Austin Mixed Media Artist – Debbie Upton
Debbie is a mostly self-taught artist. Despite having two art degrees, art education and art therapy, she had very little focused teaching on technique and skill. Her artistic journey began in middle school and has continued on and off throughout her life with a big variety of media, but her focus with alcohol inks began in late 2017.
Debbie was drawn to alcohol inks after seeing them on Pinterest. When she finally decided to try them for herself, she was hooked. For the first time in her life, she had found a medium that she could truly focus on and develop. Ironically, being a fluid artist demands not worrying about perfection, which is something she always struggled with as an artist. As a self-proclaimed “recovering perfectionist” she has found great joy in working with alcohol inks.
Her process with alcohol ink is somewhat experimental. Always testing the medium, trying new techniques, developing what works and what doesn’t. Working mostly on canvas, she uses gravity, straws, heat gun, blowdryer and tons of 91% Isopropyl Alcohol to move the ink around and create certain effects. She also uses droppers, masking fluid, plastic wrap, and brushes.
Most of her inspiration is from color and intuition. Debbie loves color! She also loves the organic nature of the inks and the way they create organic shapes and lines, which is largely unpredictable. She enjoys finishing many of her paintings with a paint pen, by outlining the shapes and lines created in the process, highlighting all the individual color gradations in the piece. This is her favorite part sometimes because the outlining process can be very therapeutic.
Debbie’s vision beyond the purity of creation is to bring more color and joy into the world through her art. When Debbie hears the word “joyful” describing her art it makes her feel like she accomplished something important, especially in a world that can bring plenty of the opposite. But in being human, sometimes she feels the need to transfer negativity or sadness to a canvas as well.