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Please tell us a little about your work and accomplishments with painting. Having painted on and off for the last thirty years, my work has been limited to private shows in my studio once or twice a year and, only recently, in group shows outside my home. My accomplishments are personal in nature. In 1992, I graduated from the University of California at Santa Cruz with a BA and one year of post graduate work in art.

What inspired you to paint East African subjects? For the last six years I have been impelled to paint images of the Maasai and Samburu Tribal peoples and wild life of East Africa. I was blessed with three opportunities to visit this area of Africa over the past 10 years. The inspiration for my paintings come from fond memories, sketches and photographs taken during these visits. I am also fortunate to be involved in volunteer work at an animal actors compound in Salinas, California, where I have the freedom to visit, paint and sketch many of the wild animals housed there.

Are there any artists who have influenced to your work? Artists who have influenced me include:

  • Morten Solberg
  • Judy Wagner
  • Arne Westerman
  • Fred Colbus
  • Hardy Hansen
  • Jenny McDade
  • Patrick Aherne
  • Eduardo Carillo
  • Bob Gerbracht
  • Don Weygant
  • Kay Metz

Do you paint full time? Up until a year ago I practiced full time as a Registered Nurse. Currently, I work one day a week in the medical field and paint the remaining six days.

What are your goals with respect to your artwork? While making a living from my art is an aspiration, my main focus and goal is to continue to explore and improve on my ideas and creativity. Teaching others to "see" the shapes and colors of the world around us has always been and continues to be a particular joy of mine. I have always felt that painting and drawing are a continuous process, not a means to an end. I am always surprised and a little disappointed when I reach the completion of a painting.

What can visitors to your ArtFelt site expect to find? My site offers the visitor a view of my current works, and a link to the many resources I use in my work.

View E-Cards from Judy Downs

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