Deborah Cruce AKA Queen Bee

Artyczar

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Happy New Year everyone. We're finally back with new spotlights! We are so happy and honored to introduce Deborah Cruce who you all have come to know and love as Queen Bee. She is an excellent artist who works in a variety of media like colored pencil and acrylics. I'm sure you've seen a lot of her work all over the site, but it is my pleasure to feature her here in the Spotlight. So, let's get right to her interview. Hope you all enjoy it. I know I did. Thank you so much Deborah for participating!

1. Hi Deborah. Where did you grow up and where do you live and work now?

I was born in Havanah, Cuba many moons ago. My father was working there for a while teaching textile printing. Our family left and came back to the states when I was a baby. Unfortunately, I don't remember anything about my time there. I lived in a very small town called Whitmire until I finished second grade. Then we moved to Georgia to another small town called Swainsboro. I went to college then got married and moved to Louisville, Kentucky for a very short time while my husband attended seminary to become a Minister of Music. We moved back to Georgia and lived five more places. For 12 years I have been back in South Carolina living in the Upstate.

2. How did you begin making art in your life? (Did you study it?)

I remember when I was very young (Yes, I can remember that far back.) always having coloring books and crayons. Spending much time learning to color in the lines. Now I know it's ok to color outside of the lines. Often that is a lot more fun and rewarding. Covering boxes with seashells and gluing sweet gum balls on a large board to create flowers in a pot are just a couple of things I remember doing in my youth.

In high school I took art classes. When I went to college I majored in art.

Black Dog.jpg

Black Dog, Acrylic on canvas, 8x10 inches.

3. What medium do you usually work in?

For me it is difficult to say that I work in a particular medium. Colored pencil and acrylics make up a lot of my work.

4. How often do you make art?

It varies. This year I haven't done much. Last year I was doing 2 to 3 works a week. Sometimes more.

Portrait.jpg

Portrait, Colored Pencil on Bristol Vellum, 9x12 inches.

5. What is your favorite subject matter?

My favorite subjects are animals especially birds and butterflies. Flowers are also a favorite.

6. Is there a place where you draw inspiration from?

As far as inspiration it can be sparked from almost anywhere including memories and feelings. I started photography to have inspiration for my artwork. Soon I fell in love with photography and art took a backseat to it. Photography became a business for a while.

Ruling the Roost.jpg

Ruling the Roost, Colored Pencil on Mulberry paper, 9x12 inches.

7. Do you have any specific artistic influences (artists or styles)?

I really can't say that I have any specific artistic influences.

8. Can you share your (typical) painting process with us?

I used to never sketch what I was going to paint and just dive in. I do sketch first some of the time now. Some of the things I like to use as art aids are cotton swabs toothpicks and cotton balls. I usually begin creating a painting and wonder how in the world is this going to look like anything decent. As the work progresses thankfully it usual ends up being something I am pleased with. It is like watching a caterpillar turn into a butterfly or an ugly duckling into a swan.

Sunflower.jpg

Sunflower, Oil Pastel on Pastel paper, 9x12 inches.

9. Would you describe your art-making space?

Wherever I can find space. My art making space is usually sitting in my den using one of those white plastic portable tables. So excited, my husband is buying me an art and craft station from Hobby Lobby for Christmas.

When traveling I take a laptop board and colored pencils, pencils or markers because they are portable and not messy.

10. Is there a motivating force, person, friend, motto, or piece of advice that keeps you going?

My husband is very supportive of my art. Advise would be to create, just do it. You are your own worst critic don't listen to you. It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks. A motivating force would be the beauty all around us. For me even a dead flower or decaying fruit can hold beauty.

Tiger.jpg

Tiger, Colored Pencil on Artagain black drawing paper, 9x12 inches.

Link to Deborah's Photography site.
Link to Deborah's "MeWe" Profile.
 
Queen Bee said:
Advise would be to create, just do it. You are your own worst critic don't listen to you. It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks.
Excellent advice! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and works with us :)
 
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Wonderful interview, Deborah! I've admired your work for some years now. :) I love your approach (It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks.) and still need to get that into my head at times!

So happy you participated. Thank you!
 
Yes, a wonderful interview, Deborah! You are so gifted! I always like your interpretations of animals and birds in addition to all the other subjects you choose. I hope the new art and craft station makes it much easier for you to paint whenever the mood strikes.
 
Wonderful interview, Deborah! I've admired your work for some years now. :) I love your approach (It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks.) and still need to get that into my head at times!

So happy you participated. Thank you!
Thanks Terri. It really doesn't matter what anyone else thinks about your painting. I don't like how everyone of mine turns out but I am always glad I did each one.
 
Yes, a wonderful interview, Deborah! You are so gifted! I always like your interpretations of animals and birds in addition to all the other subjects you choose. I hope the new art and craft station makes it much easier for you to paint whenever the mood strikes.
Thank you. I have to admit animals and birds in particular are my favorite subjects. I can remember when I dreaded not doing portraits of people. The craft station should encourage me to do more painting.
 
Deborah, after seeing your beautiful work since the inception of CS, I was really thrilled to read about you and your art. Thank you for sharing your life and art with us. Portrait displays such wonderful delicacy, restraint and freshness, whilst still giving the subject so much life and sparkle. The composition and shapes in Ruling the Roost are very compelling. Tiger is remarkable in texture, value and detail. Your photos must be outstanding!

Ayin, thank you for the interview and all you and Hannah do for CS.
 
Joy thank you for the comments on my work. I can't wait to read spotlights of more of the artist here. It is great to learn more about them. I really need to post more in the photography section of CS. I don't mind anyone using my photos as references for their artwork.

Ditto your comment to Ayin.
 
Nice interview and nice jobs accompanying her. I like the example of the caterpillar that becomes a butterfly. I wish I had started drawing first because things like these apply to many things, if you stop first, if you give up, then, it's really over, we won't know if the caterpillar would have become a butterfly. It is also true that a rotten fruit can hide, bring beauty. Some of the most beautiful paintings in history have bad fruit as their subject. as well as really look.
 
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