Deborah Buck’s painting informs all of her endeavors. Originally from Baltimore, Buck credits her early artistic and intellectual development to her exposure to the legendary Abstract Expressionist Clyfford Still, who mentored her as a young artist after reviewing her work. “He talked and I listened,” Buck recalls. “He told me, ‘Nobody can teach you to paint; you already know how to do that. But if you want to be taken seriously, you should learn everything you can about the world around you: religion, politics, design, science.’” As Still opined on the painters and critics of the day, his council made a true impact on Deborah. “Even at so young an age, I knew I was in the presence of something huge,” she remembers. After winning the Skowhegan Medal for Painting from the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine, Still recommended Deborah to attend the program on the full scholarship given in his name, an event that remains as one of the most life changing events in her life.
After graduating with honors from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, Buck accepted a position with a subsidiary of Walt Disney Productions, where she designed animated displays for installation throughout the United States, and abroad; she credits daily drawing and engineering exercises with helping her painting practice as well as teaching her the creative value in any enterprise as it relates to painting. Buck began exhibiting her work professionally during the 1980s and continues today to show throughout the United States.
Involvement in arts education has been a priority for Deborah. She spent 11 years as a Trustee at The Pratt Institure in Brooklyn, NY and remains committed to nuturing the next generations of artists. Buck taught in The School of Visual Arts Masters Design Department for 8 years and has been a member of the Fine Arts Committee of The Long House Reserve in East Hampton, NY.
Deborah’s most recent works on paper reveal her fluid use of pastel and acrylic paint. She continues to explore the interplay of surrealism and abstraction in her work, where her long-held interests in absurdity, romanticism, and the darker side of fairy tales lend a strong narrative sense to her practice.