Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Our newest, special guest artist, Debbie Durnwald, comes to us from Alpharetta, Georgia!

I feel so lucky to have met Debbie, she is as sweet, kind and generous as she is talented! 

Her photos will make you want to get right on a plane and visit the places she has been.  Meet Debbie!!

Business: Petite Pastiche Photography

Social Media: Facebook- Debbie Walker Durnwald
          Twitter- dwdurnwald
          Pinterest- Debbie Durnwald
          Instagram- DEBBIEDURNWALD

Location: Alpharetta, Georgia USA

Debbie, tell us how all this wonderfulness began!

Although I took a photography class in college, at the University of Georgia, I am mainly a self-taught photographer.  I have always loved photography, but I became seriously interested in pursuing it after a trip to Paris, France in 2004 and 2005.  When I returned home from my trips,I would sit for hours editing the many photographs I had taken.  I found that each photo would bring back a flood of memories from the trip and that alone was worth every crazy angle I positioned myself in, in order to get the best shot.  I then put my favorite images on a bulletin board in my home and was surprised when people would comment on the "beautiful postcards".  It was at that moment, when I thought it might be possible to sell my photography.  As a longtime Etsy buyer, I thought that Etsy would be a good venue, in which to try it out.  I started the business in October of 2012 and since then, I have met the most incredible people through this process.  Every day I get to interact with so many talented artisans from all over the world.  I am on Etsy teams with artists I greatly admire, like Sue and my customers are treasures that have come from many different parts of the world.  I have been fortunate to have so far sold my art in the U.S., Canada, Israel, Ireland and France.  

Corresponding with these customers has given me so much joy.  It is such a pleasure when someone tells me that they are buying my art for a wedding gift or as a special gift for someone who has overcome a serious illness.  It also makes me happy when someone purchases my photography as their special art selection for a main room in their home, or purchases a piece that reminds them of their travels with a loved one or family. To know that what I do, can make someone happy makes it all worthwhile.  

Before I was able to travel extensively, I loved looking at photographs from various parts of the world.  Now, I feel like I can bring that same enjoyment to others through my photographs and it is such a rewarding feeling.  When someone tells me that they look at my photography as a means of a happy escape, or as an armchair traveler, I couldn't be more excited. Just to know that something that I do, can make someone feel that way, makes my day.  Above all else, this is what motivates me.

My only regret is that I did not take photography seriously at an earlier date.  I so envy someone who senses their passion at a young age.  Thinking back on the interesting places that I have been and seen, it makes me sad that I didn't take the opportunity to capture those images when I could.  As a matter of fact, I was in London once at the Trooping Of The Colors Ceremony, when I literally stood about 10 feet away from the Queen Mother and Princess Diana.  I was on cloud 9 thinking that I had captured a great photo of the pair, only to find out that the camera had no film.  Oh well, you win some and you loose some.  

Can you talk about your process?

My process is that I take pictures anytime I travel.  I also like to go to various places near my home to take photos, as well.  I am probably the most relaxed and happy when I know that I have terrific places to shoot.  After a day of shooting, I can't wait to load my pictures onto the computer so I can see the images enlarged.  Seeing a photograph come alive, whether on the computer or in a darkroom, has always fascinated me.  

How did you come up with the name of your business?

I chose the name Petite Pastiche mainly because I am a Francophile and I really wanted to use a French name.  I liked the word pastiche, because it simply means some of this or that.  It can also be interpreted as imitating another's art, and that is what I do.  I capture beautiful scenes that have been made by God or man.  As for petite, well,  I take photographs of a "little" of "this and that" and it is usually of "something that someone else has created", whether it be nature, architecture, gardens, etc. Anyway, it just made since to me. :)

Who would be an artist you would most like to have dinner with?

Vincent Van Gogh.  Although, my favorite artist is Paul Cezanne, I have read that he was grumpy, so no dinner for him.  Instead, I would like to sit down and tell Vincent Van Gogh's tortured soul, that he indeed became one of the most famous, popular and well respected artists of all time.  It pains me when artists die without knowing how much their art affected other people and how well loved they became.  

Have you read any books that changed your life?

The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer.  I have a tendency to be too empathetic at times, especially to those I hold close.  In other words, if my loved one was unhappy, I was unhappy.  This book showed me what a destructive and meaningless waste of life that is.  It helped me to try to give up trying to control every situation and basically to "let go and let God." I highly recommend it.

What are some of your other creative pursuits? 

I do like to paint in both oils and watercolors and I was an interior designer for 8 years.  

What are you currently working on? 

I just got back from a trip to Seattle with my husband and I am currently editing the photographs from the trip.  I try to leave my photographs as natural as possible, but sometimes angles need to be tweeted and cropping needs to be done.  I've also had several people suggest a showing of my photographs at a gallery, but I haven't had time to pursue that path.  It would be wonderful though. Also, my dream would be to have my work published in a book.  


Peggy Johnson said...

Love Debbie's photos! Great interview =D

Unknown said...

Love Debbie! She sees beauty in everything and everyone!