About Deb

“Deb explains her printmaking techniques at a gallery talk at the Abington Art Center in Abington, PA”
Deb Strong Napple is a synesthete whose work removes barriers between thinking and feeling, seeing and hearing, printmaking and painting, landscape and abstract. Deb's pieces are journeys of intense emotion composed of color and form that free participants' imaginations.

As a synesthetic artist, Deb, hears musical notes and tones while painting landscapes en plein air, and she has been further blessed with color as an emotional language.

Deb's work is not limited to any particular medium. Rather, she combines her gifts to create evocative prints, paintings, and other works in her studio through a poetic process that expresses emotional dimensions through visual means.

Click to download Deb's CV


Deb Strong Napple is a lifelong explorer. A New Jersey native, she has since lived in Virginia Beach; Washington, DC; Philadelphia; the island of Guam; and finally Flagstaff, AZ. The same need for adventure drives her explorations in her studio, where she practices painting, etching, and woodcuts, often in the same work of art.

Her creative journey began in early elementary school when she explored cooking, sewing, music and literature. Later, she studied Creative Writing at Old Dominion University, and then graduated from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art (PAFA), where she developed her Printmaking and Painting skills.

Deb realized that she is a synesthetic artist—that she actually hears the colors in the light as she paints en plein air—while enjoying the prestigious Carlson Landscape Residency. This competitive prize rewarded her with a two-month residency in the farmland of Lancaster, PA, where she explored her chromaphonia. She now uses her synesthesia as her unique language, and with it shares the excitement and beauty that she finds in the landscape.

Deb studies, and is influenced by, the work of Pierre Bonnard, Richard Diebenkorn, Piero della Francesca, Clyfford Still, JMW Turner, Helen Frankenthaler, and S.W. Hayter. Deb finds great inspiration for her unique vocabulary of colors, shapes, and mediums in the art of these masters.

In addition to the Carlson Residency, Deb has been awarded other prizes including the Woodmere Art Museum's Pearl Van Sciver Prize, and the American Color Print Society's The Stella Drabkin Memorial Award. She has successfully completed large-scale commissions for institutions and individuals, and her work is held in corporate and private collections nationwide. Hospitals and health care facilities seek out Deb’s art, which brings her the joy of sharing beauty and peace with patients and their families who are in stressful situations. "I love knowing that my art can be a part of the healing process for people who need it the most," Deb said.

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