Deborah Bowen discovered her passion and talent for art when she retired in 2001. After 26 years as a dental hygienist, she was ready to let go of the daily routine and free her creative energy. Married to dentist, Daniel Bowen, for 38 years and mother of two adopted children (now adults) from South Korea, Deborah's family life has been and continues to be filled with love and loads of activity. As she encouraged her children to embrace their passions and seek their dreams, she realized retirement was the ideal time for her to do the same.
It began with a few art classes at Grand Valley State University (2001-2004) and progressed from there. Initially, Deborah's artistic style was Impressionistic and landscapes were a frequent subject of her paintings.
A few years ago, Deborah was diagnosed with Stage II breast cancer. Undergoing a lumpectomy, chemotherapy, bilateral mastectomy, radiation, and reconstructive surgery changed her way of life and perspective. Deborah explains, "After losing all my energy for a while and enduring 18 months of rugged treatment, I just couldn't go back to impressionistic landscapes. It felt good: it felt freeing to paint abstract. It's more of a process - a discovery of who I am and where I am going." When you browse through Deborah's online gallery, there is an energetic spirit of playfulness and joy - elements of surprise and whimsy- unexpected ways of using materials such as fluid acrylics, paint markers, water-soluble crayons and drawing pencils. Her substrates range from canvas to watercolor papers to wood panels. Deborah says, "With abstract art, you're free to use virtually any tools and journey wherever your heart and soul takes you in the creative process."
This past year, Deborah studied with abstract artist Jane Davies. She also attended Ox-Bow School of Art in Saugatuck, Michigan. A proud recipient of several awards in juried shows throughout Michigan, including Muskegon Museum of Art Regional and Grand Rapids Festival of Arts. Currently, she is an active member of Lakeshore Visual Arts Cooperative and displays her art work at the Gallery Uptown in Grand Haven, Michigan.
Cancer Survivor. Frequent Traveler.
Genuiine. Imaginative. Curious. Playful.
West Michigan resident.
Lake Michigan lover.
Spring Lake Community Member.
A local Gem.
For me, creating a painting is like solving a problem, completing a puzzle, or playing a game. The strategy of the game changes as each player makes a move. I am the first player and the piece of art is the second player. The players' interaction encourages creativity and determines the outcome. Secrets and surprises are revealed on the "game board" and the process continues until it is evident there are no more moves to be made. Each mark I make on my creation's surface informs the next move made - and shapes the final work, whether it be oil, acrylic, or mixed media. It's always a process - an approach to creativity that frees the mind and produces art to inspire, uplift, energize, and excite its viewers and surrounding environment.