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Featured Artist Works Displayed in the Offices of the Governor

April, May and June 2007 - Deborah Knuth (Wilton)

Photo of Deb KnuthDeb Knuth has been drawing and painting since a small child. During grade school, the teachers allowed her to fill up the chalk boards with art work. She remembers selling pencil drawings and portraits of her classmates for whatever spare change they had in their pocket. Knuth was allowed to attend a week’s worth of art lessons in rural North Dakota when she was about nine years old. She sat next to an older white haired gentleman that she learned later was quite famous across North Dakota for his western oil paintings. Knuth recalls he was probably amused because they critiqued each other’s technique in painting cattle. Although she uses pencil, charcoal, and pen and ink, her favorite medium has been oils since that first art session.

Knuth longed for a formal approach to drawing and painting and found the free, abstract approach that was being taught during the 70’s a huge disappointment. She therefore studied John Singer Sargant, Charles Russell and other western artists. Deb also takes the opportunity to study the masters in the Smithsonian Museums and art galleries in Washington, DC when traveling there for business. “I get so close to the paintings to study a detail that I’m sure the guards would love to throw me out.” 

Since Knuth was raised on a ranch, she has always drawn and painted the outdoors and especially horses. She has been fascinated by the western way of life and cowboys since her family took her on a vacation to Montana and Wyoming when she was in third grade.  “I knew then that no matter what I did in life, I’d need horses to be a part of it. Many of my paintings now show people in rodeo events. You have to give them credit for their determination and dedication to their sport.” Both the animals and people involved are great athletes and she tries to show that in her paintings.

Some of Knuth’s pen and ink drawings are on display at the North Dakota Supreme Court. The drawings were used for brochures, pamphlets and covers of published books by the North Dakota State Court Administrator’s office. Her oil paintings are in private collections.

Deb Knuth is the North Dakota Director of Government Relations for the American Cancer Society, Great West Division and currently is heavily involved with legislative health issues. She tries to complete at least two to three paintings a year, but finds her spare time limited by her family’s involvement with rodeo and horses. Her oil paintings are available by commission.

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Deb Knuth images
Portrait of Bill Knuth
Cold Morning
Portrait of the Bill Knuth Family on Horseback Fall 2006, Oil Painting
Cold Morning at Grass Lake, Oil Painting
Mike Knuth at NPRA
All Strung Out
Mike Knuth at NPRA Minot State Fair Rodeo July 2006, Oil Painting
All Strung Out Matt Knuth at the NHSRA Finals, Oil Painting
Dressed Brothers Sunday Best
Make Your Mark Out
Dressed Brother's Sunday Best
Make Your Mark Out
NDCA blue art footer with typed arts disciplines listed