Millions of images, sounds, smells, words and faces. The sound of laughter drifts in the air on the heels of a fading siren and below the gentle trickle of a fountain.

Every color, every shape and size–every moment like a sensory avalanche.


We, urban dwellers and otherwise, are inundated with this sensory conspiracy. To survive, we perform a constant mental triage, sorting out stimuli that matter from those that don’t. But what do we miss? Who do we miss? Do we filter out the beautiful with the ugly?

These are the questions posed by the paintings of Debbie Pacheco.


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“My paintings are about bypassing what we see and revealing authentic feelings,” says Pacheco. “My hope is that the (painting) would give us cause to stop and linger... to take the time with greater intention.”

Reflections, sun-bleached streets, smudged windows, squinting views that require pause yet are disarmingly familiar. PotatoMike caught up with Debbie Pacheco for a few questions.   

PotatoMike– What inspired you became an artist?

Debbie Pacheco– My Father was an artist who quit painting to support our family. But, he taught me along with my brother and sister how to draw and paint as soon as we could hold a pencil. I never stopped.


PM– Why did you choose your medium?

DP– I mainly paint in oil paint on wood panels. I like the richness and depth of oil and the sturdiness of wood panels. But I paint in acrylic and watercolor as well. I learned how to paint using acrylics and switched to watercolor in High School and then to oils later after college. I’ve continued in oil primarily since then but still go back to acrylic and watercolor periodically.


PM– What is the most common element that can be seen in your art?

DP– People. And architecture, but the focus is on people. I’ve always been drawn to people and their stories and the backdrop for the people I paint has been large cities for the most part on and off for years.

PM– What do you see as the role of art in culture?

DP– I think each artist is unique and individual with a specific mission and passion. So, I don’t think there is one specific role of art in the culture. My passion is human souls and I would love for my work to cause others to stop and linger with those we come in contact with, to take time to find out their stories with greater intention. All people are important and have a story to tell that we need to hear. After that, it's not for us to walk away but to decide how we will respond to that person or that need.


PM– How does who you are as a person affect your art?

DP– Who I am greatly affects my art and flows out onto the surface. Who I am is what I believe in my heart and mind and highlights the things that are important to me. I am affected by every experience, thought, and person I allow to touch my life–and that is why my art has changed over time.