Debra Cook Shapiro

debcookshapiro's picture
Neighborhood: SOMA

I paint landscapes with figures that are inspired by happy occasions,both real and fantasized. I work from photographs,memory, and my imagination which strays from what I actually have witnessed.
Recently, I have added a new step before starting my oil paintings. I discovered that creating collages forces me to be decisive with shapes,values and color choices and the spontaneity of skipping the drawing step. I compose the images from layering geometric shapes until I find a reasonable similarity to my chosen reference. This step not only creates an interesting version of the narrative I am portraying but it informs the next paintings that I do based on the facets of the form that I have seen differently with scissors and matte medium!
I am inspired to make paintings about celebrations and the importance of connecting with others through social rituals and gatherings. I have always loved attending parties and events and love that now I also receive inspiration for exploring this theme in more depth while I am sharing in the excitement!
I love the rococo period paintings from France and Italy and think of the contemporary version of those opulent masterpieces when I plan my paintings. In my work I seek to create beautiful escapes from the mundane realities of ordinary life that hopefully bring joy and sweet reflections to the viewers.