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About the Artist, Debra Henkener

I grew up in the small, German-Catholic town of Ottoville, Ohio (Go Big Green!), as Debra Elizabeth Stepleton. I married my "prince" and best friend, Craig Henkener, in 1972. We moved to Wapakoneta in 1974, where we built our first home. In 1987, we moved a few miles east, to a log home we were constructing. It's a modified "Greenbriar" from Hearthstone Log Homes of Dandridge, Tennessee. After almost 39 years of marriage, we realize how lucky we are to have a wonderful home, a beautiful family, and good enough health to enjoy these blessings from God. We are proud of our three grown children: Kristina Soliday (Lance), Angela Elshoff (Todd), and Michael Henkener (Libby). Our family has grow to include: one granddaughter, Taylor Elshoff (17 - a Senior at New Knoxville High School) and three grandsons - Gage Henkener (8 - second grader at Delphos St. John's), Emmitt Henkener (5 - Pre-school at St. John's), and Chase Soliday (5 - Pre-school at First United Methodist's in Sidney, O). Pets are always a big part of any family. Our current "crazy" dog is a Springer Spaniel named Abby. She enjoys pestering Licorice, our 12 year old, black female kitty. Abby wants attention all the time and can give you a bath while you visit, if you let her. Ha!

The Log Cabin is both my art studio and our home. We live in rural Auglaize County, which is rich in Native American history. A woods stretches behind the cabin with a large herb garden nestled between. Our front yard is a large pond stocked with fresh water fish. We also own a mountain top in southern Adams County, called Sunshine Ridge. The valley below our mountain is called Moon Hollow, which is the title of my first decorative painting book. Inspiration for my art is centered in my family, friends, and the rustic setting that surrounds my life. I am so blessed!

My art education is broad. At an early age, my art talent was recognized and encouraged by my parents and teachers. Craig and I majored in Commercial Art at The Ohio State University. I also graduated frpm Norman Rockwell's Famous Artists' School based in Connecticut. In 1988, my best friend, Vera Collier and I began taking tole painting classes from Linda Barry. Linda encouraged both of us to design our own projects and teach. Eventually, Vera and I started doing just that! We took classes from a diverse range of teachers, began designing packets and teaching, submitted magazine articles, and wrote decorative books. We also co-authored a snowman book called "Shivering Heights". Currently, I have designed and written three books, 40 magazine articles, and over 300 pattern packets. I like so many different types of artwork, that I have never settled into one category. But, I work and teach in watercolors, acrylics, oils, charcoal, and pencil. I've received fine art awards in watercolors, oils, acrylics, and charcoal.

My art affiliations include: Riverside Art Center of Wapakoneta, Society of Decorative Painters of Wichita, Ohio Heirlooms of Tomorrow of Wapak, Heart of Ohio Tole Chapter of Columbus, Lima Area Watercolor Society, Ohio Watercolor Society, Wassenberg Art Center of Van Wert, Arts Place of St. Marys, and Visual Arts Network of Lima.

I was the Art Director for the 2004 HOOT convention. I have served as a Decorative Arts judge for the Ohio State Fair and a fine art, tole, and ceramics judge for the Auglaize County Fair.

I am a published artist/designer/demonstrator for the DecoArt Co. (maker of Americana Acrylic Paint), Chartpak, Inc. (maker of Grumbacher's Finest Watercolors), and Loew-Cornell, Inc. (maker of La Corneille Golden Taklon brushes). These companies provide incentive programs and product support for many designing artists. I am also affiliated with Cupboard Distributing & Cabin Crafters. Please consider giving all of these companies your support, when you shop for art supplies.

I hope you've enjoyed reading my bio and exploring the Log Cabin website. Stop back often to see the new designs and products. And above all, have fun using your creative license on my designs. I'd love to get feedback on what you are doing with my designs. You are an inspiration to me!

Sending Hugs and Love.......................Deb


Decorative painters tell me they love the expressive faces on my signature snowmen, Santas, bugs, and frogs. Whether they are sweet and innocent, joyful, mischievous, or just goofy, my faces come from the heart (and a really weird mind!)

On the other hand, my fine art friends tell me they love my watercolor paintings best! Although, I work in many other mediums, Landscapes, animals,and the natural world are my favorite subjects.You will see these and more at Log Cabin! Visit this site often to take advantage of fantastic free projects, neat new packets and books, a multitude of magazine articles, super sales, and irresistible information on the Frog Blog! Sit down, grab your favorite beverage and browse to your heart's content! My cabin is your cabin!

Where am I? I sometimes wonder myself! Check out the Schedule for trade shows and teaching engagements, where I will be held hostage. Please request contract information via e-mail, letter, or telephone. All of this information is in the Contact area of the site.

Are you on information overload, yet? Feel free to contact me via e-mail. I will be posting things regularly on the Frog Blog. Please let me know specifically, if you want to share your name and city along with your painting tips, recipes, clean jokes, or impressions of my site.

I'm known for my tongue-in-cheek humor, so I hope you'll think this is a really fun place to be! And if you LOL, just remember that few things happen by accident! Now, go forth and explore, my artistic friend!

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