Nantucket artist Deborah VanderWolk brings fantasy and vibrance to her paintings of simple everyday scenes. Working predominantly in watercolor and mixed media, she turns common views from the countryside to the big city into vivid scenes of color and whimsy.
Born in 1959, Deborah was exposed as a young child to the art of many cultures. She lived with her parents in Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, a small fishing village in the south of France and Nantucket. She also traveled widely throughout Europe with her parents. An only child, she created her own world, immersing herself in such diverse color-filled experiences as snorkeling in the Caribbean, dancing in the streets at Carnival, and wandering the streets of Nantucket, the place she calls home.
The family home on Nantucket at 98 Main Street was in front of the James Hunt Barker Gallery at 1 Pleasant Street which fed her early love of art. She was particularly captivated by a private collection of Grandma Moses shown at that gallery. She took her first art classes with Beverly Hall, Nantucket’s well-known spiritually-inspired photographer. Later, on a trip to Vienna, she was introduced to Hudertwasser who inspired her first drawings. Her work has been further influenced by Gustave Klimt, Wassily Kandinsky and Paul Klee.
She studied at the Bauder School of Fashion Design and Textiles in Miami, Florida. She has followed the style and color trends in fashion, home decorating and home assessories all her life which influences her ideas for paintings.
Deborah began showing her work at Nantucket gallery "Made on Nantucket" in 2002 and since then, she has participated in both group and themed shows at the Nantucket Artists Association. She was accepted into the Nantucket Artists Association in 2002, and in 2011 she was given their Mixed Media Award. She designed and painted the Safe Place image that is used for their banner and website page header.
Deborah was the "artist in residence" for the 2013 Nantucket Gardern Festival at Pumpkin Pond Farm where she painted a special garden themed painting that was auctioned off to benefit the Nantucket Lighthouse School. The piece was also made into posters for purchase.
The University Of Virginia Children's Hospital has purchased three of Deborah's larger pieces of art that will hang as a perminate collection.
Deborah's work is represented at Robert Foster Fine Arts where she has had a solo show each summer since 2011. Her work is also available at the Artist Assocation of Nantucket and Nantucket Looms.