The works of Debbie van Schaik, a local artist who specializes in painting horse portraits, will be on display at its First Sunday exhibit on Nov. 4 from 2-4 p.m. Exhibits Chairperson Tina Neil comments, "The public is cordially invited to come and enjoy Debbie's unique art display." The exhibit will be held at the Francis Creative Art Center at the corner of Maple Avenue and Washington Street in downtown New Martinsville. Light refreshments will be served.
Van Schaik grew up in Baltimore County, Maryland, earned a BA in Fine Arts at Frostburg State College, and worked for 20 years as a graphic artist for the Navy in Washington, D.C.
She has always loved horses, started riding at age eight, and has owned horses for over 30 years. After she and her husband moved to a farm in Wetzel County in 1993, she took time off to garden, ride, and paint. She helped establish Art Talk, a local artist support network prior to ArtsLink. She also worked for six years as a substitute teacher in Wetzel County. She was known by many students as "The Horse Lady," because she drew horses on the blackboards.
Horse paintings by Debbie van Schaik will be on display Sunday at the Francis Creative Arts Center in New Martinsville.
Working from photographs, van Schaik creates her sketches on a computer using Painter 11 software. She often uses one photo for the horse pose and another for the background scenery, combining them in the design. Once the design is approved by a client, she either paints digitally and makes a print, or paints the final portrait on canvas in acrylics or oils.
Her work has been exhibited in Maryland and locally in Wheeling, Sistersville, Marietta, and New Martinsville.
ArtsLink is committed to providing universal accessibility wherever possible. Persons with special needs may contact 304-455-2278 to request assistance. Financial support for ArtsLink's activities thanks to West Virginia Northern Community College, WETZ/ WYMJ/ WNRJ Radio, Chesapeake Energy, Dominion, and Ohio Valley Online.