Work: Capturing the Alaska landscape for nearly 40 years, Devita's
glowing oil paintings are prized by collectors from coast to coast and
overseas. Her paintings range from very large expressive landscape paintings
of figures and street scenes to small jewel-like alla prima landscapes
painted outdoors, capturing moments in time of wind and sea and light.
Most smaller paintings are completed "plein air"... working outdoors directly
from the scene. It is this direct painterly approach, using traditional
oil paints, that gives her work the unique fresh style. Her small
paintings generally sell out over the course of the season.
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Born in Seattle, Washington, in 1944 Devita attended Cornish School of
Allied Arts in the 1960's where she studied fine art. In her early
career her work was exhibited in New York Coliseum (ART:usa) and at the
Atkins Museum in Kansas City. She was selected for the National Hallmark
Award and her work appeared on the cover of the Seattle times Sunday magazine.
Devita worked in commercial art and taught fine art in private schools
in Juneau in the 1980's and since 1994, has had numerous solo exhibits
of her paintings in Juneau, Alaska, including several at Portfolio Arts
Gallery through 2001. In 1995, her paintings were selected for a juried
exhibition of the Central Washington Artists Guild, and she had solo exhibits
in the Chotte Gallery in 1996 and 1997. Completed in 2001 and 2002,
are large scale paintings permanently installed in Carnival Cruise Lines'
new ships, the Carnival Legend and the Carnival Conquest. (See Media
Statement: (see also Biography)
While studying fine arts, I fell in love with oil paints. I love the luminosity,
the variety of texture, and permanency. Although I still prefer oils for
smaller paintings, I am able to duplicate their effect quite nicely in
acrylics on larger paintings.
Because a painting is my response to the whole environment, I am enticed
to work plein air and directly from the subject matter. Even my large
scale paintings are birthed outdoors. The physical challenges of working
outdoors allows me to be involved in my surroundings, which contributes
to originality and creativity. To quote Boudin, the nineteenth
century impressionist, “Three brushstrokes painted from nature are worth
more than 2 days work in the studio.”
My goal is not to do a literal representation of what I see, but
to express my response to what I see while at the same time allowing a
certain amount of realism. This particular balance between
realism and abstraction is what makes every artist unique. To me
the individual stroke of paint has integrity in and of itself in
the same way each piece of a mosaic exists as an individual shape.
Van Gogh summed it up this way, "the most technically complete pictures
are seen to be made up of strokes of color placed closely together.
They do not make their effect until you stand a certain distance away
from them. I am more and more convinced that true painters
do not finish their pictures--that is, with everything so meticulous
you could stick your nose into it.”
My favorite time to paint is late in the evening when the shadows
are longer, the colors are intense, and the time is short which forces
me to be spontaneous. I find myself attracted to Post Impressionism and
more particularly the Fauvists Emil Nolde and Georges Rouault, with whom
I share a similar spiritual heritage. So I postscript this statement,
as did some artists of old, “Sole Deo Gloria”.
Stipek Writer Studio
174 S. Franklin,
should be more than meets the eye of the ordinary observer, who sees only
what he has been in the habit of looking for."