To read previous posts, click and scroll down.

Deborah La Fogg Docherty Takes Pastels To The New Heights, Winning Two National Awards. Check Out Her Newest Classes For All Levels And Her Artworks

Deb La Fogg Docherty celebrates international recognition of her pastel art with 4th Place and Honorable Mention wins in the Pastel Journal’s 100 Pastels for 2022. Her love of the medium is apparent when you see her work. The inferences of a tree’s shadow, a dog’s eyes, or a cat’s hair distinguish her abilities. Not content to create art herself, Deb is a wonderful teacher, eager to share her methods with her students.  The Rickie Report shares an interview with Deb about “Patio Princess”, some sneak peeks, the class details and urges anyone who ever wanted to dip their toes into painting or pastels to take advantage of Deb’s class opportunities, as you read in the interview, teachers have influence of their students that follows them in their lives. 










Two of Deborah’s animal paintings recently won fourth place and honorable mention in the Pastel Journals Top 100 Pastels for 2022 international competition and have fetched substantial amounts in recent auctions. In 2021 her painting “Testing the Waters” was selected by the Timber Wolf Alliance for their Poster of the year.










“Patio Princess” by Deborah La Fogg Docherty. All rights reserved




Deborah LaFogg Docherty’s love for painting and nature began on a farm in Connecticut where she grew up. Besides the animals she encountered, her mother’s paintings inspired Deborah to continue in her footsteps. In grade school she had numerous watercolor one woman shows of the birds she had encountered on nature walks with her teacher Mrs. Harvey. Her formal training in illustration and commercial art began in college where she had a painting hanging in Yale University’s Art Gallery in her junior year and discovered the joy of pastels. After graduating with honors, she moved to South Florida where she landed a job with a large newspaper for 34 years, finding ways to use her art in and outside of work.  



During her art-related trips to Europe it was Degas’ pastel paintings that were as vibrant as the day he created them that fed her desire the most. In hopes of honing her skills and insight she took workshops and classes with Doug Dawson, Maggie Price, John Seery-Lester, Richard McKinley, Liz Haywood-Sullivan and Jan Martin McGuire. With the many things Deborah learned she loves to share her passion for pastels with beginners and intermediate students through workshops and classes.










TRR:  Tell us about your exciting award winning piece!  How you approach a blank surface before you begin and how does the subject effect your work?



A blank piece of paper is an exciting opportunity to me. I can sketch it or take photos and play with compositions in photoshop, but this was a something I had seen almost daily that made me smile. The subject is one of my two cats, Boop. She and her sister were rescues.  Boop is a sun worshiper/ snuggler and her eyes light up every time she gets to go out into the patio.  At a certain time of day, the light would hit  Boop just right and the scene would sparkle!  That’s when I knew I had to paint it! To me when the composition, contrast, textures and colors come to life that gives me inspiration.



TRR:  You can sign up for classes with Deborah (Starting the beginning of October) by contacting the Boynton Beach Arts and Cultural Center.  Sign up for “Expressive Pastel”:  561.742.6221  Located at 1901 N. Seacrest Blvd.  Boynton Beach, FL 33435.  Click Here to register

Deborah will also be teaching “Expressive Pastels For Landscapes” at the Armory Art Center on October 17/18 and November 28/29.  Contact Deborah for details




“Dreaming of Flight” by Deborah La Fogg Docherty. All rights reserved





TRR: What is your working method?


Once the drawing is done, I will often do an under painting of large areas to establish where lights, darks and colors go. On this painting I choose to do each section independent of each other, allowing me more control. The different texture was exciting to me. The paper I use is 400 UART, it allows me to use many layers of color. The pastels I use range from hard Rembrandts and Giraults to buttery colorful Jack Richeson, Terry Ludwigs and Unisons. The pastel pencils I use are Faber-Castel.





“Assateague Island” by Deborah LaFogg Docherty. All rights reserved



TRR:  What is your focus when it comes to color, values, mark-making and textures?



Color obviously plays a major role in this piece. I love color. I had been told by one of my professors that I was a “colorist”. To me color is life. It expresses mood and invokes emotion in the viewer, things I want to share.  When I approach a painting, I note the shape and texture of each object. Is it fur? Is it a smooth surface like the sky, water, or is it a tree with many layers of textures? Each gets a different approach. Example: fur. You wouldn’t like to pet a cat going against how its hair grows… it would appear course and unnatural. You’d want to paint it going in the direction of how it flows over muscle and bone so it appears more lifelike. You’d use thin short strokes.




“Pelican Dawn” by Deborah LaFogg Docherty.  All Rights Reserved




TRR:  Are there ever any surprises as you work on a painting?



Mostly I paint wildlife and landscapes but I’ve been painting pets for other people ever since I finished college and moved to Florida. I will only paint pets for myself if I feel that the particular animal has importance to me. About surprises…YES!  I had gotten halfway done with “Patio Princess” when I dropped it. I was devastated… But I really wanted to finish it. After studying it for a week I noticed the cushions on the coach had been too vibrant. The pastel dust from other colors had neutralized the color helping me to see. It took almost destroying the painting, to turn it into a blessing in disguise!



TRR:  Is there anything else you’d like to add?


I am currently featured in a curated exhibit, “Dog Days of Summer…and Other Pets, Too” by Martin Arts at the Courthouse Cultural Gallery in Stuart, FL. which is available through October. For more details visit:





Her paintings have won many other national and international awards and have been included in art museum shows in the US, the International Festival for Natural Ecology Convention at the Lanwan Art Museum in Qingdao China with the Artists for Conservation and has had paintings in New York City’s Salmagundi Club, Sotheby’s in Los Angles and the MEAM Museum in Barcelona Spain.  Membership affiliations include: Signature Member Pastel Society of America, Signature Member Artists for Conservation, the Salmagundi Art Club in NYC, Elected Member Audubon Artists, Society of Animal Artists, National Oil and Acrylic Painters Society, Oil Painters of America, and the International Guild of Realism.

For more information about Deborah’s paintings or classes:

Deborah LaFogg Docherty, AFC, IAPS/MC, PSA
Wildlife/Landscape Artist



For coverage of your events, to place an advertisement, or speak to Rickie about appearing in The Rickie Report, contact:

Rickie Leiter, Publisher   561-537-0291

17019 SW Sapri Way   Port St. Lucie, FL 34986

To read previous posts, click and scroll down.