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Art Status Raised!

                     " Beyond talent lie all the usual; words : discipline, love, luck-but. most of all, endurance."- James Baldwin


I'm proud to announce that I am now a member of the Oil Painters of America!

This is the notice that I received.


Thank you for applying for membership in Oil Painters of America. Your images have been reviewed and we are pleased to advise that you have been accepted as an Associate member in OPA for 2015. You will be receiving your new membership card and other material in the mail in the next few weeks. Congratulations, and welcome to OPA.



It is going to be interesting swimming in a bigger fish tank! I think the challenges is what makes us grow! 


Thanks for reading my blog,


Debra Snyder Heard





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Art Competition

"Time for Tea" by Debra Snyder Heard


I received this notice today from the River Road Show in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  


“Time for Tea” has been selected by the juror to be one of 75 paintings accepted into the 45th National River Road Show. Over 375 entries were submitted by 122 artists from 22 states. We thank you for being part of this exhibition which highlights the diverse and unique talents of artists across the U.S.


It is an honor just getting in and being included with other artists across the country.

It is going to be interesting and fun to visit and see the other artist's work too!



Thank you for reading my blog,


Debra Snyder Heard



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Small Country Church

"Small Country Church" by Debra Snyder Heard


This little church is from Waterproof, Louisiana. Corn had just been planted in the fields around this building and spring was on its way. Cotton fields in the area too!

Every time I travel through this town, I'm always glad to see this "Small Country Church" still standing.


Thank you for reading my blog,


Debra Snyder Heard

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"Painting Small Country Churches" by Debra Snyder Heard


"Sunday Morning"      and    "Only In The South"         by Debra Snyder Heard


"I could never have done what I've done without the determination to concentrate myself on one subject at a time."  By Charles Dickens



Dear Readers,

I recently attended a professional oil painting workshop in Frederiksberg Texas. On the first day we were told to pick one subject to paint for a year, and on the last day we were to announce in front of the class our choice and why. Artists in the class announced  their themes:  trees, cityscapes, mountains, etc. My new art friends were from the western and northern states, even one from Canada. They picked things that they were familiar with, and what they see everyday.


I was the only artist from Louisiana. My first thought was birds ( north Louisiana has a huge, if not the largest variety of birds in our area).

I have lived in the "Bible Belt" for most of my life. When traveling through the southern states to visit family or going to art workshops, I always find myself looking for the small, old country churches that I pass by. So my choice became small churches.


For the passed few months my husband and I  have been traveling around the southern states taking tons of pictures of old rural and small churches for me to work from. It kind of like a treasure hunt with maps and driving down back roads.


My goal is to make the landscape around the churches just as important as the buildings itself.


What I hope to communicate to people who look at my paintings, is to see these treasures that we have now  from the past, and to see what I see, the  humble or noble small buildings in their local environment.

 They are not the huge ugly buildings made of tin and slapped together quickly, but beautiful small buildings that represented for a lot of us, memories of our past, being with our family on Sunday mornings.


If you would like to keep up with my journey on "Painting Small Churches" please send me your e-mail address and I will add you to my e-mail list. I will  try to post once a month.


P.S. If you know where a wonderful small church is, I would be grateful for you to give me directions. so I can take pictures and add it to my painting list.


Thank you,

Debra Snyder Heard




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2014 Goals

2014 Goals by Debra Snyder Heard


By Debra Snyder Heard

A friend of my  in body pump class that I go to.


2014 Resolutions


Art Resolutions/Day


1.    Paint 5 days a week.

2.   Draw 2 days a week.

3.   Enter 2-3 National Art Competitions.

4.    Paint from still life and nature. Photos only for reference.

5.    Attend at least 2 professional workshops a year.

6.    Carry sketchbook around all the time and start doing quick sketches.

7.    Spend 30 to 60 minutes a day reading books/blogs that have good information on oil painting/ drawing.



Health Goals/ Evening


1.    Body Pump 3 times a week. Increase weight after 1 month.

2.    Walk 2 to 3 times a week for 45 minutes.

3.    Zumba 2 or more times weekly.

4.    Cut back on sugar/candy.


Life is good!  I'm very grateful to be able to do the art work that I love,  and exercise to keep my health.


Thank you for reading my blog,


Debra Snyder Heard



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"The Yellow Rose"

Here is a letter I received in my e-mail box. It always nice to get good news!



Dear Debra,

Congratulations! Your painting, "The Yellow Rose", was selected as part of the FAV15% (jury's favorite 15% of the entries) in the November 2013 BoldBrush Painting competition.

You may view the FAV15% paintings, including yours:

This honor means that you might be featured in http://informedcollector.com in the coming months.
Please login to your account and make sure your bio info is current if you want any additional info to run in that article.

Thanks again and congrats again!


Clint Watson
Software Craftsman and Art Fanatic



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Won Best Of Show Ribbon

Won "Best Of  Show" in Ruston Louisiana's 26th Annual Peach Festival Art Exhibit, with my pencil
drawing called "The Perfect Model".

I also won "Third Place" with my oil painting called "The Green Jar".

I'm very happy that I won!!!!


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Just attended an Oil Painting Art Workshop


Waiting for the model to return from break.            Beginning part of one of my still life paintings.


  "Talent is long patience" By Gustave Flaubert


I just finished taking my second,  four day still life and figure oil painting workshop, from the artist Robert Johnson in Fredericksburg Texas.


Met a lot of wonderful people, learned a lot, and had a wonderful time. It's about a ten hour drive for me in each direction (that part is not so good).


I also learned a lot about myself in the artistic sense.


-Which direction I want to go in my paintings.

- What I have to do to get better.

- Understood more about my oil painting art supplies.

- Getting out of my comfort zone is good.


I take notes when I go to art workshops. When I get home, I retype them and keep them in a folder with the workshop artist’s name. Having notes organized in folders helps me to find information fast later when I am painting.


I’m ready to get back to painting in my studio!


Thank you for reading my blog,

Debra Snyder Heard



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Waiting For Romance


"There are always flowers for those who want to see them."  By Henri Matisse 1869-1954


A flower cannot blossom without sunshine, and man can not live without love.
- Max Muller


 Composition - The act of organizing the elements of an artwork into a harmoniously unified whole.


"Waiting for Romance" is a beautiful reminder that everyone wants true love and romance.


Art jobs in my younger years included being a display manager for high quality retail stores. My work was to arranged merchandise in a way to attract customers to want to buy and be excited by what they see. I also worked with retail market buyers drawing their layout ads to show/instruct their company photographers how the merchandise was to be displayed for newspaper ads.  


Now when I arrange still life for my paintings I see how my past experiences has benefited me.


Planning my painting composition takes one or two days to arrange, and to decide how I want everything to look. Color, lighting, theme, unity, harmony,  variety, dominance, balance (asymmmetical or symetrical), and sizes of everything are taken into consideration. I also have to really like it!


Next I take pictures of my still life many times at different angles. I upload the photos on my computer to see if I like the way everything looks. Using the computer and camera gives me a different viewpoint angle of looking at everything. If I don’t like the way things look, I go back and change things up in my still life arrangement. Then I take lots photos again ( I do this many times). If I have to go to photoshop to crop or enlarge I do.  Finally I print out my selected photo just for reference. I get everything exactly the way I want so I won’t run into problems later. After I do the under painting, I put the photo away and work from the still life only.


I see a lot of beautifully still life paintings from artists that show wonderful skills, but the composition is weak. It destroys the power of the painting.



Life has a really neat way of connecting everything from the past to the present. 


Thank you for reading my blog,


Debra Snyder Heard


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Working at an Art Crawl




         Working at an Art Crawl


I am a quiet person that likes to stay at home, working in my art studio, reading a good book, or working in my garden or flower beds.


I belong to a local co-op art gallery that takes part in art crawls every other month. When it comes time to go to these things I usually don’t want to go, but I make an effort to push myself to advertise my art.


Tonight I saw quite a few people stop at my painting for long periods to time (that means they really like them) to look.  


I made an effort to meet and talk to people that came into the gallery.  It turned out to be fun, and it wasn’t because I was serving the wine. ( :


                                         Here is some more of my paintings.


Thank you for reading my blog,


Debra Snyder Heard                        




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