We’re excited to introduce you to the always interesting and insightful Deborah Hartigan Viestenz. We hope you’ll enjoy our conversation with Deborah below.
Deborah, thanks for taking the time to share your stories with us today We’d love to hear about when you first realized that you wanted to pursue a creative path professionally.
I never had a choice about being creative. Even as a kid, my mind seemed to work differently than other children. I was happiest down at the brook at the end of the street I grew up on, watching water, rocks and patterns created by the shifting water’s path.
It was my grandmother Rosemary, an accomplished painter, who was the real catalyst. She not only inspired me to paint, but taught me the importance of patience and perseverance. At the time, I was taking oil painting lessons three times a week from a local master. I wanted to learn to paint what I saw–the reason all of my work is in some way or another inspired by nature.
As always, we appreciate you sharing your insights and we’ve got a few more questions for you, but before we get to all of that can you take a minute to introduce yourself and give our readers some of your back background and context?
For as long as I can remember, I’ve has been fascinated by nature. Throughout my life, I’ve spent countless hours watching how the movement of water could transform everything, including rocks, wearing away the outer shells to reveal their inner beauty.
I’ve always believed beauty can come from even the most unlikely places–even waste. Which is why my work encompasses multiple mediums, from oil on canvas to sculpture created from upcycling and reuse. I enjoy working on a large scale using heavy brush strokes and strong color interactions. But upon closer inspection, it’s possible to see the myriad layers and detailing that make each piece unique. I like to think viewers are able to see the landscape in a new way and appreciate the beauty around us.
My greatest joy is collaborating with clients one-on-one to create art that speaks to the heart and vision. I’m also a huge believer in giving back. The core message: Experience the beauty in art and in the art of giving.
: Is there a particular goal or mission driving your creative journey?
As I previously mentioned, there’s beauty everywhere and in everything. A million beautiful things can be done with what we take for granted–and throw away–every day.
Remains Inc. is a partnership with Gary Buckner, founder of Stash Design, based on creativity with conscience. Our commitment is three-fold: 1. To creatively create something of value from waste; 2) Assist in the creation of new jobs — regardless of economic and education stature; 3) Donate a portion of art sales to like-minded, sustainably-minded organizations and Dallas-based homeless initiatives.
To create our sculptures, we use only repurposed scrap metal that would end up in a scrapyard, a landfill or in China. Demonstrating unity and solidarity, each sculpture in the collection fuses together waste materials to form a body of strength granting freedom to those with vision.
What’s the most rewarding aspect of being a creative in your experience?
My motto has always been: Do what you love. As an artist, I’m able to bring that full-circle, incorporating my love of nature with what I do for a living.
We are touched by what we see every day: Birds, grass, trees, lakes, oceans, stone. Water on our hands and bodies. Sunlight warming our skin. Darkness making us seek light. My goal is to express the emotional feelings of wonder and admiration of these natural elements, events and occurrences—to have the viewer experience a different way of seeing.
On a different level, I have the opportunity to work on amazing projects. Case in point: a 2019 custom installation in American Airline’s Flagship Lounge at DFW Airport. That commission included over 25 original artworks along with repurposing some existing pieces. Seeing that come to life was definitely a highlight of my career.
- Website: https://www.dhvartworks.com/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dhv_artworks/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/deborah.hartigan.viestenz/