cover photo

Debra Bradley

Debra Bradley

About Artist

Basic Information

  • Artist Statement

    Debra Hayes Bradley Shreveport, North West ,Louisiana-based artist. I paint vivid acrylic paintings with just my fingertips.Most artists blend colors on a palette, I blend colors on a canvas one finger print at a time. When was the last time any of you finger painted? Was it in kindergarten? For me it has been a life time.I find it therapeutic to paint this way. It is an intimate bond that ties me to my work.

    In the 60's at the age of ten I saw a commercial on television asking if you had the talent to be a professional artist, so I send off for the kit. When it arrived there was a brochure asking you to duplicate the pictures inside. As I drew the pictures they did not look complete. I decided to add those little extra features and make it my own, and mailed it back. I waited every day for a reply. Then one day there was a knock on the door! I was expecting a reply in the mail, but never a visit. The lady at the door asked my mother if she had a daughter named Debra Hayes and showed her my drawing. She told my mother most people will just draw the objects they are asked to, but a true artist creates a picture around the objects. My mother had no idea that I could draw or that I had send off for this kit. She talked to us about opportunities available in art such as illustration for Medical Books, magazines, and books. Yes, it was confirmed that I had talent, but my mother wanted me to attend college and not an art school. As a child, I was upset. I started taking art classes in school, and my senior year I took a Commercial Art course at Caddo Career Center. After graduating from Southwood high school I received an art scholarship to Southern University at Shreveport. There I study under the late Dr. Roosevelt Daniels I majored in art education, and later transfer to Southern University in Baton Rouge.
    I received technical training throughout my schooling, but I never master the art of using a brush when creating a portrait. I have always been somewhat embarrassed that I could create a smooth effect with a brush. I can still hear my teachers saying keep your fingers off the canvas. You see its ok to use your finger to blend with oil pastel or chalk, but not paint. The brush was too confining when using acrylic paint. I could see the rough line in the paint. I preferred acrylic paints over oils because of the rapid drying process, but I like the smoothness of oils, but it can become a little muddy. Using my fingers allowed me to achieve some intricate blending on the canvas that I could never achieve with a brush. I can feel the texture of the paint before I applied it to the canvas. The feeling of paint on my fingers as I manipulate it across the canvas was liberating.
    After college I had all but abandoned painting. Raising two children, working seven days a week, and running our home took up all my time. I lived around the corner from my Art professor Dr. Roosevelt Daniels. I would occasionally stop by and talk to him. He would always ask "what are you doing with your talent"? He never liked my reply. I promised myself once I retired I would start painting again. In 2012 when my job was downsized I started painting. I had been asked me to do a show in 2014. I first started with some novelty items such as landscapes, and still life, but the Holy Spirit kept telling me to paint portraits. I kept refusing and making excuses that I no longer had the ability to paint a portrait, it had been too long, but the spirit of God would not let it go. He got louder every day. I finally trusted him and pick up a brush, and he said put it down! You know you paint with your fingers.

    I was asked once as a child why I did not like drawing pretty things like flowers? I have always been inspired by the wrinkles in an older person face, the emotions shown in the eyes, any objects that are dilapidated. In these things, there is a story struggling to be told, and a beauty of a life well lived. In my paintings when you consider the eyes you can see the soul of a being. With each stoke of my fingertips I leave tiny fingerprints behind, which is a part of my story and journey. I am not longer ashamed of painting with my fingers. I said it with pride. I am a finger painter.
  • Resume

    I started took art classes in high school, and my senior year I took a Commercial Art course at Caddo Career Center. After graduating from Southwood high school I received an art scholarship to Southern University at Shreveport. There I study under the late Dr. Roosevelt Daniels I majored in art education, and later transfer to Southern University in Baton Rouge. The more important decision that I have made is to no longer hide the fact that I paint with my fingers. This has been was liberating and has open doors for me to create!

Education

Member since
Sunday, 09 September 2018 04:32
Last online
3 months ago