Deborah DeWit was born March 28th, 1956 in Portland, Oregon to naturalized Americans. Her mother, father and infant brother arrived by ship in 1950 in San Pedro, California, via South America from Holland.
One side of her father’s family were etchers, illustrators and painters stretching back several generations in The Hague and on the other side grain handlers and engineers. Her mother’s family were Dutch plantation owners and British traders in the Dutch East Indies, also for several generations.
Deborah’s father’s career in the grain business took her and her family to live in many parts of the U.S. as well as around the world. This varied and somewhat exotic background had a strong influence on Deborah’s professional yearnings. Although entering Cornell University as an Agronomy major, the artistic pull of her father’s blood and the adventurous streak in her mother’s, combined to lead her away from University and set her on a journey to discover her own interests and talents. At the age of fifteen she found that the camera suited her quest and in her twenties set about discovering the world with young eyes recording her travels with image and word. Her photographs received immediate praise and she began the life of a working artist in 1976.
Wanting to create as well as discover, Deborah began working in pastel in 1988 and then in oil about a dozen years later. She’s been represented by a number of galleries, has sold her work at art fairs, participated in group shows and holds and annual studio show. Her work has been used on book covers, in magazines, in calendars and on note cards, and the originals reside in numerous public and private collections.
Deborah has three books in print: Traveling Light: Chasing an Illuminated Life, a literary memoir about her photographic years; In the Presence of Books, a portfolio of over 40 of her pastels and paintings about reading and the book; and Painting Cats a story of her experience taming a feral cat, named Cabbit, illustrated by her many cat paintings. www.wmjasco.com
In 2008-09 Deborah collaborated with her husband, filmmaker Carl Vandervoort, on Wetlands, a documentary about the restoration of a small piece of wild land in the suburban neighborhood where she lived for 25 years and the paintings that are a result of her experiences there.
In 2009 and her husband Carl acquired and began restoring a 1922 house and flower farm on the Oregon coast. There they have built a studio, a barn, planted an orchard and vegetable garden and continue to grapple with the invasive species that had taken over property. The experience of living on these five acres inspires much of Deborah’s recent work.
Selected Gallery Exhibition History
White Bird Gallery, Cannon Beach, OR 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018, 2020
Sunriver Lodge, Betty Gray Gallery, Sunriver, OR 2010
Rowboat Gallery, Pacific City, OR 2010
Mary Lou Zeek Gallery, Salem, OR 2005, 2006, 2008
Beppu Gallery, Pacific City, OR 2000, 2001, 2002
The Lawrence Gallery, OR: 1981,’82,’83,’84,’88
Gallery at Salishan (formerly Maveety), Gleneden Beach, OR: 1988, ’90, ’92, ’94, ’95, ’96,’97
The Lisa Harris Gallery, Seattle, WA: 1986, ’87, ’88, ’91, ’96
The Augen Gallery, Portland, OR: 1984, ’85, ’86
Editions Ltd., San Francisco and Indianapolis: 1981,’83, ’84, ’86, ’92
Hanson/Howard Gallery, Ashland, OR: 1987, ’91,’93, ’96, 2004
American Art Co., Tacoma, WA.: 1984, ’94, ’95, ’96,’98
ArtPaleis Promenade, Den Haag, Netherlands: 1983
Southend-on-Sea, England: 1983
The Silver Image Gallery, Seattle, WA.: 1986
Nevada Museum of Art, Reno, NV Kaiser Permanente, Portland, OR. Good Samaritan Hospital, Portland, OR.
E.F. Hutton, Portland, OR EF Hutton, Portland, OR Arthur Andersen, Seattle, WA
Headquarters Co., Seattle and Portland. Intel Corporation, Portland, OR Hewlett Packard, Vancouver, WA
St. Louis University US Trust Co., New York, NY Tigard Public Library
Publications and Commissions
1984 thru 1992: Twelve fine-art posters published by Editions Ltd, San Francisco, CA.
1986: Commissioned to create two poster images for the Huntington Museum, Pasadena, CA.
1987: Commissioned to create the Salem Art Festival Poster
1989: Featured in the book “Northwest Originals: Oregon Women and Their Art”
1995 thru 2007: 18 covers for Bas Bleu-Bookseller by Post-Atlanta, GA
1994 &1995 & 1997& 1998, 2000,2004: Images used for book covers by Devorss & Co., Marina Del Rey, CA
1997&1999, &2002 & 2004: Cover art for Open Spaces Magazine
1997& 1998: Book Covers for Self-Realization Publishers,Los Angeles, CA
1998: Book Cover for Bedford/St. Martins Press, Boston, MA
1997 thru 2000: Commissioned photographs, drawings and paintings of St.Louis University Environmental Extension Site in Louisiana, MO
1998: Cover Art for Levenger Catalog, Delray Beach, FL
1999: Cover for Orion Magazine, Fall Issue
1999,2001,2002,2003, 2004, 2005, 2006: Calendars for Cedco Publishing, San Rafael, CA
2007-2010: Calendars for Brush Dance and Ronnie Sellers
2001: Kows for Kids Project, Portland, OR “Elsie’s Journey”–permanently displayed in Multnomah County Central Library
2001:Five book covers for Penguin Academic Series, Longman Publishing, New York, NY
2002:American Orient Express commission illustrations for their publicity and travel brochures
2003: “Traveling Light: A Photographer’s Journey” published by Impassio Press, Seattle WA
2006: “Traveling Light: Chasing an Illuminated Life” re-issue published by William, James & Co., Wilsonville, OR
2006: Tigard Public Library commissions 5′ x 8′ oil triptych for permanent installation on entry point wall.
2007: “Deborah DeWit Marchant: In the Presence of Books” published by William, James & Co., Wilsonville, OR
2008: “Painting Cats” published by William, James & Co., Wilsonville, OR
2010: Wetlands , a documentary about art and the environment, produced by Carl Vandervoort and Deborah DeWit
Teaching and Jurying Experience
1982-83: Artist-in-Residence, Sitka Center for Art and Ecology
1983, 1988 thru 1991, 2000, ’01,’02, ’03, ’04:Photography and Pastel Workshops, Sitka Center for Art and Ecology, Otis, OR
1987-’88: Photography Workshop, Salem Art Association
1986, ’87: Guest Lecturer, Oregon State University
1989: Juror, ArtQuake Festival, Marketplace, Portland, Or.
1991: Juror, Salem Art Fair, 2-D entrants
1999, 2004: Pastel workshop-Oregon College of Arts and Crafts, Portland, Oregon
2007 Juror, Art in the Pearl, Portland, OR
2007 Board of Directors , Sitka Center for Art and Ecology
2008 The Presence of Books Workshop Lewis and Clark College with poet Kim Stafford
Best of Show awarded by the Salt Lake City Gallery Association, Utah Arts Festival 1997
Best of Show awarded by the Board of Art in the Pearl, Portland, Oregon 1999
Honorary Chair and Featured Artist of the Ninth Annual Sitka Art Invitational, Portland, Oregon, 2001
Curator and Logistics Chair for Sitka Art Invitational: 2002-6, 2008-10
Governor’s Office Exhibit, Salem, Oregon July 2006