Up Close and Personal with Deb Kaylor

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Name: Deb Kaylor

Hometown:  Aurora, Colorado

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Favorite Restaurant:  I love True Food Kitchen in Denver. It serves seasonal, sustainable, organic food that’s just plain GOOD! So you can take anyone there…even those who have food allergies or intolerances as well as those who just want a good meal.

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Best Place To Travel: I have two! I LOVE visiting my recently- found French relatives in a tiny little town in Provence called Le Poet Celard. The other place is just over the Alps into Italy. It is in another little village at the foot of the mountains called Frazione Fenils where I visit my Tante Marisa. The beauty is breathtaking, the food delicious, and the people have greatly enriched my life beyond belief.

Cocktail of Choice:  A “Moscow Mule” that my husband makes.

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Favorite Recipe: I was just introduced to THE BEST super easy no-knead bread from the Sullivan bakery in NYC. Now I actually bake bread once a week.

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What do you collect? I collect and save all the wonderful notes, emails, gifts, surprises and words of affirmation and encouragement that people send me. I have a Blue Box that I stash them in and then every New Year’s morning I open my Blue Box and read them all. Sometimes I remember them and sometimes I am surprised and enjoy them all over again. Often I’m in tears reminiscing over the kindnesses that have been extended to me.

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Best Book:  I love anything by Malcolm Gladwell. His latest book, David and Goliath is probably my favorite. I was surprised by the last chapter on Andre Trocme. I was familiar with him and knew his story because his story was also my family’s story. Nevertheless I was totally surprised when Trocme showed up in Gladwell’s book. Both Trocme and my family were French Huegenots who lived in small French villages in approximately the same vicinity. They worked to protect and save any Jew who came to their door during WWII.

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Most influential person in your artistic career:  Probably my great-great grandfather, Horatio Shaw, who was a Michigan farmer and painter in the late 1800s and early 1900s. His beautiful landscape paintings and sheep “portraits” graced the walls of my family home. I have always admired his simple and elegant style as well as the tenacity and courage of his story. He never achieved artistic success during his lifetime. It wasn’t until the 1973-74 that the Smithsonian rewarded him with a wonderful exhibition of his work.

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Studio Location :  I would love to say that I have a huge studio with tall ceilings, lots of storage, and north-facing windows. The truth is that I have 12×12 space that doubles as my studio and office and also converts into a guest room when needed. It works just fine!

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Object or thing people ask about when they visit your studio: The bulletin board behind my desk and computer is filled with pictures, cards and quotations…all reminders and inspiration to me. Guests are immediately drawn there and pause to see what it’s all about.

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Favorite Quote:

“Live simply,
Love generously,
Care Deeply,
Speak kindly,

and leave the rest to God!”

– Ronald Reagan

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At what moment did you realize you wanted to be a full time artist? Hmmm…that’s interesting. I was working in the soul-crushing corporate world. One day I literally heard God speak into my life. He said, “How difficult do I need to make this before you get it?” It wasn’t long after that I gave my letter of resignation to my boss telling him that I wanted to pursue my passion and become a full-time artist. I’m sure he must of have thought I was crazy. But he has become one of my greatest supporters. I have his picture on my bulletin board reminding me from where I came!

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Inspiration : I like to say that I find inspiration in the extraordinariness of the ordinary. It can be the beauty that I find along the path that I walk in the morning, the quizzical expression on a sheep, having lunch with family or friends at a sidewalk café, or the wonderful sculpture on the ceiling of an old European church. As I mature, I find that I’m not so driven by schedules and planning every facet of my life. I lean more toward taking things as they come and being surprised. So too with inspiration. I never know from whence it will come. It could be from something I read or see or something someone tells me. I find that by being open to any possibility, I’m never short on inspiration.

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What influences your work? LIFE! All my paintings are snapshots from the scrapbook of my life. They all have a story that is a part of my story.

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What would you be doing if you weren’t an artist?
I would be a writer/researcher. I just finished a 140 page coffee table book documenting my family’s history and legacy. It was 50% text and 50% pictures. It was a labor of love and I totally enjoyed the process of researching, writing, and combining old photos, stories, recipes, and genealogy from multiple family sources and putting them together in one place for my family and for future generations.

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I came to my art career relatively late in life. I am the “Poster Child” for It’s never too late! Never say never! You’re never too old. You can teach old dogs new tricks.

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Stop by and see Deb”s show which will be up until the end of May.  Opening reception will be Thursday April 30th from 6-8pm!

One thought on “Up Close and Personal with Deb Kaylor

  1. Bernie Dehass

    Good day! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a group of volunteers and starting a new project in a community in the same niche. Your blog provided us useful information to work on. You have done a extraordinary job!

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