Deborah Howard-Page was born in Los Angeles, California, where she was raised within an artistic family.
Encouraged by a fifth grade teacher, Deborah learned to see herself as an artist after she was assigned to paint a portrait for a class history project. When her parents were later hired to teach at a Waldorf school, Deborah's family moved to the San Fernando Valley, while her mother, Eva Ralf, also started teaching classical ballet. At both Roland Dupree Dance Academy and The Dancers' Studio, Deborah took up teaching her mother's beginning level classes for children and adults, while also performing ballet and modern dance, as well as studying and making art at night. Having learned to love teaching, she studied to become a preschool teacher.
Upon moving to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1987, Deborah continued teaching small children and taking art courses locally. A drawing instructor, Skip Cantwell, suggested applying to the San Francisco Art Institute. Upon being accepted, Deborah moved to San Francisco, and in 1993 completed her B.F.A. degree in painting at S.F.A.I. Shortly after graduation, she took a community college course in business for artists, taught by Tobi Klayman, who was a founding member of ArtSpan. This led to Deborah's participating in ArtSpan's San Francisco Open Studios, since 1996.
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, Wally Hedrick, Frida Kahlo, Lucien Freud, Martha Alf, Dorothy Cross, Alex Grey, and SFAI art instructors* Tom Akawie, Julius Hatofsky, Carlos Villa, Franklin Williams, Bruce McGaw, Francesca Pastine, Martine Jardel, Hifumi Ogawa, P.K. Kelly, Hadley Northrop, Ciara Bedingfield, Leslie Bauer, Amanda Haas, Nancy White, Johanna Baruch, Marta Sanchez-Vasquez, Maartha Lucy. Some are still friends who continue to inspire and teach me. My thanks also to Bob Hsiang for years of excellent art photography. Deepest thanks go to my husband, family, friends, and patrons, for all your support.
* Sincere appreciation also goes to all those with whom I studied at Mt. St. Mary's College, Foothill Community College, City College of San Francisco, and the San Francisco Art Institute. Also, 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!"