wife, a craft dabbler and most of all, someone with no artistic ability.
I lived in this mindset until I was 56 when, during a visit with my parents, my life changed forever. My mom has always been an amateur painter. She happened to have some acrylic paints with her while spending the winter in Florida. On a rainy day when there was nothing else to do, she suggested I paint.
My initial reaction was to say no, but lacking no better alternative, I agreed. My first painting was far from a masterpiece, but I was immediately taken with the meditative and focused experience. Upon my return home, I bought some paints of my own.
Fast forward six years and a few miles of canvas.
Thanks to the generosity of my teachers, my ability to harness the same drive that I used to get through medical school and my training and career as an Obstetrician/Gynecologist, I’ve been thrilled to achieve many of the goals I have set for myself.
I was surprised and honored to win Artist Magazine’s Annual Competition for students in the landscape category in 2018. I’ve had my work accepted into wonderful galleries and into prestigious national juried shows. I have competed in several plein air events. My work took Best in Show at Parrsboro International Plein Air Festival in 2020.
Most of all, I have enjoyed the warm camaraderie of the wonderful community of artists I have met. I have been given the gift of seeing our beautiful world through the eyes of an artist.
Early in my time as a painter, I found myself drawn strongly to paintings that convey a strong sense of light and shadow. I knew this was what I wanted to do with my work as well. Fortunately, I was able to find superb teachers like Timothy Horn, Peggi Kroll Roberts and Anne Blair Brown. All of them have helped me understand how to express this sense of light.
I initially focused exclusively on landscape painting, having always disdained still life paintings as fussy and antique feeling. The work of artists such as Sarah Sedwick, Tim Horn and Teddi Parker helped me understand that still life painting can express that same wonderful sense of light, with the luxury of painting from life away from the elements! So now, I embrace both landscape and still life, staying true to my desire to illuminate my paintings.
I continue to work as a physician, though in the last couple of years part-time, which allows me more time to paint. No one is more surprised than I am at the course my life has taken. I give thanks every day for the rainy Florida day that led to me to this most treasured discovery.