Artist Debra Howard wins PHG’s 2017 Best Depiction of the River Award in Paint It! Ellicott City’s Plein Air Event


Debra Howard, a fine artist from Crisfield Maryland, is this year’s recipient of the Patapsco Heritage Greenway award for “Best Depiction of the Patapsco River”. Debra participated in the 2017  Howard County Arts Council sponsored Paint It! Ellicott City- an annual plein air event that brings artists from as far away as San Francisco. Debra, a graduate of the Ringling School of Art, travels from April to November with her little RV trailer participating in Plein Air events along the east coast and in Michigan.

Debra painted her initial painting; Shadows and Sunlight on the Patapsco on Friday and wanted to explore the subject further the next day. She was surprised to find the river filled with stacked rocks as a result of a cultural engagement event that occurs annually. As a result, her award-winning painting “Stacked Rocks on the Patapsco” reflects not only the river, but the stone cairns which balance precariously in the riffles of the river. The painting beautifully captures the light and motion of the water. While, the next high water event will surely return the stones to their natural environment, the meditative mood of these stones- one year after the flood- are captured in Debra’s painting.

Stacked Rocks on the Patapsco by Debra Howard