Artist Deborah McAllister with painting

Deborah McAllister: I have been creating art all my life. After finishing graphic design school at age 21, I studied painting and began entering competitions. As an introvert, I don’t enjoy being the center of attention, but I discovered the only way to grow as an artist was to challenge myself to go beyond my comfort zone. I found support in doing that by joining various art associations and interacting with other artists. Finding “your tribe” is essential, and when I got involved with Plein Air Artists Colorado, I met others with a passion for plein air painting.

Participating in outdoor shows was terrifying for me at first, but I saw it as a great way to get my art before an audience. I also organized and taught workshops to develop more confidence and experience. Although painting in public places can still be awkward at times, I’ve come to enjoy the conversations that arise when I become part of the experience for vacationers, sometimes stopping traffic on a remote mountain pass, just by painting beside the road. It makes me laugh to realize that in a national park, plein air painters are almost as interesting as bears!

To see more of Debora’s work, visit:

oil painting of bright colored sunset over beach
Deborah McAllister, Dauphin Island Sunset, oil, 9 x 12 in., 2020
oil painting of mountain terrain landscape
Deborah McAllister, Heritage View, oil, 12 x 9 in., 2022


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