Nature's Palette October 2021 Issue 1
An Interview with Debra Wuts
by Nancy Coleman
“Nature’s Palette,” she calls her work. No kidding. CVG’s October Featured Artist Debra Wuts’ original art photography is so juicy with color and depth it compels even the most casual observer. Well, let’s let Debra explain it: “I love the abstractions, the details that you can see in a different way. A lot of what I do is about capturing the emotional impact or the mood, then taking it further by stylizing it. How it makes you feel. It’s not strict photography; it’s more the coolness of what I’m seeing – and seeing more deeply.”
Debra’s photo art isn’t about capturing what she is seeing so much as it is about capturing what she is feeling about what she sees. It’s clear that she sees more than most to start with, and she takes the time and expertise in post processing her raw images to bring it out even more.
Because Debra spends a fair amount of time hiking, beach walking, and kayaking, she finds most of her subjects in the wild – birds, animals, flowers, hills – and even in her huge organic garden. One good example of how Debra gleans distinctive images from a landscape is Early Twilight, with its bright green moss surrounding pools of rosy-hued water. “We were backpacking up in the Olympic Forest,” she said, “and the smoke from the fires made the views disappear but the Meadow came to life. Early Twilight was taken in the afternoon, and the smoke made the light really saturated. It was kind of magical.”
Debra is definitely a PNW local: born on Whidbey Island, growing up in Bellevue, earning a BS degree at UW, and eventually winding up in Hansville. Her mother painted in oils and Debra “dabbled” in them, learning a lot about using color to depict shade and light. However, she admits that she was always more fascinated by photography. She has always had a camera in hand and of course started out with film. “I was pretty much self taught,” Debra said. “I wasn’t into the technical side, but much more enamored with the creative — the coloring and composition. I’d much rather show what I’m seeing from an unexpected perspective.”
She met her husband, who is a sculptor and artist, thirty-five years ago. Their relationship grew when they started hiking and enjoying being in nature together. When her company offered to transfer her to a branch in Silverdale, she jumped at the chance, knowing she would be even closer to the incredible beauty in this area.
Debra first displayed her work publicly at a framing shop that asked if they could use one of her pieces in their window to attract customers. It sold, and they asked for more, then more. Soon, friends who owned a B&B in Port Townsend asked for works. It took off. She started entering shows, and her photography career lit up. She has been in the CVG Show all but one year since 2014, a distinction she is quietly pleased about, among many others. In 2021, she joined Collective Visions Gallery in Bremerton, and she and her husband were Showcase Artists with Northwind Arts in Port Townsend.