SMAL’s membership meeting on November 21st will feature a presentation by plein air artist Debra Howard. She will paint a quick oil nocturne with various color tints under the painting to demonstrate what a difference a tint on the canvas can make. Debra’s presentation will also include a slide show and a talk on the interpersonal relationships of the impressionist artists at the beginning of the impressionism movement.

Debra Howard’s life has been one of art and adventure. Her childhood was spent in Miami, Florida, where she first discovered her love of color, light, painting, and sailing. After studying at Ringling School of Art in Sarasota, Debra opened an illustration studio in San Francisco. After 17 years as a successful illustrator, she realized that the career she had found so satisfying was being taken over by the computer and that she missed the feel of a brush on canvas. So, Debra closed her studio, stocked her Peterson 44 sailboat with art supplies, and began concentrating on fine art painting while cruising with her old dog and her 4-year-old daughter.

After almost 27 years of traveling, and painting aboard her sailboat, Debra came ashore and has turned her creative focus to painting the Eastern Shore and the Leelanau and Old Mission Peninsulas in northern Michigan. She now travels from April to November in a little RV, exploring and participating in plein air competitions in numerous states and teaching art workshops.

For more information about Debra’s adventurous life and career and to see photos of her exquisite oil paintings, visit her website at

The meeting will be in person and on zoom.  Look for a meeting link in the Friday e-blast, and again on Monday morning.