... I am a natural born artist whose artwork is all drawn freehand and painted professionally with a most true to life impression of you and/or your loved one(s), as well as pets, that can be artistically customized to express your likes, hobbies, professions, etc., pictured in view from behind, displayed around, lightly seen through, or even visually drawn more reflectively with everything that is strongly representative of you, your loved one(s) and pet(s) in a most one of a kind unique way of design.
Each art piece comes completed with matting as an added beauty of compliment for framing at no extra cost to you.
*Custom illustrated matting is also available for you at a very affordable price. Look to see more pictures of commissioned custom style portraits.
For more information, please feel free to contact me via my Facebook Page; Devorah Louise Friel and my Facebook Art Page; Artful Expression of You! Thank you~
"Hi there... I'm so glad you stopped by!" I'd like to take just a 'wee bit' of your time to tell you a 'wee bit' about me...
I'm more of an Irish lass with a lesser amount of somewhat different nationalities of 'me very own'. For example, there's English, German, Dutch and Swedish. I do suspect that even a smaller portion of Scottish blood may also be running somewhere within these veins of mine.
My Irish family heritage was originally rooted in Dublin and Donegal. They were of the ancient as Protectors of the Fields. It's really funny, and more exagerated to be mentioned, that my mother's maiden name was Fields. Also of English-Irish decent.
Moving right along, I'd like to begin by saying that as a wee lass of around the age of 4 was when I first began to draw creatively. My Nana got me started with coloring books and crayons. She would color alongside of me on the page next to mine, while we swayed back and forth on her front porch glider. She was so thoughtful, caring and loving. She and granddad would laugh along with the jokes and comical skits I'd put together to act out. I can still hear her say to me, "Debbie, you are so funny!". My sister Dawn & brother Jay would act out along with the comical scenes or dance routines. We'd get granddad to hang a twin bed sheet up as a curtain where you would enter from the kitchen into the living room, and we'd pretend we were on stage with a backdrop. We would practice the skit scenes together in the kitchen first. And don't you know, I coordinated, directed and handled the 'productions' we put on. I usually did the introduction, as well. You could say I 'acted the part' even before my drawing abilities had actually been discovered by my dad.
I was nearly 9 years old when my father recognized that my ability to draw had developed quite well. I was using an ordinary No. 2 writing pencil as he watched me sketch whatever it was that I was drawing, then color in with my handy dandy box of 64 Crayola Crayons, with a built in sharpener, that usually sat right smack in front of me at the kitchen table. Let me tell you. I considered myself to be all set as a kid artist with my sketch pad and multiple colored crayons. What could be better! One night, I happened to be drawing and coloring my mom's famous Santa faced cookie jar. It wasn't a favorite simply because it was Santa, it was a 'flavor-ite' because during this time, of the Christmas season, it held the most scrumptiously tasting home baked Toll House Chocolate Chip cookies you could ever have sunk your teeth into. And man, oh man, did they ever smell good while they were baking! You would usually see me grabbing one (or two) just after they came out of the oven. They'd still be hot, so, I'd toss them from hand to hand, and blow on them at the same time just to have them cooled down enough to eat. My mom would just smile and shake her head at me. I loved eating them while they were still soft and warm. The melted morcels of semi-sweet chocolate had a delicious way of drizzling right onto my tongue when I would bite into them! Nestle's sure did make the very best back then... I was also quite taken with Hershey's cocoa and chocolate bars, and I loved going to Hershey, PA as a child. That in itself is a whole other story...
Well, back to the 'drawing board. I don't want to bore you with any more yummy cookie 'details'.
So, dad decided to enter my artwork into drawing contests they would hold every so often for the children of the employees with Hercule's Incorporated of Gibbstown, NJ. It really made me feel quite special and honored at the time. Being natural born as an artist is an amazing gifted ability that I consider to be a most awesome blessing! A given by the very hands of the Divine Universal Creator.
As I got to be a little older, I couldn't help but wonder if there was anyone else within our family ties that may have also possibly dabbled in the arts. Lo and behold, I came to find out more surprisingly, that my father was indeed a gifted artist, as well. I curiously happened to locate a manilla envelope on the upper further side of a his bedroom closet shelf one day, and I had a strong urge to open it. The envelope wasn't sealed, but, the perfectly well wound string that was wrapped around the red disk cardboard button on the flap to keep it closed with such perfection displayed itself as if to say, "Keep out!" This gave me a very distinct and clear understanding that I had no business unwinding it. However, even though it spoke volumes to leave it well enough alone, I was not hesitant to take a peek inside. Working up the nerve, I quickly began to unwind the string and open the flap. When I reached in and looked to see what was there, I pulled out a thin stack of a thick shinnier paper similar to Bristol Board, that displayed two of the most incredibly beautiful pen & ink illustrations of trains I had ever seen! I got chills and goose bumps when my eyes took me to the lower right hand corner of both illustrated pieces. It was astonishing to see these stunning masterpieces signed by my very own father, James Louis Friel. I could just picture him as a teen, sitting somewhere at the Pennsylvania Railway Station for hours at a time to pen sketch out the trains that were stopped there.
Dad had grown up just across the tracks on the German side of Philadelphia, PA, as a boy for most of his life. I remember that when I held the illustrations a short distance out and away from me, they appeared as if they were two of the finest black & white photographs of trains you had ever seen. The tiniest detail was drawn beyond description on both of these pen and ink drawings. The way he illustrated the one train, as it faded back ever so slightly from the control car to the caboose, was as if you were standing right there where he was and seeing it right through his eyes. He had certainly expressed his love for the railway transit, way beyond fascination.
My dad had such a true appreciation for trains. He made a train track table and put together this amazing miniature mountainous village display, complete with working street lights, traffic lights, and cars. His train set ran through the mountains, then within and around the little community he had built and pieced together. I now knew two things. One was his love for trains with the mystery to detail, and the second was why he also took such an interest in my God-given ability to draw. When I asked him with great disappointment as to why he hadn't ever shared his drawings with me, his eyes welled up as he looked toward mine and said, "I've kept them as a keepsake. Drawing was something I really enjoyed doing, but, I never thought it would get me anywhere as a profession career, so, I put it away with the reality of knowing I had to find work that I could make a realisticly good living."
The truth is, he would've made a fantastic architect had he received the encouragement and inspiration he should've received, as well as, the financial support to attend school for architectural design. To this day I still can hear him say to me, "Deb, you'll never get anywhere as an artist. Get a secretarial job, and settle down." Wow... But you know, this actually gave me more determination to go forth and take my abilities to a whole new level. I longed to make art my profession.
A few years after the year of 1974, when I'd graduated from high school where I majored in Art through my 9th-12th grade, I decided to apply to the Art Institute of Philadelphia for the study of Commercial Art. I'd organized and arranged each paged section to display my artwork by the specific medium I had used.. My hope was to pleasingly attract the eye of my interviewer, and really grab their attention to my art ability. The woman who did, literally seemed to be glancing over my portfolio, shaking her head with a smile all the while. She looked straight up at me from the last page she viewed and said, "You most definitely have what it takes. You're in!" Yes!!! It turned out to be one of the most incredible learning experiences I could ever have expected.
From there I decided to take a course in the Graphic Art program at the Gloucester County Vocational School in Salem, NJ. Our Art Instructor came up with the brilliant idea of having for the class to participate in a 'Draw a Poster Contest' that would give a drawn description of the courses that GCVS had to offer to the public as a learning profession. She introduced the project to the school's administration for approval, and she, along with them, financially invested monetary funds for the awards. The student who came up with the most creative art piece to fully display the best in a graphics design expressing all of the courses the school had to offer, was given the opportunity of winning a 1st Place prize. There was a 2nd and 3rd Place prize, as well. Approximately one week after the contest had ended, we were assembled for the announcement of the winners in the cafeteria. One of my classmates pointed out the 1st Place Blue Ribbon on the poster displayed at the further side of our table. It was the poster I'd drawn! I received a scholarship to attend the Hussian School of Art for their Summer Workshop Program, which was also once located in Philadelphia, PA.
Shortly after my studies I chose to look for a position as a Graphic Artist. There was a small advertisement in the local newspaper's Help Wanted section for such a position with St. John of God Community Services with their graphic screen printing shop establishment known as World Ink. I called to inquire about the position and was given a date for an interview with a portfolio presentation. The interview with the manager went extremely well, and a week later I'd received a call for a second interview to look over my portfolio again. I tried patiently to wait in hearing something back. Two weeks went by without a call, so I finally took the initiative to contact them, and asked if they'd hired anyone for the position as of yet. "We haven't filled the position, yet." The woman spoke. There was a pause, and she asked, "Would you still be interested in filling the position?" And my response was a resounding, "You have no idea of how anxious I have been in waiting all this time to hear something back. Yes! Of course I would!" She replied quite assuredly, "It's yours, then. When can you start?" Trying to refrain myself from getting overly excited on the other end of the phone, I calmly answered, "As soon as you need me!" This call took place on a Friday, and I was asked to come in to start that coming Monday. I was hired as THE Graphic Artist with the silk-screen printing department of World Ink that produced and shipped custom silk-screen printed design goods, world wide. In fact. My very first freelance project came through World Ink with a British Custom Art Design company who designed original art printed T-shirts and clothing. A silk-screen print company in the England area, to which they worked with on a regular basis, denied them the previous original design pieces for re-print. They were absolutely astonished at how I'd made the cuts in copy of those three particular original pieces. I was told ahead of time, "If you can remake these prints to be an almost exact replica, World Ink will have this and all of our printing business from this time on." I did so, and we had their business just as they'd stated...And me? Well, I made $300 for those three very easy art designs, which was a good amount of money to make for such a job assignment back in 1988.