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Tons of Pricey Cheap Crap!

" If you start with something that's false, you're always covering your tracks." By Paul Simon

Uncle Bill by Debra Snyder Heard


I went into Hobby Lobby (which is always packed with people) today for art supplies (not a lot of choices in town) and got depressed. I saw many people buying huge framed prints and posters. Others had baskets full of stuff to decorate their house with (not Christmas stuff). They were buying cheap art prints that will be thrown or given away later just to get rid of, when they redecorate.


When I walk onto a person’s house for the first time and see original artwork (even if its kids work or an amateur’s original), it makes all the difference in the world. Poster prints are ok, but they are in the same group as plastic plants. Why spend so much money on tons of prints and stuff to decorate when there are so many artists on websites, and galleries in town that do wonderful work? Why not spend the same amount of money on one good artwork instead of a bunch of cheap crap to fill up space?


I realize that people buy art to match their living room. The work has no personal meaning to them besides matching colors. Many professional interior decorators do just the opposite when they decorate. They will buy a painting or artwork first and then match colors and style.


I took piano lessons for a long time (eight years) as an adult when my boys were younger. The gentleman I hired to tune my piano told me he looked forward coming into my house, because he loved looking at my drawing (of a man on a horse) that I had over my piano. This guy had been in a lot of houses, and he knew what good art was!


My suggestion to people who want to buy original art but are not sure how:

  1.  Look at lots of art, go to art fairs (not craft fairs), art galleries, and look at artist websites (there are tons of them).
  2.  When you see one that captures you in your heart and mind that you enjoy looking at and want to own, then that’s the one to buy even if you have to    make monthly payments.
  3.  Buy art work that you will keep , hand down to your children and grandchildren (be sure to tell them the story of why you bought it).

 This type of art will not get dumped into the trash when you change furniture. It will be one you will enjoy and cherish.


Thank you for reading my blog. If you have any questions or want to say something, please do so.


Debra Snyder Heard




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Take Tons of Photos to Work From



Renaissance Woman by Debra Snyder Heard 



This is a drawing that I did from an earlier Renaissance Festival. This woman’s smile and sweet music was a pleasure to experience.


 After extensive cleaning, cooking, and visiting with family that came to my house for Thanksgiving, I’m ready to get back to the drawing board.

I have started a new drawing from a photo that I took at a recent Renaissance Festival ( will post a photo of the drawing in a later blog).

I take lots (300 to 500) of photos at events, and hope to have 2 or 3 shots that I can use.  I do work from still life, but sometimes I don’t have that choice.


Things that help get good pictures:

1.              Morning or evening light.

2.              Good camera (consider it an investment).

3.              Planned theme or know ahead exactly what in your photos. Examples: dogs, old ladies, trees.

4.              Take lots of pictures of the same subject at different angles.

5.              Don’t forget to take up close pictures too.


Thank you for taking time to read my blog.

Debra Snyder Heard



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Class Oil Painting Experience

Marlena by Debra Snyder Heard

 I attended Delta State University majoring in Graphic Design  1977-78, and I had a wonderful painting instructor.The professor's name was Sammy Britt. For our last assignment we were told paint whatever we wanted (typical 70’s thing). Everyone was working on a huge canvas to get that “masterpiece”.


The professor (Sammy Britt)  told me he wanted me to paint on a small flat panel of a still life he had set up in the room.  Every time I walked in that classroom for class, he had me start all over on new panel of the same still life that was set up.


  At the end of the semester when it was time for class critique everyone had their huge paintings set up in front of the room ,and I had only a couple of partly painted  paintings to show. At first I was really upset that I didn’t have a finished painting to show, and that it was going to hurt my grade, but when I got to looking real close I realized that the teacher had given me a gift of seeing light, color, and shadows, to know that it is different every day. I learned more from those little paintings than I would have painting that “masterpiece”. I did get my A!


Thank you,

Debra Snyder Heard


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Finished "Best Friends" Drawing

Best Friends by Debra Snyder Heard


This pencil drawing is about 8 by 14 inches.

I was taken in by this young girl and her horse at a local rodeo. I just liked the way everything looked! Every young girl’s dream is to have a horse! Some things in history never change. I noticed how her horse was very calm, and enjoyed having her next to him too.


This drawing will be included in my “Women Enjoying Life” category on my art website.


Hope you are having a wonderful day, and thank you for taking time to read my blog! If you have any comments please post in the boxes below.


Thank you,

Debra Snyder Heard










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Music While I Draw

I am a very contented and happy artist when I'm drawing and listening to music . Add a coffee or tea cup and  homemade cookies, my dog Daisy sleeping in her bed in my studio, and having the house to myself, is my definition of heaven.


My drawings take a long time to complete. To keep a steady hand while drawing, I have to keep the rest of my body perfectly still. This means only my drawing hand and eyes are moving. It’s like being a surgeon in the operating room (I will never have a doctor operate on me unless he/she has taken art lessons).


Every line is placed on the paper for a reason. Nothing is drawn randomly! It can be very tedious at times, but it is worth the time and trouble in the end. To keep from getting sleepy (from not moving around much) I listen to music I love, which is a lot of different kinds, but mostly Blues Jazz. My favorites include Ry Cooder, John Lee Hooker, B.B. King, Eric Clapton, and Nina Simon. I  take short breaks (load the dishwasher or washing machine), and walk my dog. Living in Louisiana has made me appreciate blues jazz music.  Just wanted to show my gratitude towards the musicians that make my drawing time more fun!


Thank you for taking time to read my blog.

Debra  Snyder Heard


 Renaissance Girl by Debra Snyder Heard


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Drawing Paper I Use


Trapper by Debra Snyder Heard





                                                    "Nothing is better than a good drawing." By Geroge De Groat


I used hot pressed Bristol board for years for drawing illustrations for graphic design classes, and a children’s book that I created.


 In recent art workshops I attend, the art instructors had us use Hot Pressed Water Color Paper, which I use exclusively now, and really like. It has the combination of softness of cold press paper, and hardness of hot pressed paper which allows me to draw fine details. The only drawback is I have to do a lot of layering with my pencil to get a nice dark shade value. It is also expensive to use.


The brand I use is ARCHES; Hot Pressed Watercolor 140lb paper.


If you are a beginner drawer, I would recommend you to use any of Strathmore sketchbooks. Papers come in different weights. Buy paper that is at least 100lb. Paper less than 100lb. does not handle erasing without tearing and looks cheap. When you build up your skills then start using the hot pressed water color paper and hot pressed Bristol boards.


Thank you  for taking time to read my blog!


Debra Snyder Heard


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My Artwork Was Accepted Into Competition

Some people don't like competition because it makes them work harder, better. By Drew Cary


                     Marlenia by Debra Snyder Heard



My drawing of “Marlenia” made it into the 42nd ANNUAL RIVER ROAD SHOW!


There were 479 entries submitted by 153 artists, and only 80 art works were selected from 51 artists, from 15 states to exhibit! The exhibition is open December 5 through January 27, at the Louisiana State Archives Building, 3851 Essen Lane, Baton Rouge. I'm very excited to be part of this exhibit!

If your in the area during this time, be sure to visit this art exhibit!


I've been running to the mail box for the past few days, hoping for this letter. It's such a relief and joy that one of my art works made it in!


Thank you dear readers for taking time to read my blog!


Debra Snyder Heard



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Artist Gotta Do What Artist Gotta Do

Marlena by Debra Snyder Heard



                                                                                Renaissance Woman

                                                                                by Debra Snyder Heard



                                                                                      Art is not a thing, it is a way.” – Elbert Hubbard


       I’m off to the Texas Renaissance Festival this weekend.  Hopefully come back with a lot of good pictures to work from.  It is a 7 hour drive to the festival and back for me. As an artist I have to travel a lot, to fairs, art workshops, rodeos, and festivals.  


In the past I would not drive long distance by myself.  This was one of my self –limiting beliefs of not being able to do certain things (like driving at night). I have stopped that, because the more I do something out of my comfort zone, the more comfortable it gets.


This drawing of “Renaissance Woman” was done a few years ago; from an earlier festival I attended. I thought this woman was absolutely beautiful the way she smiled and showed her music skills.  Everyone always looks at young perfect girls for beauty (which is so cliché and mostly shallow).  I hope to see this lady again, at the festival,  to take more pictures (better camera this time) and  to draw her again.


Thank you for reading my blog! If you want to say anything or have questions, I would love to here from you!


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