Christina Deubel’s earliest memory of a medium conducive to creative expression is that flat pencil used by carpenters.
Her grandfather was a carpenter, and he would sharpen the pencil with a pocket knife and hand it to her. Raised on a farm, she took that pencil and drew what she knew best.
“I started drawing cows; I would look through the bull semen catalogs and draw the biggest, toughest-looking bulls,” she said, “My mom must have had about a billion shots of very anatomy-correct bulls. She noticed a skill in me at a young age and started entering me into competitions. I loved it. I drew all the time.”
In high school, Deubel, 29, took every art class available. In 2000, she graduated from Mt. Spokane High School and hit the road for Portland. She got pregnant and returned to Spokane, where she enrolled at Spokane Falls Community College to study fine art.
After only a quarter, she dropped out because she found a lucrative job. “I dedicated everything to that job, oftentimes working 16-hour days running a team of data entry people for a local e-commerce business. As time went on, I realized that I hated business,” she said.
After five years, she moved on with her life, including regaining her love of art, and she started drawing, painting and mixing mediums again. “I had so much welled up inside of me that at times it was unbearable and I just needed to let it out. I am a pretty shy person, so talking was out of the question, and so, I created.”
Dark or light, she released it, the final product becoming a wide range of emotions from flowers, bees or branches to dark shapes, clasped hands or a lone figure standing under a tree and an umbrella. The latter is called “Resilience,” and it encompasses a gamut of emotions as the figure appears vulnerable yet protected, sad yet at peace. The colors are vivid and drip like rain. “Resilience” was selected by Sunday Picture Press to illustrate a story.
Deubel is married to her middle school sweetheart. She’s a mother and an artist, creating her emotionally charged pieces in the basement of her North Side home. For a while, she hid her work, doing it only out of need. Social networks gained her exposure. She sold a dozen pieces at her first show at a wellness studio in Chewelah. She is also doing long-distance collaborative projects and considering taking over the moderating of the arts community on Launchpad.
Through January, Deubel will be exhibiting at Santé, 404 W. Main Ave., and alongside a handful of other artists at Studio 66, a new art gallery at 104 S. Division St. During downtown’s First Friday, both venues will have live music, and Studio 66 will offer beverages and hors d’oeuvres to celebrate its grand opening.
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