"There is more than meets the eye," is the philosophy behind this week's featured artist Deborah Shapiro. She creates fascinating works of art depicting realistic wildlife using scraps of torn magazines "which entices you to study the details." "There is more to all of us than what you initially see," says Shapiro. Read on to find out more of her story and how animals inspire her art.
I’ve always had a connection to animals, even though I never had a pet as a kid. As an adult, I’ve had a number of pets, feed the birds, support animal causes and will vote for any bill that increases the punishment for offenders in animal cruelty cases. My artwork is a tribute and a visual expression of my sentiment to all animals. I feel we share this earth with all creatures, great and small, and we have a responsibility, as the most intelligent creature, to do right by them.You’ll notice most of my collages are of animals that you can find in Northeast Ohio, which are part of my everyday life. Someday, I would like to expand and do collages of animals from around the world.
I say I make collages, but that really doesn’t accurately describe what I do. I sort through gobs of magazines looking for just the right color or texture, rip up the page and use that as my paint. Each collage is made up of hundreds of tiny pieces of magazine pages that create the image.
Want to see Deborah in action? Watch her video below.
I’ve creating art all my life, but haven’t considered myself an artist until a couple years ago. I received an art scholarship for my first year at the local college, but ended up majoring in Communications and going into the corporate video business, which I did for over 30 years. During that time, I probably only made less than ten pieces of art in oils, colored pencil and acrylics, whatever floated my boat at the moment. In 2013, I had a double jaw operation and as I recovered, something switched on in my brain and I started to make collages - lots of them, non-stop.
We have two rescue dogs: a Duck Tolling Retriever mix and some sort of Buhund Spitz mix, both incredibly adorable; two rescue cats, one of which is 19 years old and could care less how adorable the dogs are and the other one is younger who loves to sneak attack the dogs every chance he gets. Finally, we have a tank full of tropical fish. We have no real kids, just the furry ones.
I would have to say my favorite would be whatever is currently on my easel. I try not to get attached to any one piece because it’s too hard to say goodbye when they find a new home. Every new collage, it’s like a journey for me. I have little struggles here and there, but I feel like I breathe life into it when I work on the face, especially the eyes. They seem to take on a personality for me at that point.
If anyone would like to keep up-to-date on my latest pieces or see where you can view my art in person, I’d love to connect with you: