This drawing has a special significance for Debra. It is the image that was used to promote her son’s documentary film on her evolving relationship with art in light of her Parkinson’s diagnosis.
In commemoration of Parkinson’s awareness month, Debra has partnered with the Michael J. Fox Foundation and again used this very special image to create a Special Edition 500pc puzzle. 50% of the proceeds will go the Michael J. Fox Foundation.
The puzzle may be purchased online here.
Jiggy, the firm that produced the puzzle, asked her about this initiative:
How did you come up with the design for the Shake with Me puzzle?
The image on the puzzle is the same image we picked to promote the film. The original pastel drawing is quite large, 36” x 48”. We felt the dynamic size of the drawing would translate well to a movie poster.
How did you first become passionate about art? What type of art did you focus on when you began your career 35 years ago and how has it since evolved today?
I’ve always been interested in creating. For many years, it was as a designer doing graphics, exhibit, restaurant and retail design. When I was diagnosed, I felt the need to go back to fine art. I don’t want to solve design problems now. I want to play with color, scale imagery and light to create art. Not knowing how long you’ll be able to continue painting or drawing is a great motivator.
You were diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 2012. How has your diagnosis influenced your artistic approach?
At this point in my life, my art is much more free. Part of that comes from losing some of the ability for tight draftsmanship but really it is because I am much more interested in vitality and energy in my work. I love to use vivid colors with dynamic strokes.
Are you hopeful that your art will inspire others with disabilities to use art as a creative outlet?
Definitely. All the doctors say stress is not good for PD. Making art is my way of coping. It gives me great satisfaction to do a good painting. I hope I can encourage others to try creating something: art, music, poetry. How ever they choose to express themselves.