Debborah Charboneau's gorgeous Entwined will soon be on display at the Herberger's Main Floor Gallery

The Tempe Artists Guild (TAG) is a vibrant community of artists who enjoy improving their skills, meeting fellow artists, and sharing their enthusiasm for art.  TAG artists regularly win awards and recognition for their art.  We want to share some of those moments with you.

The following interview features a TAG artist who recently won recognition for an artistic accomplishment.  Our interviewee today is Debborah Charboneau, who was recently juried in by the Herberger Art Gallery for their upcoming Saguaro Exhibit.  Her painting, Entwined, will on display in the main gallery from August 4 – October 1. You can also visit her art at

Please tell us a bit more about this accomplishment- what inspired you? How did you choose the format and materials?  Where can readers see it?

In the spring while I was out looking for flowers to photograph and paint, I noticed a pair of saguaro cactuses standing entwined with each other. I took some photos to paint them sometime. About the same time, I became aware of the Herberger Call to Artists for a show with the theme of Saguaro. All that was left to decide was size and style to paint my entwined saguaros. I decided that it had to be on the big side, and painted with oil paint and palette knife, and with lots of texture.  The finished painting is indeed large: 24 x 36 inches.

 More broadly, what draws you to making art?

I paint because I seem to have a need to do so. I want to be able to somehow capture a particular scene or at least get into my painting what caught my eye in that scene, so that it can be revisited and enjoyed again and again. Sort of like a child capturing a butterfly in a jar to be able to keep watching it. Hopefully others will get to experience the scene as well through my painting.

 Do you have any favorite media?  

I mostly work in oil (sometimes adding cold wax medium to it) and pastels. I love the thick textures that I can get with oil paint, but I also really like the beautiful array of colors with pastels and the immediacy of picking up a stick of pigment and applying it directly to the surface. I also sometimes make my own sanded panels, which allows me to create a variety of textures to apply the pastels. I think this makes the painting more interesting.

 Are there themes you like to explore?

If there is any reoccurring theme in my work, it would have to be trees. I find trees so varied and interesting.  They each have their own special character.

The Tempe Artists Guild is a 501c(3) organization based in Tempe, Arizona.  Please visit our web page at:  If you are an artist, please consider becoming a member.  You do not need to be a Tempe, Arizona resident.  Most of our meetings are on Zoom and we welcome participants from anywhere.  Membership benefits include a personal web page, monthly speakers’ meetings, workshops, opportunities to exhibit your work, and participation in a virtual (online) gallery.