About the artist: Ever since Debra Otterstein can remember she always had a love of nature. She was raised in the mountains and valleys that surround Sun Valley, Idaho and she grew up enjoying the wildlife that was an everyday encounter. Debra moved to Eastern Oregon not only for an employment opportunity but also because of the similarity of the area of her youth.
Otterstein did not find art when she was young nor did she know that she would be a wildlife artist; she had to discover art. It wasn’t until Otterstein was in high school where, by chance, a piece of charcoal, in an art class, changed her perception and art has been with her ever since.
Otterstein received an Associate of Science degree from Boise State University but her art education is non-traditional. Otterstein chose not to be University educated but rather to be mentored by a number of amazing wildlife artists. Otterstein has worked closely with some of today’s top wildlife artists, Robert Bateman, John Seerey-Lester, Terry Isaac, Daniel and Adam Smith, John Banovich and Cathy Sheeter.
Otterstein is known as a multi-talented wildlife artist who creates works using a wide variety of substrates such as scratchboard, canvas, hardboard and even feathers. Feathers are the more unusual item that she uses as a canvas but scratchboard has its own fascination. Both require intense concentration, unlimited patience, a steady hand, and a light yet firm approach. Regardless of the canvas Otterstein captures those special wildlife moments that have touched her soul and shares them through her art.
Collectors of Otterstein’s work are found throughout the United States, as well as in international locales as far flung as Australia and Switzerland. Otterstein has won many awards in the Pacific Northwest Region and the U.S. and has been a Featured Artist in Oregon’s Oregon Art Beat program on PBS. Otterstein’s submission of chukars was selected for the Oregon 2022 Upland Game Bird Stamp. Otterstein is a Signature Scratchboard Artist in the International Scratchboard Society.
What matters most to Otterstein, she emphasizes, is the subject matter —- the wildlife with whom we share this planet, “it is up to us to maintain a harmonious, peaceful, coexistence”. Otterstein’s hope is that you will stop for a moment to view and reflect on a piece she has created and appreciate your own wildlife moments.