Deborah LaFogg Docherty
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One of the first things I remember as a young child were the paintings of Bambi, Flower and Thumper my mom had painted on the walls of my room. I had to be all of 4 or 5 years old and wanted to be just like my mom. So one day when my parents went outside for a few minutes to check on the garden I did a full mural of dogs, cats, trees and birds on the hallway wall. Needless to say I never did that again! But my parents gave me coloring books, paints and crayons so I could continue with my creative adventures.
I grew up on a farm in Connecticut, I loved being around animals and the woods out back even then.
In grade school a teacher named Mrs. Harvey took us on a bird walk one day as part of an assignment and I was hooked. I began drawing and painting birds out of my bird guide and had several one women shows in the showcases around the school. I painted in oils and drew everyday during summer break and would often forgo homework during the school year until my parents would find out.
I kept drawing and painting every chance I could, getting some tutoring from my art teachers along the way. I went to Europe to see the Louvre, the Museum of the Impressionists, the Prado Museum and the National Gallery. Degas pastel paintings were just a vibrant as the day he created them and I was hooked. This fed my desire. My formal training in Illustration and Commercial Art began in college. After graduating with honors we moved to South Florida.
Over the years, my craft has continued to develop by studying with many pastel and wildlife professionals I admired. I had a long history as a graphic artist for The Sun Sentinel, Deerfield Beach, Florida. I was a Special Sections Designer for 34 years and this aspect of my career has helped to add stronger composition to my paintings. For a short time did some writing for the paper but decided it wasn’t for me.
My mediums are pastel, oils and acrylics and may involve an under-painting for added luminosity and atmosphere. In pastel it could involve washes of color and turpentine. In oils, I blocked-in colors. In acrylics, I build on layers, going from light to dark. I offer demos and workshops to local art societies and currently teach at the Boynton Beach Art and Cultural Center.
Looking at my paintings today many people think that they are photographs. I take it as a compliment since I’m a photorealistic painter. I get a lot of commission work.
My paintings have won National and International awards and have been included in Art museum shows in Florida, Utah, the International Festival for Natural Ecology Convention at the Lanwan Art Museum in Qingdao China with the Artists for Conservation and now has a painting on tour with the Art Renewal Centers Traveling Exhibition to New York City’s Salmagundi Club, Sothebys in Las Angles and the MEAM Museum in Barcelona Spain to name a few.
In February of 2018 I was part of a group of artists to go to Kenya for conservation. The goal is to help with fund raising efforts to bring back the Northern White Rhino from the brink of Extinction.
I have been creating paintings for the National Parks Trust since 2018 to present day help rise awareness of the importance of keeping these National Treasures.
Three of my pastels were sold at the Salmagundi Club in New York City and two oil paintings sold at auction at the Safari Club International.
NEW: Two award winning paintings have been published, in the March/April 2022 issue of the Pastel journal
PAST SOLO SHOWS
Itink Financal January 2022, Boynton Beach FL
Everglades National Park
Ernest F. Coe Visitor Center
Everglades National Park Gallery
Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge
Cornell Art Muséum