Art That Serves

“Every artist dips his brush in his own soul and paints his own nature into his pictures.” Henry Ward Beecher

“Society has long understood that the arts have the power to touch the heart and cradle the soul — to bring joy and to ease pain.”  (The Stamford Advocate, CT, Phyllis Boros- Healing Newtown Gallery Open To The World)

“Art is a collaboration between God and the artist, and the less the artist does the better.” Andre Gide

While my work has evolved from portrait and representational art to a form of abstract expressionism and beyond, new opportunities have also evolved.  The sanctuary at Jersey Shore Calvary Chapel in Point Pleasant Beach, NJ, currently features an array of my paintings curated by Pastor John Durante and his wife, Christina.  Works on view include Victory Parade (a large expressive abstraction based on 2 Corinthians 2:14) and Gathering (reminiscent of the Last Supper).  I penned this statement in 2012 about Renaissance (a mixed-media piece that can be viewed above the communion table).  It rings true for every artist.


An Artist Statement:
“Renaissance”- rebirth, revival of artistic achievement and vigor, resurrection

I desire, pray, study, learn, observe, believe, invest, prepare, paint, create, labor, fail, despair, pray, wait, push, risk, pull, tire, consult, rest, try again and again… and again. I finally rise; eventually triumph! This is my artistic process. The finished work then awaits its own resurrected opportunity to be seen and appreciated. Like the ascension of the morning sun, I trust it will come. The promise of resurrection is alive and written into everything if we only embrace the suffering that precedes the glory. Jesus offers this even to the weary artist.
Debbie Jencsik 2012

10252017_627052454046180_1252479591139124519_nJersey Shore Calvary Chapel


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50 Shades of Tea

Some of my NEW WORK- FABRIC PAINTINGS – colors selected from the official British Tea Chart  below:

British Tea No. 1  -20×20 fabric on canvas

British Tea No. 2 – 20×20 fabric on canvas

Friday, October 11, 2013:

Take a late afternoon/ early evening tea break and head upstairs to 135 Monmouth Street in Red Bank, where internationally exhibited multimedia artist (and Red Bank Community Church co-pastor) Gerda Liebmann presents a special opening event at Gallery 135, the must-see space located inside the second-story loft shared by the RBCC. An eclectic array of works in multiple media on the theme of one of the world’s favorite beverages, “Fifty Shades of Tea” spotlights the artistry of Debbie Jencsik, Ellen Martin, Wesley Sumrall, Linnea Tober — and Liebmann, who explains that “the concept of this exhibit is to have the visual reality of art and the multi-sensory reality of tea complement each other to create a truly immersive esthetic experience.” Also offered at the free 6 pm opening event will be a tasting of special-teas from Tea4U of The White House in Oakhurst. Additional exhibit hours will be offered on Saturday (3-5 pm) and Sunday (1-3 pm); call (732)687-3580 for more info.

Read the full press release:


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The Red Bank Art Walk

Solo exhibition – “True Colors”- Debbie Jencsik paintings
Gallery 135 – Curated by Gerda Liebmann

135 Monmouth St
Red Bank, NJ 07701
(732) 872-0056

The Red Bank Art Walk
May 2013

Press release/ CLICK PHOTO to watch the video:

Red Bank Art Walk Brings Together Businesses, Artists and Residents (via NJ Today with Mike Schneider on NJTV)

By Madeline OrtonNJ Today On a special day in Red Bank, it’s hard to pinpoint where the community ends and the art begins. “We built this space specifically to be able to display things like art or other community activity events,” shared Joe…


Continue reading

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A Call To Action – Newtown, CT

"By His stripes we are healed." Isaiah 53:3

"I will never forget you. See, I have inscribed you in the palm of My hands." Isaiah 49:15,16








An outpouring of love from all over the world:

Letters to Newtown

I was sadly honored to have attended the grand opening of the Healing Newtown Arts Space in Newtown, CT on Valentine’s Day.   Please click on the link below to read about their wonderful arts initiative promoting love and healing.  You’ll spot my painting “Elephant Dreams” (now in the permanent public collection of Newtown) along with all the Grand Opening Photos in the Gallery.  A piece of my heart is in beautiful Newtown.

Healing Newtown through the Power of the Arts

HealingNewtown Arts Space                                                
5 Queen Street, Newtown CT 06470
February 14, 2013
3-6 PM — at 5 Queen Street

“Healing Newtown Art Space on 5 Queen Street, Newtown – is a home base to house the Healing Newtown Project and a safe ~happy meeting place for children and families during the long process of healing. The ample space will be used to field calls related to arts and culture in Newtown, organize creative contributions that continues to be offered; facilitate donated arts programs & workshops geared toward arts healing. Community members are welcome! It is a co-work space for all people working on healing through the arts and a place for parents to meet over a cup of coffee and to get online. Plenty of room to display a gallery of visual artworks from around the state and around the country.”




The Stamford Advocate

Newtown’s Hamlet Hub


The journey from my studio to the opening:

 Thank you Governor Malloy, for this honor.


Press Releases

Read more:


Psychology Tomorrow Magazine

At the intersection of art and psychology

Features: Essay

Healing Newtown

| Anne Pyburn Craig | March 2013 – Issue 5


“I don’t know who painted this beautiful, sad elephant, but I wish I could be so fantastically artistic.”   Marty McCorkle, Fine Artist painting in the Philippines

Did you know:

“Elephants, the largest land animals on the planet, are among the most exuberantly expressive of creatures. Joy, anger, grief, compassion, love; the finest emotions reside within these hulking masses. Through years of research, scientists have found that elephants are capable of complex thought and deep feeling. In fact, the emotional attachment elephants form toward family members may rival our own.”  Read more in this interesting article on “Elephant Emotions.”



“Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted.”  Matthew 5:4



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Georgian Court University Show

“true colors”

      debbie jencsik: paintings

“These paintings are amazing. they are pure joy and delight…like biting into a juicy chilled sweet mango on a hot summer day. These soar.”   JoHanna Helein

gallery installations

(some photos courtesy of Gerry Vitiello- GV Photographics)

Michele Spadora (right) Bridal Music by Flora Duo

Press Releases

Georgian Court University            M. Christina Geis Art Gallery  

December 11, 2012 – January 17, 2013

featuring  new large works“Elephant Dreams”  60 x 50  oil on canvas

“Mother and Child”  60 x 50 oil on canvas

“The Gift”  60 x 50 oil on canvas

“Woman with Two Cats”  60 x 50 oil on canvas

“Count It All Joy”  50 x 60 oil on canvas

“This exhibit is deceptively playful and energetically refreshing. The viewer should not be fooled into thinking this body of work is mere child’s play. With each piece, Deborah blends a joyful activity with a colorful canvas by means of a scrupulous intellectual and emotional metamorphosis. The collection is a must-see for everyone.”    – Kathleen Settles,  Gallery Director

Opening Reception    –    December 11, 2012   5-8pm

All are welcome!   Please bring your children 🙂

Making their debut!

 The True Colors Collection (c.2007)

“…my studio was a shoebox…”

(see website for entire group images-

small works on paper


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The Bride

I recently attended a wedding (Joey and Jen Leach, love these guys) that was officiated by Pastor Todd Burpo, best-selling author of Heaven is for Real.  Needless to say, the bride was beautiful, the wedding simply charming; both fun and funny.  It was an honor and privilege to be there.

The synchronization and coincidence of meeting Todd Burpo after we had heard of him a few years ago added to the astonishment of the day. We were delighted as you can imagine, to learn from our son who happened to be in the wedding party, that he would likely be attending our church service the morning of the wedding.  It was there that Todd unexpectedly delivered a powerful message and personal testimony; one that even he did not plan or prepare for.  I am ever-increasingly convinced our lives are orchestrated by God in ways called “happenstance.”  Nothing is wasted; there are no accidents. We are constantly led by His Spirit, appropriated by believing.  A beautiful thing.

The back story is that Todd Burpo happened to be the Youth Pastor of the groom years back, who happens to be a good friend of one of my sons now.  I could go further with all the happenstances surrounding this story, but you get the idea.

Why am I mentioning this?  Aside from the pure delight of it all, it brings to light my painting entitled, “The Bride.”  This piece made its debut in a solo exhibition at the magnificent Oyster Point Hotel, Red Bank, NJ back in March/April (scroll down to All Things New) where weddings are often celebrated.  Incidentally, I highly recommend this hotel and absolutely love it.

“The Bride” apparently speaks on multiple levels.  Several perceptions were brought to my attention, from the striking aesthetic surface appeal to deep spiritual connotations.  My sister recently summed it up with one simple but powerful word.  “It symbolizes love.”  

“Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.”  (Degas)

This painting began with the contemplation of utilizing the white of the canvas.  For whatever reason, I believed it to be an essential element of the ultimate success of this piece.  I knew I was going to paint a bride, but I did not know exactly how that would flesh out. 

“The painting has a life of its own.”  (Jackson Pollock).

In a belaboring process with rendering the head, I subsequently and instinctively made the decision to go back in to alter it.  The only option to creating something with greater emotion and lasting impact was to wield with artistic punch.  A few strong and courageous gestural marks were in order, causing me to squint to the point where my eyes may have actually shut.  It was as if the image was going to deliver something right back at me.  (And that would be the dreaded impact of hating what I just did!)

“The object of art is not to produce reality, but to create a reality of the same intensity.” (Alberto Giocometti)

“The job of the artist is to deepen the mystery.” (Francis Bacon)

In perceiving “The Bride” as a work of art, it does not disappoint in the emotional sense, and at the level of intensity in which it was expressed, it mysteriously guides the viewer toward deeper contemplation and truth.   That being said, the work does not have to be as dramatic as this to create an impact.  It can be as simple as a solid color engulfing the canvas.

In terms of the use of white, I recall an exquisite show by Robert Ryman at the Dia Beacon Museum in Beacon, NY.  Every painting was a subtle shade of white, in a white room, with wonderful light.  I was struck by the use of white.  It’s powerfully simple, pure and  unforgettable, the way I’d like my work to be thought of actually.

 “The Bride”  40 x 30  oil on canvas

“The essential thing is to spring forth, to express the bolt of lightning one senses upon contact with a thing. The function of the artist is not to translate an observation but to express the shock of the object on his nature; the shock, with the original reaction.” Henri Matisse

“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church…”  Ephesians 5:25




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Debbie Jencsik: Paintings

September arrives with this great opportunity to exhibit some work at Idiosyncrazies Gallery & Gift Shop, Arnold Ave., downtown Point Pleasant Beach.  Here is a sneak peak:

I love this presentation window display!  “Coaxing Blooms Out of Shadows” featured with that fabulous upcycled chair designed with duck tape are the perfect marriage. (Photography by Ann Marie Nuti)

 below- friends John, Jay, Joan, Bill and daughter Alicebelow- Presley and Mindybelow- my bud Chrisbelow- artist Jim Inzero and his wife Lauren (owners of Stella e Luna in Point Pleasant Beach), with hubby TomThe work will remain in the gallery through September.  Thank you Idiosyncrazies, owner Sharon Schmidt, for this opportunity as well as Photography by Ann Marie for photos.

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Once Upon A Time Lilly

I got to spend three amazing days recently in my studio with a little art buddy, Lilly.  She was a complete delight to meet and work with.  We explored many things with great enthusiasm in a short but very enriching period of time.  In retrospect, one particular memorable moment occurred in the making of her rather large two-paged cardboard book where the only visible text inside was,

“Once Upon A Time Lilly”   

As she created girlish figures in a landscape in this imaginative book, Lilly impressed upon me that branches on a tree don’t always have to branch out at the top.  She collected and painted twigs from outside the studio, then proceeded to carefully space and stack them up from the bottom of the tree trunk.  She exclaimed with enthusiasm,  “It’s a ladder!” 🙂  Perhaps it served as a way up to meet with the eagle she drew which was nestled in green printed leaves at the top.

We spent three days surprising one another with collaborative ideas and perceptions.  Seeing, then perceiving what could be transformed into a different reality is intrinsic to the artistic journey.  Lilly, of course, was quite proficient at it!  I learned how to be still and listen to the unique point of view of a child and acquiesce to her desires in the creative process wherever possible.

Scanning the space for new inspiration is constantly in play.  Yarn, a studio staple for encouraging and inspiring kids, became a simple lesson on how to make a pom-pom.  This activity ignited three days of work/play.  What’s not to love about pom-poms? How excited we were to both agree to pop one on her little stuffed animal.  And we’re off!

A plethora of stimulating materials spring fresh ideas into action.  Balloons have always been synonymous with a party atmosphere, and in the studio it is no exception.  I initiated our dialogue with a suggestion to print flowers, then add stems, etc.  Lilly, however, dove in and stamped away.  Freedom!  It was only natural to  encourage splatters and fabulous drips!  Hands got into the action as well 🙂

I’m so impressed Lilly!

A special heartfelt thanks to Lilly’s parents.  What a privilege to have this opportunity to nurture my love for art with your precious daughter.  Or did she nurture me?

The End

 “In everything give thanks…”  1Th5:18

 “Mrs. Debbie”


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Elephants and Paris

Elephants and Paris: The Art of Seeing, Listening and Understanding

“Je vois, que vous pourriez voir aussi.” 

(I see, that you could see also.)

Two very prominent things are being shown to me this year.   1) Elephants, and 2) Paris.

It’s been intriguing to follow these two trails. Images of elephants appear continually over the course of time which I write about under “Victory Parade.”  (scroll down)  And the topic of Paris was brought to my attention in meeting people who were either going to Paris or have gone. Just like elephant images continue to pop up, the Eiffel Tower is everywhere when you’re dialed in to “see” it!  Someone recently referred to this as “winks from God.”  I do believe these serendipitous confirmations are indeed “God-sightings” and most recently had this experience with a place called Gallery U, located in Red Bank, NJ.   On a side note,  a few more elephant images were photographed along the “uncertain” path toward Gallery U.  Loving all the “ele’s!” (see Victory Parade)

“The problem with certainty is that it is static; it can do little but endlessly reassert itself. Uncertainty, by contrast, is full of unknowns, possibilities, and risks.”

During a recent visit to Gallery U  where the above photo was taken, I met with Robert Langdon, the Gallery Manager, who provided an overview of the space and unique mission.

“Gallery U represents a part of Universal Institute Rehab, which services individuals with traumatic brain injuries. The Gallery is a vocational training program for people with disabilities which provides a way for them to get back into the work force. Universal Institute also offers a unique art therapy program where some of the artwork is handcrafted by the clients.”

In touring the rear of the space, I “see” it stamped on the wall in the back room …


I shared my encounters with Elephants and Paris in our conversation.  Of course he  immediately stated that I should go to Paris!  Maybe it’s time to update my expired 1970’s passport.  Anyway, in conclusion to our enlightening discussion, Robert offered an opportunity to show work at the Gallery.  Select pieces will be on exhibition at Gallery U in the near future.  It’s a pleasure to support their vision, develop and build upon new relationships.  Assuredly, I will meet wonderful and fascinating people as well as enjoy good art.

“Every day you are creating and forming relationships. You never know where you will go, who you will meet or what relationships will be formed.”  (Serendipitous Events by Jessica)

Please find below, a recorded effort in progress of “Paris-related” sightings along with all the “Ele’s”(in Victory Parade below).  Perhaps these serendipitous encounters occurring in the midst of daily living are synonymous with what a grid is to a good drawing (not that I can say I ever used one). It may very well be one of God’s innumerable ways of providing perceptible aid in ensuring the accuracy of our steps taken by faith in order to compensate for how blindly we often travel. Plus I get to write about it.

 “To write it out is to work it out.”

“Listen quietly within and let God’s wisdom gently turn your thoughts over and over until the questions become answers, the doubts become newborn faith. You will see that everything has been and is working for your good.”

Brian Fox Krawczyk, Founder of Genealogy, LLC. peaks my interest about Paris at the my opening exhibition in the Oyster Point Hotel, April 2012, “All Things New.” 

During a brief conversation with friends Gary and Jodi at church, I mentioned the sightings of “Elephants and Paris.” She excitedly reveals the Eiffel Tower dangling from her purse and actually shares revelatory information about “Lucy” the Elephant (see Victory Parade)-   8/5/12

“Paris Then and Now” found among a pile of discarded books at the local recycle center, one of my favorite places to go after a mission declutter. I love the whole idea of creating order out of chaos.   8/8/12

Barnes & Noble Bookstore  8/12/12

“The Fading Art of Letter Writing”    8/29/12

The following is in response to an article I just read online by an author in Paris.  It’s about the lost art of letter writing.   Not only do I love writing, but I’ve personally written letters over almost a 40 year span to a dear beloved friend in Illinois.  We were once college roommates at the University of Tampa in 1972.  I only knew her for 4 months, yet we remained “pen pals” for 4 decades.  I have the sweetest memories of anticipation and excitement in receiving a delivery from the faithful mail man.  Inevitably, her flowery and frilly choices of stationary filled me with joy and delight, which were a form of artistic expression in and of itself.

We both loved art.  However, I anxiously wanted to write back and record the initial emotions so I reached for the only thing on hand… boring notebook paper,  and very often disregarded the lines to sketch something like my latest hairstyle.

So… this post is dedicated to you Chris!… and sadly to the end of an era of sharing those bountiful years of our lives, emotions and everything nonsensical in between.  We were allowed to be kids, giggle and scribble, privileged to bless and encourage, transparent to cry and complain.  We lifted each other up.  We grew up together and found God through life and “letter.”  We actually believed we’d be reunited one day on Oprah!   It’s a story of God and love, suffering and beauty, sincere story telling; all collaborated into what is sadly becoming the “fading art of letter writing.”

Ironically, after months of not hearing from Chris, I received a letter from her youngest sister Lexie.  My heart sunk in that moment. It was dreadful news about Chris.  She had died after a battle with lung cancer over a year ago, the only thing she had never written me about.  I am convinced however, that some aspects of her illness may have been the sweetest time of her life.

Suffice it to say, I have not saved 40 yrs. of handwritten letters, though at times I wish I had. However, a few managed to survive.  This sums it all up:

In the flow of all Parisian sightings, please read this article from the NY Times written by a Paris-based journalist. Here’s an excerpt and link to this short but poignant article about writing letters, which dates all the way back to Luke who wrote letters to his friend Theopholis which became The Gospel of Luke and the book of Acts, to Abraham Lincoln, Jane Austen, Mark Twain, and Vincent Van Gogh to mention just a few.

The Fading Art of Letter Writing


Published: February 3, 2011

PARISThe envelope arrives with the address painstakingly handwritten and the stamp with the Queen’s head always evenly placed in the top right-hand corner

Sitting here, savoring the imminent arrival of the next letter from my mother-in-law, I wonder what will be the legacy of the digital letter-writing age.

Catherine Field is a journalist based in Paris.

More sightings:

A gift from a friend in a grouping with my sculpture of an elephant. January 2013

Feb. 28, 2013, I just discover this scene below via the internet.  I’m slightly embarrassed to say that I had no idea it even existed. It blows me away…

…more of “Elephants and Paris.”

Paris – Musée d’Orsay: Jeune éléphant pris au piège

Emmanuel Frémiet‘s Jeune éléphant pris au piège (Young elephant taken with a trap) from 1878 stands 3.6m high outside Musée d’Orsay. Foundried by Antoine Durenne, it was commissioned in 1877 for l’Exposition universlle de 1878, and belonged to the gardens of the first palais du Trocadèro (Trocadèro palace).

The Musée d’Orsay (The Orsay Museum), housed in the former railway station, the Gare d’Orsay, holds mainly French art dating from 1848 to 1914, including paintings, sculptures, furniture, and photography, and is probably best known for its extensive collection of impressionist masterpieces by popular painters such as Monet and Renoir. Many of these works were held at the Galerie nationale du Jeu de Paume prior to the museum’s opening in 1986.

© 2010 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris…Peter Dubreuil, Eléphantaisie, 1908. Toned matte-surface printing-out print.

I stumbled upon this incredible painter from Paris on facebook.  Master Painter extraordinaire!  Salvatore Verniti!

  La Tour Eiffel illuminée

View over 500 works on his site-

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Expressions and Explorations

 Zoe Durante age 7


The Point Pleasant Beach Library will be featuring the art work of my student, Zoe Durante, for the month of July 2012 in her show entitled, Expressions and Explorations.

I’ve always been fascinated with, inspired by, and interested in the art work of children.  The aim in mentoring, teaching and exposing children to the process of making art is not for the purpose of producing pretty pictures, but rather to activate the senses, encourage a visual and verbal dialogue, develop relational and cognitive skills through decision-making, problem-solving and visual processing. The result is the beautiful picture of having tried and then continuing on the path of exploring new challenges.  I am very pleased with the progress Zoe and I have made together in all these areas.

While observing her process, Zoe focuses intently on the visual, simplifying forms expertly as children do, interpreting color and organizing space almost effortlessly.  In some cases, she looks squarely at her surroundings and interprets what she sees, editing and adding naturally as she goes along according to her skill level.  She conveys the emotional timbre of what has her attention in that moment, making decisions about her next application, whether it is in the area of painting, collage or sculpture.

This is Zoe’s second attempt at “plein air” painting.  Since her exhibition will be in the the historical Point Pleasant Beach Library, I thought it was fitting for her to take on this challenge.  This is her lovely little painting of a circa 1894 library building.

8×8 acrylic on canvas

 “He has made everything beautiful in its time.”  Ecc. 3:11

Zoe’s exhibition at the library:

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