Arts Council Menifee announces August Artist of the Month

Deborah Irish, Arts Council Menifee’s August Artist of the Month, stands beside her painting of the sun’s corona. Courtesy photo

Arts Council Menifee named Deborah Irish as its artist of the month for August 2019. Irish is a Menifee-based artist who has been painting her entire life. She said remembers first being drawn to the arts as a little girl and found that she took to them naturally since artistic genes run strong in her family. She found herself especially interested in watercolors, a skill that eventually caught the interest of a young man named Rick Irish while she was attending high school in Ventura. Rick Irish was impressed with her art and made it a point to let her know. The two later began dating and have been inseparable ever since. The two have been married for 36 years.

Deborah and Rick Irish moved to Menifee in 1989 with their two children who were 3 years old and five months at the time. The Irish family grew right alongside the city that they still call home to this day. It was around this time that Deborah Irish began painting with acrylics and began working as a professional muralist part-time.

The artist reflected on her early days as a professional artist.

“I started experimenting with acrylics, painting murals and faux finishes in our own home. Before I knew it, I was painting for friends, then friends of friends and so on,” Irish said.

Irish has been active in the community and is a member of the National Association for Female Executives and the General Federation of Women’s Clubs. In 2015, Irish also became a patron for Arts Council Menifee. Her decision to join ACM was not only inspired by her love for art, she said, but also from her desire to connect with local artists to help promote her company, Art Uncorked, a paint and sip company which she launched in 2014. It was Irish’s goal to introduce art to as many people while having fun. Sharing art with others is one of Irish’s main life passions, she said.

Deborah Irish is Arts Council Menifee’s August Artist of the Month. Courtesy photo

“Creativity is a gift, and if we deny ourselves this gift, we deny ourselves the pleasure that creating art brings. Pablo Picaso said, ‘Art washes from the soul the dust of everyday life.’ When we create art, we can have the same feelings of falling in love,” Irish said. “This is why I am so passionate; I know how enriching art is in my life. Art can enrich everyone’s life, if they allow themselves to not worry about the outcome and embrace the process. The process, the action of creating art, is where all those good feelings come from. Although, I have to say the results I see at the end of my Art Uncorked painting parties are impressive.”

Another passion of Irish is to grow as an artist. She made a pilgrimage to Stapleton, Nebraska, Aug. 21, 2017, to see The Great American Solar Eclipse. Irish has since strived to reproduce the image of a complete solar eclipse in her paintings and succeeds in conveying the beauty of the sun’s corona in ways that conventional photographic equipment cannot capture. Irish said she feels like her responsibility as an artist is to paint what a total solar eclipse looks and feels like and based on the paintings displayed on her fine art website,, it looks like she is doing just that.

It is because of Irish’s passion for perfecting and sharing her craft that she was nominated by Arts Council Menifee trustee Lynne Hartung.

“Deborah has remarkable skills as an artist and teacher. I took my first art class from her and she was able to guide me through a most wonderful creative journey that resulted in a painting even my husband admired. Deborah Irish is a kind, patient and caring person that is always there to help any way she can,” Hartung said.