Deborah Howard-Page was born and raised within an artistic family in Los Angeles, California.
Encouraged by her fifth grade teacher, Ms. Duque, Deborah learned to see herself as an artist when she was assigned to paint a portrait for a class project. Her parents were later hired to teach at a Waldorf school, and the family moved to the San Fernando Valley, where her mother, Eva Ralf (former soloist with the Berlin State Opera Ballet) also started teaching classical ballet at a local YMCA. Several years later, Deborah took up teaching beginning level classes for children and adults at Roland Dupree Dance Academy and at The Dancers' Studio (now MiMoDa) in Los Angeles, while also performing ballet and modern dance. She also studied art, sometimes modeling for art classes, at night. Having discovered she enjoyed teaching, she studied Early Childhood Development in order to work as a preschool teacher, which she continued to do, on and off, for over thirty years.
Upon moving to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1987, Deborah took art courses in and around Mountain View, CA. One drawing instructor, Skip Cantwell, suggested she apply to the San Francisco Art Institute. Once her application was accepted there, Deborah and her husband moved to San Francisco, so she could complete her B.F.A. degree in painting in the early 1990's. The next year she took a community college course in business for artists, taught by Tobi Klayman, who was a founding member of ArtSpan. Since then, Deborah regularly participates in nearly every ArtSpan San Francisco Open Studios.
A partial list of artists whose work has informed mine over the years:
Mark Rothko, Gerhard Richter, Eva Hesse, Jasper Johns, Robert
Rauschenberg, Jay De Feo and Wally Hedrick, Frida Kahlo, Lucien Freud,
Martha Alf, Dorothy Cross, Alex Grey, and so many more.
My main SFAI art instructors* were Tom Akawie, Julius Hatofsky, Carlos
Villa, Franklin Williams, and Bruce McGaw. While there, I met P.K. Kelly
and Francesca Pastine, who then introduced me to fellow artists Martine
Jardel, Hadley Northrop, Ciara Bedingfield, Leslie Bauer, Amanda Haas,
Nancy White, Johanna Baruch, and Marta Sanchez-Vasquez. Many are still
friends who continuing to inspire and teach me.
Appreciation also to Bob Hsiang and Ciara Bedingfield for their excellent art photography and professional portraits. Deepest thanks go to my husband, family, friends, and patrons for all your support.
* Sincere appreciation also goes to everyone with whom I studied at Mt. St. Mary's College, Foothill Community College, City College of San Francisco, and the San Francisco Art Institute. And Mara Freeman's Celtic workshops at U.C. Santa Cruz helped me immeasurably while I was immersed in my studies of The White Goddess (Robert Graves) and ancient tree lore. "Moran taing!"