About Deb Gengler-Copple, PSA, AFC

Artist Statement:

The soft sound of the wind moving through the pines; the power of sunlight peeking through the trees; the faint sound of a single exclusive distant bird; the temperature, and the pure clean smell of nature. These moments call me to protect our environment. What I observe in nature becomes the hub of the painting that tells the story I want you to hear.

My influences include master artists, C.M. Russel, Carl Rungus, Bob Kuhn and some of today’s great painters, John Seerey-Lester, Terry Isaac, John Banovich, Scott Christensen. Nature, however is my greatest influence. It is a privilege to support wildlife and conservation with my art.

I pursue reference material year round. I live in an area that provides wildlife experiences first hand and I travel the country to expand my view. It is vital and enlivening to see wildlife in their habitat. When I do, I feel the excitement and inspiration for each piece. I allow all of my senses to bring the animal to life on canvas.

My work is representational with a slight impressionistic edge. I set the mood by playing with background color, and using the pastel like a big loose brush. I add layers of pastel color to bring out the light in the scene and the spirit of the animal.


Image of Award-winning wildlife artist Deb Copple


When it comes to enthusiasm for nature and wildlife, artists are some of the most fervent champions.  Deb Gengler-Copple has chosen oil and pastels to express her self artistically and to communicate a powerful connection with nature and wildlife.

Deb is from Hubbard, Nebraska, received a BA degree from Morningside College, Sioux City, IA and worked as a graphic artist, but her passion for painting wildlife has redirected her career and taken her to the national parks to photograph and view wildlife firsthand.  The artist is a Signature member of the Pastel Society of America, as well as Artists For Conservation and has won a number of awards, including an honorable mention in the International Pastel 100 Competition. She is also a three time Nebraska Habitat Stamp winner, and received  first place from the Phippen Museum Western Art Show in Prescott AZ.  Her work helps support a number of wildlife causes, including Pheasants Forever, Ducks Unlimited, Defenders of Wildlife, and The Wolf and Grizzly Center of West Yellowstone.  

Deb’s paintings of wolves portray a calm, unassailable strength or a quiet, forlorn loneliness.  Her big horn sheep denote power and movement. Her bison are formidable.  The immediacy and richness of her works derive, at least in part, from her ability to immerse herself completely in the natural world, closely observing every nuance about her subjects, their behaviors and their movements. What is important to the artist is experiencing the animal, seeing how it interacts with others, and feeling the excitement of the opportunity to being there.

Although wildlife has always been an interest, it was horses that first lured Gengler-Copple into the realm of drawing and painting.  Drawing and painting horses, it turns out, was an excellent form of training because if focused her eye on anatomy. When painting or drawing deer, elk and sheep, Deb’ familiarity with the horse’s bone structure and musculature stands her in good stead.  
Deb Gengler-Copple, PSA, AFCBack in the studio Deb and her husband have made it a priority, to make the land around their Nebraskan home inviting to native wildlife.  Thanks to the hundreds of shrubs and trees they’ve planted, the area is a haven for regional and migrating bird species. The artist often observes pheasants, wild turkey, and deer as they come in to feed, which are added to her list of subjects to paint.

Deb is presently entering art shows throughout the Midwest, and is represented by, and a member of Prairie Winds Art Center, Grand Island, NE, Cody Country  Art League and Gallery, Cody WY,  CIAO Gallery, Jackson Wy,  and The Occidental Hotel and Gallery in Buffalo, WY.

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Bachelor of Fine Art, Buena Vista College, Storm Lake Iowa          
Morningside College, Sioux City, Iowa                                                           
Beartooth School of Art, Bozeman, Montana                                     
Susan Karen Black Foundation 


Phippen Museum Western Art Show, Prescott Arizona   
The Platte River Art Show, Eugene Mahoney State Park, Ashland Nebraska 
Nebraska Loess Hills R C & D,  Oakland,  Nebraska, solo exhibition  
Daily Grind, solo exhibition, Sioux City, Iowa
“As Rendered in Pastel” ,  Juried Exhibition,  CIAO Gallery, Jackson, Wyoming
Artist of the Plains Art Show and Sale,  The Center for Western Studies of Augustana College, Sioux Falls South Dakota 
Impact Kooser  Show, Leid Gallery, Omaha Nebraska
Governor’s Art Show and Sale, Nebraskaland Days, North Platte, Nebraska 
Cody Country Art League, group show, Cody, Wyoming
Mari Sandoz High Plains Center, solo exhibition, Chadron College Chadron NE
Prairie Winds Art Center, two person show, Grand Island, Nebraska
Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center, Nature Calls Show, Sioux City, Iowa
OWL Wildlife Art Show, Kansas City, Missouri                        
Rockbrook Art Show, Omaha, Nebraska
Watertown Wildlife Art Show, Watertown , South Dakota


Pastel Society of America, Signature Member   
Artists for Conservation, Signature Member
Nebraska  Habitat Stamp Art, three time winner
Honorable Mention, Pastel, 41st Annual Art Show CCAL, Cody, Wyoming
Shoshone First Bank Award,  41st Annual Art Show CCAL, Cody, Wyoming
Pinnacle Bank of Cody Cash Award, CCAL  Art Show, Cody, Wyoming
First Place Pastel, Phippen Museum Western Art Show, Prescott, Arizona
Honorable Mention, 10th Annual Pastel 100 Competition, Pastel Journal
Best of Show, Celebrate the Hills Art Show, Moorhead Iowa
The Peoples Educator of the Year 2004, Sioux City Art Center, Sioux City Iowa 
Teacher of the Year 2005 Sioux City Art Center, Sioux City Iowa 
Honorable Mention, Grand Island Arts in the Part, Grand Island Nebraska
Purchase Award, Museum of Nebraska Art, Association of Nebraska Arts
Honorable Mention, Association of Nebraska Arts
Nebraska Loess Hills R C & D Artist of the Month 
Artist of the Year, Pottawattimie  Pheasants Forever,  Council Bluffs, IA Award of Excellence, Association of Nebraska Arts


Pastel Journal Magazine “Art and Conservation,” by Tucker Coombe  
Nebraska Cattleman Magazine Cover Art  
Nebraska Life Magazine Cover Art 
The Outdoorsmen Magazine, “Artist of the Month”, by John Green


Morten Solberg    
John Banovich
Terry Issac
Paco Young
Albert Handel and Anita West
Ralph Oberg
Claudia Nice
Sheila Reiman
Julie Oriet
Mary Ann Cherry
John and Suzie Serrey-Lester
Scott Christensen


Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center
Pheasants Forever
Ducks Unlimited
Defenders of Wildlife
Dorothy Peacut Nature Center
Bluebirds Across Nebraska