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  • Cynthia Henry

Former Mineral Wells teacher now focuses on art, animals

Debra Strandberg could have gone many directions with her art degree, but she chose to invest in the future. Strandberg taught art to 4th, 5th and 6th graders in Mineral Wells for 20 years.

“I loved teaching children because of their curiosity, their willingness to try new materials and to experiment with artistic ideas,” said Debra.

“Children’s art is always very pure and honest,” she said. “All art is a form of communication and it gives children a voice to succeed. For some children it is their best voice.”

Since retiring in 2019, Debra devotes much of her time to her own art and a few four-legged friends.

“Our home is on 12 acres called Hilltop Farm,” she said. “In addition to having time and space to do my artwork, we also own a quarter horse and three miniature donkeys. The land and our animals also keep me happy and busy.”

Debra’s love of art started during her days at R.L. Pashal High School in Fort Worth. She later earned a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from Texas Christian University. She works mostly in watercolor and graphite and is inspired by many styles.

“Whatever the artistic style, the emotion of the artwork always speaks to me first,” she said. “What is the story the artist is telling me? I am inspired by a great story in an artwork, whether it is figurative or abstract.”

Debra’s husband, George, is her biggest fan. The two have been married for 44 years. “George encourages and supports me -- and frequently gives up large portions of house space for my art supplies and artwork!” she said.

As for the future, Debra’s excited about the possibilities.

“Someone once said that retirement is like a second childhood without adult supervision,” she said. “I see a beautiful time to learn and grow in my artistic endeavors.”

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