The Art of
Deborah, born in 1956, grew up in a family in which her parents, naturalized Americans, are descended from four generations of Dutch painters and musicians. But it was her father’s career in the international grain business that took Deborah and her family to live in foreign countries on three continents and in six different American states, instilling in her a wanderlust and quest for new experience. After graduating from high school in Rye, New York she entered Cornell University with an intended Agronomy major. A love of photography and art drew her away from college and she left after two years. Instead of receiving any formal art or photography training, Deborah’s natural inclination was to take to the road in search of imagery and a broader sense of the World. In her twenties she traveled extensively, alone, developing a creative process inspired by atmosphere and light and fueled by a zest for knowledge. She has been showing her work professionally and continuously since 1976.
Deborah’s artistic search began with photography and journal writing. Her photographs capture everyday scenes transformed by the light that fascinates her. After twenty years of traveling to photograph she has expressed the experience in her book “Traveling Light - Chasing an Illuminated Life“, first published by Impassio Press, Seattle in 2003 and re-issued by William, James & Co. in 2006. Combining words and the photographic images, she attempts to offer a different creative form altogether. Her photographs continue to be used in calendars, on book covers in literary journals and on note cards.
In keeping with her focus on images and the written word, her pastel work is known for its reading and writing themes. Through these subjects, and other daily scenes, she attempts to express the human need for comfort, communication, knowledge and freedom, the goals of which often conflict and are difficult to experience simultaneously. Her work is narrative and realist in style. Many of her images about reading and books are collected in “Deborah DeWit Marchant: In the Presence of Books”, published by William, James & Co.
Deborah added oil paint to her list of mediums in 1999 and has developed an expressive style combining detail and loose, layered paint with a focus on natural subjects. Much of this work describes our human relationship with nature and the many moods of the seasons, emotional and temporal.
Deborah’s photographs, pastels and oils can be found in many personal, corporate and University collections across the country, and she continues to show regularly in galleries in the Northwest. Both her photographs and pastels have been used on the covers of books, magazines and catalogues and have been reproduced in calendars.
In 1990, with the founding of their company Simple Minds, Deborah and her then husband, Robert Marchant, joined forces to further establish Deborah’s art career and expand her audience to a national level. Slowly the company grew to include over 170 note cards of Deborah’s images, distributed nationwide.