Artist of Note | Karyn DeBont

In plain sight

Karyn DeBont, September Glow, oil, 12 x 16.

Karyn DeBont, September Glow, oil, 12 x 16.

This story was featured in the March 2018 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art March 2018 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

“There are beautiful views in any given direction at any given time no matter where you live, but you have to really look,” Karyn DeBont says. “You need to get out of your own way and enjoy the beauty out there.” As a landscape painter, DeBont always sees the value of the view in front of her. The artist frequently visits and is inspired by rural areas around her home in New Mexico that people often pass through without a second thought.

After DeBont earned her degree in botany and design, she worked as a landscape designer for 30 years before taking oil-painting classes. “Through those I learned more about expressing yourself rather than just painting from a photograph,” she says. Today DeBont’s love of nature and interest in botany shines through in her work. “I’ve been told that I belabor plants more than I should,” she says. “But the vegetation here has to work really hard to survive and get established in this climate.” DeBont uses both brushes and palette knives to achieve different textures but says she hopes her work becomes more painterly going forward.

Her main focus now is to portray all of her subjects with integrity. Whether it is a small cactus flower or a sprawling gorge, she hopes to convey the same amount of respect for every subject. “Out here, you can get away from [people] and listen to the birds and feel the wind and get lost in it,” she says. “You don’t get locked up in your own world, and you can finally see.” —Mackenzie McCreary

DeBont is represented by Wilder Nightingale Fine Art, Taos, NM, and www.kdebontart.com.

This story was featured in the March 2018 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art March 2018 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

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