Debra Keirce, Contemporary Realist Painter

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Debra Keirce is a Realist Artist based in Northern Virginia in the USA.


After she graduated from high school in the 70’s, Debra was offered a scholarship to the Cranbrook Art Institute in Michigan. However, she decided not to go as she didn’t like the type of art they were teaching at the time. Instead, she ended up studying and getting a degree in Biochemical Engineering. She then went on to work as a design engineer.

Learning her craft

She stopped working to have a family and started a commissioned art business. During this period she was also investing in self-directed art studies of classical realism. One of the best ways she found to start learning was to go to Museums and copy the art. Later when she had transport and more money she also found attending workshops really useful. She also tried to get to know artists whose work she admired and asked them to be her mentor and teacher.

before the party Debra Keirce Art

© Copyright Debra Keirce

Evolving art style

Debra thinks her art has evolved with different life changes, such as having children. She now paints in every spare moment she has.

Narrative in her work

When she paints now Debra has stories in her work. She may deliberately weave stories into her work or finds them emerging subconsciously.

Subjects Debra likes to paint

For many years Debra painted people’s loved ones, pets, and houses. When she stopped this business she had to decide what she liked to paint. She paints anything that interests her, but is mainly drawn to still life as she had never had the opportunity to paint it before.

brain power Debra Keirce Artist

© Copyright Debra Keirce

Debra’s system for painting

If she can, Debra likes to have the subject in front of her. If this is not possible she takes photos and writes colour notes on her phone.

Miniature Paintings

Debra paints miniature painting. In the podcast, she explains what miniature paintings are and why she likes them. She also talks about her technique for creating them.

i put the lime in the coconut Debra Keirce Miniature Art

© Copyright Debra Keirce

Debra’s Vlog Art Tips

Debra has started an art vlog where she creates videos with art tips, both practical and for the business side of things

Connect with Debra

You can find Debra on her website at where you will also find videos from her vlog. She is also on Instagram @debrakeirce and on Facebook @DebraKeirceArt