1130 Pine Street, Paso Robles, CA 93446
November 6, 2018

A Photographer on an Adventure & Her Breakout Year

By Deb Hofstetter

A Photographer on an Adventure & Her Breakout Year

“Life is an adventure and photography is the adventure of a dream.” Deborah “Deb” Hofstetter’s artistic adventure began as a small child with a crayon in her pocket. She recalls those few times she stood facing a wall as punishment for a childhood slight and remembers seeing images in the texture on the walls and feeling inclined to bring life to that image. A few years later she drew cartoons and framed them in egg carton tops, which she glued on her bedroom walls. Shortly thereafter her father gave her a camera and suggested a new art form. Today Deb is still using images and textures and creating a new art form: digital art.

Deb speaks regularly on the subject of digital art and its immersion into the art world. It all begins with a photograph and a vision. Many painters take photographs then paint their rendition to create art. Photographers use equipment, technical training in both camera operations and post-production skills and their vision to produce artwork. With the introduction of computers and advanced processing software photographers are now able to take their images to a new level. Instead of using wet paint and brushes they use paint and brushes in software. They can merge several pictures together. Deb uses layers and masks in both her artwork production and her technically precise product photography. The use of technology has opened up a world of new adventures for all artists.

Deb is not one to focus her creativity on just one form of photography. “Diversity keeps it interesting and helps me grow” she states. She loves it all. Deb enjoys watching the light change and finding subjects or putting subjects in just the right light to capture the natural beauty be it people, animals, or any object. Deb built a studio at home in which she controls the light. She says she’s a bit of a physics geek and enjoys its challenges. In a studio she can ‘see’ with more intensity and clarity. Deb has become a bit of a perfectionist as she builds her wine bottle and splash clientele. Her new studio skills have helped to elevate her photography skills in all areas.

Color plays an important role in Deb’s world. She likes bright and warm colors for most of her artwork. She likes photographing old objects and especially the rust and textures found on old vehicles. She uses these textures to create a certain look or evoke an emotion. Antiques, yard art and simple compositions are found in her art inventory. She shares, “One of my favorite photos is of a stallion. I was shooting the Paso Robles Pioneer Day Parade as it unfolded. In the early morning hours I heard the pounding hooves and loud snorts of a horse and hurried to the arena to find a trainer working with a beautiful stallion. I was awestruck by the rippling muscles and pure energy as he kicked up the sand and stomped powerfully around the ring. In post processing I removed the horse from a distracting background, made a cutout on a dark background and blended a rusty red texture into the photo. It exemplified everything I felt. I call it ‘Fire and Fury.’”

While Deb continues her Studio 4 partnership with Dean Crawford Jr. at Studios on the Park, she also shows at local venues such as Odyssey Cafe, Kennedy Nautilus Fitness Center, Peachy Canyon, Castoro Cellars and Le Vigne Wineries. Deb’s portrait work, commercial photography and art can be viewed at her website: Deb’s work has been published in several regional publications. “It’s been a breakout year for me” she remarked.

Studios on the Park features an artist in their window each month. Look for December’s display this year as Deb unveils her new wine “Splash” art! Deb loves being a part of the art community and is thankful for the many opportunities her residency at Studios provides.

Her close friend Cheryl McKinney adds, “Debbie Hofstetter is someone I have known for over 36 years. I watched her go from a girl with a job, to a mom on a mission, to a woman with a passion and an eye for beauty! It has been truly amazing watching her develop in a relatively short period of time into a brilliant artist!” Nan Reyner adds, “I met Debbie back in the 70’s. Deb has always been ambitious and worked hard through good and challenging tines for her family and her principles. I love that she’s given herself the gift of expressing herself through her photography and artwork. She has so much to share. I am happy she’s found her creative outlet.”

Ultimately, Deb is driven. “I see images in my mind, beautiful visions that I am challenged to learn how to capture and create. If I must learn a new skill then I get on with it. There is no end to this adventure, just new and creative art!” Deb now works exclusively on her passion – photography – and she continues to grow.


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