New art exhibit features Plainview artist

PLAINVIEW – Plainview artist Debbe Brightbill will have her work on exhibit in the Abraham Family Art Gallery at Wayland Baptist University from Sept. 28 through Oct. 18.

Called “Line Upon Line: Works of Debbe Brightbill,” the exhibit features nearly 40 paintings and 20 drawings Brightbill has done in the past few decades. A native of Monahans, Brightbill drew from a familiar Bible passage to name her show and sum up her artistic philosophy.

“A familiar quote my Dad used to use a lot is from Isaiah 28:10: ‘For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, there a little,’” Brightbill writes in her artist’s statement. “Art is a journey like life. It is learned again and again. My struggle with art seems to reflect my struggles with life. At times a joyous spark happens and the flow of creation begins.

“I know this much, through the cycles of the ups and downs, I’m always coming round to ‘I don’t know all that much.’”

Some of the pieces gracing Brightbill’s exhibit include several she’s done in her more recent role as student. Enrolled in an art class under Dr. Candace Keller, professor of art, Brightbill said she’s been able to hone her skills, get additional inspiration from working outside her home and been driven to stretch her mind.

“I wanted to keep myself busy and healthy and keep my mind going,” she said of taking a class at Wayland.

Brightbill said many in her life have inspired her and have keep her going during the rough times, and she includes Keller in that list. She also credits her family for their support and encouragement and “keeping me grounded.”

Having painted since her 30s, Brightbill is no stranger to art. A bedroom in her home was converted to her studio, and she spends much of her time there. Only recently, she said, did she realize her calling as an artist, and taking the class at Wayland has helped her to focus on that call.

According to Keller, Brightbill’s work is a reflection of her life and her passion.

“Debbe is an intuitive painter who uses her insights and emotions to develop her compositions. They evolve skillfully and with great patience, as she layers up her color and texture to achieve her vision,” Keller said. “You can really see her heart in her work.”

Keller said working with artists like Brightbill is mutually rewarding and beneficial to her students as well.

“I feel greatly privileged to be able to work with the talented young people at Wayland, and it is always exciting to help them realize their ideas and develop their abilities,” she said.

Brightbill’s show is open to the public during regular gallery hours: from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Fridays, and from 2-5 p.m. on Saturdays. The gallery is located in the lower level of the Mabee Learning Resources Center. Admission is free.

A reception for Brightbill will be held Sunday, Oct. 2, from 3-5 p.m. in the atrium of the Mabee Center, just outside the gallery. The public is invited.