In the 30-plus years since artist Debbie Hearle opened her gallery, she has painted portraits for hundreds of families. “The little ones are coming in that I did portraits of and now many of them are clients,” says Hearle, who painted her own grandchildren looking out at North Beach. Hearle and her husband, Ron, moved to Chatham in 1984, with the intention of opening a gallery, and one year later, their dream came true. Hearle’s subject matter has evolved over the years and she says her career is always in transition. She initially painted florals in very loose, light watercolors. Then requests for oil paintings started pouring in and she fell in love with the medium. Her subject matter ranges from young children at the beach and Boston cityscapes to scenes of seascapes and sailing. “We are avid sailors and we know boating very well. I grew up on the water since I was about six weeks old, so you’ll see that theme runs through the gallery.” Hearle’s American flag series was initially inspired by 9/11, and later, the Boston Marathon bombings. “Both of those episodes triggered my longing to do something patriotic.” Hearle, who splits her time between their Chatham and Beacon Hill homes, says her husband runs the gallery so she can focus on her painting. “When people walk into our gallery, they tell me that this is a delightful place,” says Hearle. “The color, the excitement … there’s a feeling of joy here and it’s really well founded. We have been blessed.”
The Hearle Gallery
488 Main St.