For the latest News! and updates on exhibitions, artist’s process and projects see:
Art Journey Animals
Deb’s animal drawing Howell Farm Dreadlocks is included in this Best of Animal Art book published by North Light Books. Book is available here
Byers Bucks County Juried Art Exhibition
Art Exhibit invitation features deb’s painting The Caregiver, a portrait of a Native American of Bucks County.
New Children’s book “Benjamin’s Gift” in progress on the drawing table.
See more of the book illustrations in progress here
Bucks County Illustrators Art Exhibit
Art Exhibit at the very special Gronendahl Barn Studio Gallery will feature the original art of deb and her fellow Bucks County Illustrators.
Christmas Childen’s Book “Santa’s Note” by Daniel W. Boone and illustrated by deb hoeffner.
Work in progress on the Christmas children’s book titled “Santa’s Note”. See more of new work in progress here
“Laughing Bear” is award winner in Phillustration 6 Juried Art Exhibition at The Philadelphia Sketch Club
deb’s book “Forever Home: Tales of Four Lucky Dogs” is listed on the Independent Publisher Notables list
and wins 2013 Mom’s Choice Award
deb’s work featured in “The Art of Illustration” Bucks County Illustrators Society exhibition, Pearl Buck Cultural Center, Dublin, PA
deb’s paintings featured in Barn Yard Animal Gallery Event, Graphic Imaging, Pipersville, PA
deb’s drawing “Howell Farm Dreadlocks” featured in North Light books “Strokes of Genius 3: The Best of Drawing”
Carrier “Weathermakers To The World” book acknowledges deb’s Uncle Sam as “The Coolest American of the Century”
Bucks County Town & Country Magazine – Summer 2005 by Cathie Viksjo, regional art critic and writer
Not only does Deb Hoeffner have an incredible artistic range, there is a superb, often profound depth to everything she does. Whether it is a loving and moving portrait of a homeless hungry Christ, or a video cassette cover of Marlon Brando in “A Street Car Named Desire” or a convincing portrait of Uncle Sam for the cover of US News & World Report, her penchant for portraits is pronounced. “There is a face in my head that I draw,” said the artist, who relocated from northern New Jersey to the Doylestown area. “And it’s a just a process of finding it.” This is one of the telling statements I have heard pinpointing the artistic imagination. Simply put, artists see things differently from other people. Whereas we may see a stop sign ahead of us, the artist sees a red hexagon. A truly gifted artist, she works independently from commissions, mostly portraits, illustrations and murals. “I haven’t explored the gallery markets yet,” said the artist. “I’ve always represented myself, because I didn’t want to get pigeon-holed,” she said. She is quite happy with her relocation. “For me, moving to Bucks County is another step in the exploration of life as an artist. The friendliness of the people, the beauty of the area and the active artists community make this a very inspiring place to live.” Deb doesn’t need to win awards or have exhibitions. Her fame on the Internet is well known to newspapers, magazines, portraits and children’s book publishers: her website gives a comprehensive survey of her artworks. Like journalists, Deb works well under pressure and thrives on the adrenaline challenge of commissions. “I never know what’s around the corner. That’s the fun about being an illustrator,” said the artist, whose commissions have included research on rare breeds of dogs and cows. She anticipated the editor’s directions on a two-day deadline for Uncle Sam for the millennial. issue of U. S. News & World Report. First things first, she worked on the face. The details could come next. At present, she is working on a portrait commission of two little girls. “When photographing children for portraits, I always try to spend a lot of time getting to know who they are. A child’s personality is as important to me as the face,” said Ms. Hoeffner who is intensely focused on capturing the subject’s persona — their soul — if you will. She has created commemorative stamps of Princess Diana, Bruce Springsteen pub glasses, a portrait of Daddy Warbucks for Broadway and one of Senator Al D’Amato of New York. The artist moves adroitly from secular to religious subjects. Her images of Jesus Christ range from the very human Jesus wearing a placard that reads “Will work for loaves and fishes” to her magnificent Raphaelesque image of the beatified Saviour’s Resurrection. Her manifold inspirations are noteworthy considering the fact that nobody really knew what Jesus looked like. In her 1988 book, His Face: Images of Christ in Art, editor Marion Wheeler, points out that his physical appearance remains a mystery. “No where in the gospels is he described … Yet, his face is the most familiar and recognizable in Western iconography.” In addition to portraits, Deb’s evolving emphasis is now on the painterly realm of murals. She just completed a huge triptych for a private home in the Jericho Mountain area whose owners are steeped in the history of Philadelphia. The project, which took two years to complete, has three panels, the center in the foyer, the right panel going over the entry to the dining room and the other leading to the study. The mural depicts Philadelphia’s harbor in the 17th century. “It’s my imaginary version of it. I just wanted to tell the story of this wonderful place that I found in living here. I am so excited about it,” said Deb, who uses the computer for sketching and built the stretchers herself. Born and raised in New Jersey, her formal education includes a master’s degree in fine arts. While in college, she spent her time in life drawing, and took art classes at New York’s Art Students League and the School of Visual Arts, weaning herself from the acrylics of undergraduate days to the oils and watercolors she now uses for their blending properties. But she feels she learned more from her lengthy forays at museums, positioning herself myopically as close to the canvases as the nervous museum guards would permit. Deb’s art historical background runs the gamut from French classicists like Claude Lorraine and Nicholas Poussin, the Venetian colorists, the abstract expressionist Jackson Pollack and American illustrators Norman Rockwell and JC Leyendecker. Its too bad that the Saturday Evening Post is no longer around, because Deb would have been a perfect heir to the legacy of the latter two. Ideally, her perfect studio would feature Monet’s Waterlilies, Michaelangelo’s Sistine Ceiling, Rembrandt’s Nightwatch and Picasso’s Guernica. As an artistic pilgrim, so to speak, a visit to Venice dramatically changed her colorism. In the opinion of the Italian art historian Terisio Pignatti, the period between 1470 and 1590 is the zenith of 600 years of independent and magnificent achievement. During this time there was one unifying vision in Venetian art, a vision intensely bound to color.” Deb said she can never paint brown again. “Like many artists before me, the visual experience of this shimmering city has had a permanent influence on my palette. The city changed every hour and it was just so beautiful,” said the artist. Interestingly enough, Giovanni Bellini (ca. 1426-1516) paved the way for Venetian Renaissance painting. Much like Deb Hoeffner, his image of Christ passed through many stages of inspiration, ranging from the grief-stricken to the triumphant. But rather than slavishly imitate, Deb has subconsciously absorbed and incorporated these manifold influences into her own signature style of soft realism. “To thine own self be true”, the dictum of Socrates, has served her well.
Deb Hoeffner’s work featured in gallery show “ Inside the Artists’ Studio Exhibition ” Photographs of the artists in their studios along with selected works. Photography by Rick Gould. Bucks Gallery of Fine Art, Newtown, Pennsylvania