"Jumpin' off the page," by Deborah Wolfe

“Jumpin’ off the page,” by Deborah Wolfe

Earlier this week, I encouraged attorneys to submit their art to our 2014 Creative Arts Competition. So this month I was doubly pleased to hear from a former winner, lawyer Deborah Wolfe.

Deborah is an Arizona and California lawyer, and her great paintings wowed the Editorial Board this past year. We published three related pieces of hers in our May 2013 issue, when she took first place in our painting category. Here is one of those works:

Equality + Liberty = Justice (3), by Deborah Wolfe.

Equality + Liberty = Justice (3), by Deborah Wolfe.

When she contacted me this month, she offered an update on her work (which I’m pleased that the magazine encouraged!). I am always happy to hear from our former winners, who often go on to do even more amazing things.

Before I get to Deborah’s own words, let me point you to some possible gift-giving for attorneys that involves lawyer art. Recently, a great website suggested some gifts, and in the options was art by Deborah Wolfe and Kirk Adams, another Arizona attorney whose artwork has been featured in Arizona Attorney.

Here’s how Attorney at Work opens its gift guide blog post:

“The lawyer in your life need not be an art collector to enjoy new art for the office. Artwork can brighten the office of any lawyer, and nothing is quite so unique as a work of art created by, well, another lawyer. Lawyer-turned-artist to be exact. Sometimes the artwork of a lawyer-artist reflects the law, such as the work of Deborah Wolfe, and sometimes it has nothing to do with the law, such as the paintings of Kirk Hayes.”

Lawyer-artist Deborah Wolfe

Lawyer-artist Deborah Wolfe

Read their whole post here.

And now, here’s Deborah. You can take her words as encouragement to send your own work to our annual competition:

“I am attaching one of my latest paintings that I call ‘Jumpin’ off the page.’ I have branched away from painting mostly legal themes to musical ones. In fact, I am doing an entire series on local musicians, painted on oxidized aluminum roofing tiles. Several of the musicians have said they want to use them for their next CD covers! Maybe I can even quit my day job someday…”

Of course, I quickly asked her, “Oxidized aluminum roofing tiles?” Here’s what she said:

“I guess you know that you are really an artist when looking at an oxidized roofing tile that you were using in your garden to keep the weeds down and the critters from burrowing, you decide that it is a good surface to paint on! I had thought about using the tiles as a painting surface when I first found them in my potting shed, where they’d been left by the previous owners. They were the right size, and were ‘free,’ but then I couldn’t figure out how paint would adhere to the slick surface. So I dismissed the idea and used them in the garden instead.”

“When the garden was finished for the season, and I removed and washed-off the tiles, I saw that they had a texture where the water residue/oxidation had taken place, and they were all unique. So I decided to experiment, and coated three tiles with red acrylic paint and three with royal blue. They looked like velvet when they dried. Then I used oil pastels to paint the musicians and background, and the texture had a ‘grainy’ effect that made the portraits unique—kind of ethereal, especially the lighted part of the background. I told the musicians that I was actually trying to capture their postures in holding their instruments, and the ‘feel’ of the music, rather than making the facial features too detailed.”

“I am very excited about them. The venue where I had taken the photos from which the paintings were derived now wants me to make more, representing all of the musicians who play there. The musicians want me to bring them to their next performance on December 7th, and to figure out a price so I can sell them.”

Lawyer-artist Kirk Adams

Lawyer-artist Kirk Adams

Here’s the last part, which Deborah did not have to add, but I am very appreciative that she did:

“It is all very exciting. And I have to thank you and the board, because by giving me the honor of first place in the arts competition this year, you gave me the confidence to have a show and to sell my work.”

Deborah tells me she has been showing her work at the former Naval Training Center in the Point Loma area of San Diego. Her first show was called “Layers,” where she exhibited 26 paintings.

Even better, she has been commissioned by two court reporting firms and a lawyer friend to do three more paintings. Here, she describes the court-reporting commission:

“It is starting with a collage of a made-up deposition page that is kind of an ad for their company, and I’m using those old-fashioned shorthand tapes from the steno machine (with the printed symbols on it) to form the basis of an over-painting of the building their office is in. The viewer will be able to see the tapes through the building’s windows.”

She adds, “The new Superior Court building in San Diego is breaking ground in December, and I’m hoping to get some of my art installed in it.”

As she adds happily, “I could actually turn this idea into a business!”

The newest image she sent me (Jumpin’ off the page) is at the top of this post. To see more of Deborah’s work, go here. Or, of course, head over to San Diego sometime!