Hippo Manchester
December 8, 2005

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Arts: A forest through the trees

Local artist prefers birches as her landscape subject

By George Pelletier   gpelletier@hippopress.com 

East Colony Fine Arts is hosting Debra Grubbs as the featured artist for the month of December and her landscapes will be on display through December 24.

Grubbs began painting in watercolors as a teen, which she jokingly pointed out “was a long time ago.” She studied with artist Corey Staid in Andover, Mass., before heading to California in the late ’70s and attended Las Positas College in Livermore. She earned her degree in Fine Arts, and eventually returned to New England. Currently, she teaches watercolor and multi-media classes at the Currier Museum Art Center and conducts workshops at East Colony’s studios.

As for her latest exhibit, she said, “This is all landscapes and mostly birches that I see in nature.” Grubbs said that she preferred impressionistic colors.

 “These are not realistic colors,” she said.

“The impressionist style of painting is based on your opinion or impression of a scene. With my painting, I prefer nature.” Grubbs says it’s the use of unmixed primary colors and small strokes that distinguishes  her art.

Her inspiration for her colorful and vivid landscapes is simple. “I just get away,” she said. “I go and visit places and will get an idea there at that location.” As for imagery, her landscapes include trees – birches to be exact. “Again, these are birches that I see in nature,” she said. “I don’t put any commercial aspects in my paintings. There are no humans. No roads. I don’t want anything in my paintings to indicate that man has been there.”

Much of Grubbs’ work reflects New England and has appeared in galleries throughout New Hampshire and the Seacoast area, including The Scott Bundy Gallery in Kennebunkport; the New England Craftman’s Gallery in Wolfeboro; Off the Wall Gallery in Newburyport and the Maine Coast Gallery in Old Orchard Beach. Ironically, she remarked, “I don’t pursue galleries.” But obviously, they pursue her.

The East Colony Fine Art Gallery is located in Langer Place, 55 South Commercial St., Manchester, 624-8833.