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‘An absolute blast’

Katie Robinson, a Liverpool Regional High School student, has been taking art lessons from Deb Sponagle-Taylor, right, for about four years.
Katie Robinson, a Liverpool Regional High School student, has been taking art lessons from Deb Sponagle-Taylor, right, for about four years. - Aethne Hinchliffe

Queens County woman known as ‘Debbie Doodles’ inspiring young artists

They call her Debbie Doodles – and she’s inspiring a new generation of young artists in Queens County.

Her real name is Deb Sponagle-Taylor, who recently held a Youth Art Sale and Show at the Best Western in Liverpool to showcase the work of the many young artists she’s inspired. 

Katie Robinson was one of many young artists to show her work. The 17-year-old has been taking art lessons with Sponagle-Taylor for about four years. 

Robinson says she’s always been interested in art, such as sketching painting. But it was after her sister began to take art lessons with Sponagle-Taylor that Robinson decided to give it a try. She says she loves it. 

Katie Robinson, 17, shows her art work at the Best Western Plus Hotel in Liverpool at the Youth Art Sale and Show May 11.
Katie Robinson, 17, shows her art work at the Best Western Plus Hotel in Liverpool at the Youth Art Sale and Show May 11.

“It’s an absolute blast,” said Robinson about taking art lessons from Sponagle-Taylor. “She is always so happy and welcoming. You’ll go in there and have a conversation about anything. 

One thing Robinson says she loves about painting is being able to visualize something in her head and put that thing on canvass. She also loves the colours. Most of the time, Robinson says she works from a photograph and then takes liberties by making some changes. 

As far as preparing for the art show, Robinson says she’s been working on pieces since last year’s show. 

“The smaller (paintings) I do them at home, so I spend like three to fours hours at a time on them,” she said. “The bigger ones, I’m only with Debbie once a week for an hour, so they take about five weeks.”

The Grade 11 student says she likes to try various styles of paintings, and she likes to try new things. 

As well as taking art lessons and practicing art, Robinson is a musician who plays guitar. This summer, she plans to teach guitar lessons. Teaching music is one way she plans to keep the fine arts in her life. Robinson says she also plans to keep painting and trying to sell her work. 

Katie Robinson sells some of her small paintings on canvass.
Katie Robinson sells some of her small paintings on canvass.

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