MSAC Individual Artist Award (IAA)2019
Artist StatementPaint application and use of color is central to my work. I am also an autobiographical painter. My paintings feature common themes to our human experience such as aging, loss, gender, independence/dependence.The themes in my paintings come from the relationships in my life. I live with my husband, our two school aged children, and my elderly parents. I am proud to be caregiver to both generations but also overwhelmed. How can I meet the needs of my children and my parents with compassion and love and not sacrifice all of myself in the process? My recent paintings feature both my mother and father. They continue to lose independence and experience health maladies that affect their daily lives and mine. A series of paintings explore my mother's face altered by Bell's palsy. The virus attacking her facial nerve has permanently limited her ability to smile and close one eye.The paintings explore aging, loss of control, and dignity.
Deborah Tomlin is a painter who relishes the feel of brushstrokes and vibrant color in her
paintings. Tomlin grew up in Maryland. In 2008 she returned to her childhood home where she
currently lives with her husband, two school age children, and her aging parents. Raising
children and caring for elderly parents informs her work with common themes to our human
experience such as aging, loss, gender, identity, independence/dependence. Repetition and
closely cropped compositions help convey this emotional content in her paintings.
Deborah Tomlin earned a BFA in painting and drawing from The Pennsylvania State University,
located in State College PA and an MFA from Wayne State University, in Detroit, Michigan.