When it comes to enthusiasm for nature and wildlife, artists are some of the most fervent champions. Deb Gengler-Copple has chosen oil and pastels to express her self artistically and to communicate a powerful connection with nature and wildlife.
Deb is from Hubbard, Nebraska, received a BA degree from Morningside College, Sioux City, IA and worked as a graphic artist, but her passion for painting wildlife has redirected her career and taken her to the national parks to photograph and view wildlife firsthand. The artist is a Signature member of the Pastel Society of America, as well as Artists For Conservation and has won a number of awards, including an honorable mention in the International Pastel 100 Competition. She is also a three time Nebraska Habitat Stamp winner, and received first place from the Phippen Museum Western Art Show in Prescott AZ. Her work helps support a number of wildlife causes, including Pheasants Forever, Ducks Unlimited, Defenders of Wildlife, and The Wolf and Grizzly Center of West Yellowstone.
Deb’s paintings of wolves portray a calm, unassailable strength or a quiet, forlorn loneliness. Her big horn sheep denote power and movement. Her bison are formidable. The immediacy and richness of her works derive, at least in part, from her ability to immerse herself completely in the natural world, closely observing every nuance about her subjects, their behaviors and their movements. What is important to the artist is experiencing the animal, seeing how it interacts with others, and feeling the excitement of the opportunity to being there.
Although wildlife has always been an interest, it was horses that first lured Gengler-Copple into the realm of drawing and painting. Drawing and painting horses, it turns out, was an excellent form of training because it focused her eye on anatomy. When painting or drawing deer, elk and sheep, Deb’s familiarity with the horse’s bone structure and musculature stands her in good stead.
[Deb Gengler-Copple, PSA, AFC] Back in the studio Deb and her husband have made it a priority, to make the land around their Nebraskan home inviting to native wildlife. Thanks to the hundreds of shrubs and trees they’ve planted, the area is a haven for regional and migrating bird species. The artist often observes pheasants, wild turkey, and deer as they come in to feed, which are added to her list of subjects to paint.