Art vs Artist: Deborah Connelly-Bombich

"My name is Deborah Connelly-Bombich. I was born and raised in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. I have been drawing since I was 5 years old. I have had some art training, I went to Saturday Morning Art classes when I was in elementary school. They were in the Carnegie Museum in Oakland- Pittsburgh, PA. I graduated from that and went to the Saturday classes at Carnegie Mellon University also in Oakland. But I wasn't able to finish, unfortunately. I also went to the Art Institute of Pittsburgh for Commercial Art, but didn't graduate.


I have done a lot of things in art. I learn from books, they are a great source of educating yourself. I have done cartoon work, I have restored old photos, painted portraits, and worked as a portrait photographer at Sears Portrait Studio. But back in 2001, I hurt my back severely, which caused me to have to resign from Sears. I can not go out to work any longer, but I refused to just sit there and apply for disability. But I couldn't walk very well, was in constant pain, but I was determined to find some way of getting back to work.


I think for me, fitting in was very hard, especially in my younger years...and this was why I was unable to complete school. But art has always remained in my life. I am now 55 years old and as of a few years, am a single parent. I have a wonderful son, he is 19 years old and he is Asperger Syndrome. This is a form of autism. He also is showing that he loves art, and has won a award and trophy for photography at his school.


I was up one night surfing on the computer and happened to come across Ebay. I went searching and typed in dolls, celebrity dolls, ect... Well, I came across OOAK (one of a kind) repaint dolls. Wow, I thought! I could do this, but how? I never seen anything like this before. One artist in particular, struck my interest. His name is Adrian. I just loved his Marilyn Monroe he had for auction on Ebay. So, I decided to write him to first tell him his work was fantastic! And also to ask if he could help me in learning how to repaint dolls. Well, he replied back and he was just as nice as could be! He gave me all the tips he knew and advice on how to go about repainting dolls.


Now let me tell you, to show how kind this man is, I emailed him my first repainted doll. Now, I thought I did a great job and was thrilled, but now when I look back at this dolls picture, oh my gosh! She was horrid!!! lol  But Adrian was so kind, he never said anything bad. But he always told me, keep at it, and every doll you do will get better and better. He helped me out a lot thru the beginning years, and I greatly appreciated this. 


But I love to repaint old Hollywood celebrities. They had such a presence to them. Bette Davis is one of my all time favorites, she was a powerful classy gal. Also Katherine Hepburn, one of the great actresses. Judy Garland, Audrey Hepburn, oh the list could go on!


I have been repainting dolls since 2002, and hope to be doing this for a very long time. I have met a lot of great people from all over the world, and have been truly blessed to be able to do what I love to do. In the face of hard times, and a disability, let my story show that you can over come anything you put your mind to do."


Deborah Connelly-Bombich


Deborah is a master of the celebrity/character repaint. you have no doubt when you look at her doll who the person is. We are long time admirers and feel very lucky to have this talented lady join this project! Her character is Mr. Gold and we are super excited to see him. She is also repainting Robin Hood for Becky Unger!






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