Known by collectors for creating paintings of beauty that resonate with the viewer, artist Deborah Haeffele's work possesses an unerring ability to refine a moment. Haeffele employs a painterly realism, reminiscent of early European and California impressionists using vivid colors and a dramatic play of light and shadow.
Her paintings have been featured in Art Business News, Artist Magazine, the American Library Journal, the Monterey Herald, California, and on NBC 11's cable program In Wine Country. Her book artwork has been included on such noteworthy lists as Smithsonian Magazine, the Bank Street College List, the Society of Illustrators, and the National Bookseller's List.
A published writer and artist, Ms. Haeffele's work is included into a diverse assortment of corporate and private collections including Clos La Chance Winery, Zayante Winery, Cranbrook Institute, SAS Institute, Glaxo Wellcome, Kaiser Permanente, General Electric, Mecklenburg County, N.C., and Wake County, N.C.
She has exhibited twice at the N.C. Museum of Art, the Charach Epstein Museum, Michigan, and the Society of Illustrators, New York. She has been published by over a dozen major publishers including EP Dutton, Penguin, Scholastic, Simon & Schuster, Algonquin, Scribner & Sons, Farrar Straus & Giroux, Bentley House, and more.
NBC 11's anchor, Mary Babbitt observes that "Deborah's passion is painting scenes from the Haeffeles' travels to Europe and of course, vineyards from wine country." Haeffele has painted much of Italy and France, particularly the wine regions. She also focuses on northern California vineyards from Santa Cruz, Monterey, the Russian River, Sonoma, and Napa. She has painted commercial and private wineries including Clos La Chance, Zayante, L'Esperance, Cooper Garrod, and Loyola Vineyards. Although wine country is a common denominator in her work with its compelling terrain and atmosphere, there is always a unique element that makes each image unique.
As a former writer and book illustrator, her paintings often suggest a specific moment and place as if the characters have just left or are about to enter the place. Her combination of artistry and story telling give the images a timeless endurance.
Old world architecture is another favorite subject, particularly the spectacular streets of Rome, Paris, Venice, and Florence as well as the Tuscany and Provence. Café, flower and produce markets populate these street scenes with vibrancy.
Her latest focus is on the great United States western landscape, "America's architecture." In the upcoming months, she will be creating a series that capture these pivotal sights which draw people worldwide. Upcoming images will include the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Zion, Sedona, and Bryce Canyon.
While her paintings are done in a traditional manner with layers of oil applied onto gessoed cotton and linen canvases, she employs a contemporary gesture with palette knife and brush. Thin glazing over thicker impasto layers creates a strong sense of light and depth.
Ms. Haeffele has Masters' degree in design from N. C. State University's School of Design, Raleigh, and a B.A. from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
Art Business News said her landscapes "emphasize color and light". "Which help create an interesting marriage of line and fluidity."
In a Monterey Herald feature, Carmel gallery owner, Art Pitzer, describes her work: "Deborah's artwork is "painterly," and gives the viewer a real sense of the scene in terms of imagery and atmosphere. The combination of technical merit and aesthetic appeal yield a popular response among our clientele."
Art reviewer, Lisa Crawford Watson says that her work "is painted not only in appreciation of the landscape but also with a story in mind, offering a sense of the lives played out in her landscapes." The style is intended to bring the viewer into a timeless place invoking joyful resonance and memory.