Me & My Art Monday: Meet Deborah Kommalan

By January 19, 2015 Me & My Art

This week’s featured artist:  Deborah Kommalan, member since 2010:

Deborah KommalanME:  I was born and raised in rural Baltimore county, and was always considered the artsy one in the family. I spent my spare time drawing, painting and making things. I graduated from MICA in graphic design in 1970. I worked for a time in a graphic art agency, but I was not well-suited to it. I have had many jobs including silversmithing and I worked for a jeweler for a time. I have always been a needlewoman, sewing high-end lingerie and French hand-sewn and hand-smocked children’s clothing. This led to teaching classes and owning a shop of specialized smocking materials. My husband’s interest in Scottish history led me to making kilts, and owning my business as a kiltmaker for 40 years, which continues. Various tartan projects number nearly 800 items. The majority have been regulation kilts, but also include plaids, women’s skirts, shawls, etc., made by hand, NOT utilizing a sewing machine, This type of meticulous attention to detail brings an understanding to my style of painting.

Deb Kommalan, %22Pens and Pencils%22, oil on birch panel

“Pens & Pencils”, oil on birch panel

MY ART:  One might think that because I’m a MICA grad, I was automatically well-trained in painting.  But consider that the art world in the 1960’s was all about abstract expressionism. So I studied graphic design and technical illustration (which was the direction many realist painters took), leaving my paintings skills undeveloped.

Make a jump of forty years, when I joined friends for an evening painting class at AACC in 2007.  I learned HOW to paint and it opened a whole world for me. My medium is oil. I’ve not considered other media yet. There’s still much to learn!  My studio is in my house in Pasadena.  Visit my website:

MFA & ME: I was directed to MFA by Richard Neiwerth, whom I met while at AACC. Thank you, Richard! I joined in 2010. I entered work twice; neither piece was juried into a show, but the third time was golden. Not only was my painting accepted, it took first place, which was very encouraging. Shocking, actually!

Through MFA I have met so many artists who are tremendously supportive. I’ve been introduced to different media and styles of artwork. I have seen wonderful growth in MFA over the short time I’ve been a member. I make a point to visit membership galleries in other cities and towns, which has emphasized the professionalism of our gallery. The quality of the art displayed and the look of the gallery makes MFA every bit as good as any private gallery.


Spread the word about…YOU:   Every week, we feature an MFA member for “Me & My Art Monday.” If you would like to be featured, please submit a photo and three paragraphs: one each about YOU, YOUR ART, and MFA & YOU totaling approximately 350 words, to

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