Hi! My name is Debbie Brosen and I’m from upstate New York. I’m a self-taught artist and reside in Kinderhook, NY with my husband John. Growing up in a rural area gave us both an appreciation for nature and wildlife. The time we spend in the outdoors hiking, hunting and observing nature and wildlife provides the inspiration and ideas for my art.
As a kid, I loved animals, horses, and spending time fishing and hunting with my Dad. When he began working second shift, he would leave me little notes or pictures. One day, I copied a drawing of Snoopy that he left me, and in turn, left it for him. My Dad thought it was great, so I continued to draw. His drawing of Snoopy hangs in my studio today as a remembrance of “where it all began.”
When I was 8 years old, a friend of my Dad’s asked me to paint a wood duck on a piece of wood he cut in the shape of a duck. He offered to buy me a paint set, and pay me for the painting. I had never painted before, but I agreed to do it. To my surprise, I really enjoyed mixing the colors, and my journey began.
My parents and friends have always been supportive and encouraged me to do my art. My Dad always told me, “I had a gift from God and should not waste it.” His dream for me was to become known for my art. Unfortunately, I lost my Dad to cancer in 2007 and he didn’t get to see some of my best work and proudest moments. However, I know he would be very proud of me and everyone tells me he is watching over me.
When I first started to paint, I painted on wooden plaques, canvas, saw blades, slate, and tree fungus. Then a friend told me I needed to find my own niche. Since I grew up around nature and came from a hunting family, he suggested I try painting on an antler or a feather. So, in the late 1980’s I painted my first feather. I showed it to a couple of hunters and they told me I was onto something. I enjoyed the challenges painting on a feather presented, and the fact that these beautiful feathers were being re-purposed and not just discarded. So, I developed my technique and made the wild turkey feather my “canvas of choice”.
The realistic and detailed approach I have mastered has drawn a great deal of attention to my work. Every feather is different, both in markings and texture, and therefore, every painting is unique. I create personal treasures of cherished pets, hunting memories, beautiful wildlife, and more.
My art has brought great joy to me, as well as others. I have met many wonderful people through exhibiting at sportsman shows, creating one of a kind pieces of art for the person who “has everything or is hard to buy for”. I have done inspirational paintings for people who were very ill, and have made Christmas, wedding and birthday gifts for others. As I sit and watch family members open presents on Christmas Day, it gives me great joy to know that there are many people out there somewhere opening something I have created for them. This is the best inspiration for me to continue creating.