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Northrup King Building

1500 Jackson Street Northeast
Minneapolis, MN
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Debra Thornton has lived in Minnesota most of her life. She painted in oils in high school and minored in art in college. She went on to law school and became a corporate attorney and General Counsel. Like most working parents, life got busy, in a hectic yet wonderful way. She didn’t pick up a paintbrush for over twenty- five years. Twenty ago she took an early retirement from the practice of law and became an empty- nester. With those changes came the gift of time, and a rediscovery of her passion for painting.

While she enjoys painting in a realistic manner, the last few years she has been focusing on abstract art and mixed media, drawn to the spontaneity and freedom it allows. Focusing on creating interesting shapes and contrasting values, she tries not to think too hard while she paints, preferring to let the painting evolve. The goal is to let what she has learned about the elements and principles of design, subconsciously guide the process.

She has taken many classes and workshops from some outstanding local artists. Workshops with nationally known artists have been inspiring, such as Don Andrews, Tony Couch, Frank Francese and Lana Grow.  She has studied two weeks with Stephen Quiller, both in color theory and the use of acrylics and casein. Although she enjoys the spontaneity of watercolor she particularly appreciates the unique characteristics of acrylics.

Membership in the Northstar Watercolor Society, NEMAA, Minnesota Watercolor, White Bear Center for the Arts and a Wednesday morning painting group have helped her develop technical and creative skills as a painter. As a former co-chair of Programs for Northstar Watermedia Society she has gotten more acquainted with many great artists and their work.

Debra has shown her work in a number of exhibitions, including Northern Lights, Minnesota State Fair, Northstar Watermedia, and Minnesota Watercolor. She has been a demo artist at Art on a Line. Her paintings are available at Studio 321, Northrup King in Minneapolis.

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Debra Thornton takes commissions.

Debra Thornton is considered mobility accessible.


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