For Debbie Bonello, art was always an innate part of who she was: as a young girl, as a dedicated art teacher, and as a fun-loving, woman.
She is a creative soul who has rediscovered the joy of painting. She has in the last few years been producing remarkable paintings that are expressive and characterised by loose brushwork and a broad palette with which she has created a timbre that has come to typify her work. Her subjects are varied: sweeping vistas, intense portraits, enchanting pets, and nudes, but even a hat takes centre stage in Debbie’s oeuvre. Whatever her chosen subject, it is approached with the same steadfastness, whether it is a quick painting she is executing or a more laboured one.
The strides that Debbie has been making are a result of her dedication to her art. There is no easy way to becoming a successful painter. Practice and hard work are key, as are talent and the ability to fashion imaginative compositions, even when based on reality.
She is also not one to shy away from painting en plein air, becoming one of the many painters in Malta who have been rediscovering the joys and pleasures of painting outdoors despite the challenges it presents. Debbie is naturally drawn to rural Malta, perhaps also due to the fact that she spent her childhood years in Mellieha, where she hails from. She is thus instinctively sensitive to her surroundings and the emotions of those around her, as is amply visible in some key works.
As individuals we reach several milestones during our lifetime, some grander than others, but by no means less gratifying. Throughout all of her milestones, painting has remained Debbie’s elixir of life and it is now finally coming to the forefront, as it justly deserves.
Maltese contemporary art is all the richer since Debbie Bonello has gone public with her art work, and it is high time that she makes her debut with her first solo exhibition.