About Deborah Young

My childhood began on a farm in the Uwharrie Mountain region of North Carolina. Spending time in this natural environment provided creative opportunities for me to stack rock sculptures in mountain streams, collect bird feathers, press flowers and leaves or use sticks to draw in dirt.  

My dream of studying visual ARTS was not possible until later in life when my youngest son entered school. At that time, I became a nontraditional student enrolling in a private fine arts college earning a BFA (graphic design and art education) through a weekend program.

After graduation, I shared my passion of art with middle school students in a traditional school setting which provided time during summer breaks for me to focus on my own art. My photography, paintings and welded metal sculpture creations were shared with students and community at yearly studio tours associated with a local artists guild. Found objects (old relics from the past on our farm) were used to weld bottle trees, and spinny flowers placing them in my garden. I loved the way their whimsical forms competed with nature’s organic lines. Due to an injury occurring at middle school and after several surgeries, its been impossible for me to continue welding sculptures which makes me sad.

My passion for traveling encouraged me to broaden the horizons of students planning numerous field trip opportunities touring Art Museums, History, Science and Nature Museums and meeting local artists in their working studios. My principal often commented that my teaching style was always “outside of the box”. I was the teacher who provided opportunities for students to study nature by going on walkabouts around school campus using journals to sketch and write observations. I brought animals to school (puppies and goats) and arranged circle areas in middle of classroom for animals. Students would sit outside area able to view animals doing gesture drawings. On those days, it seemed the entire school would stop by to see what was happening in the art room. I’ll never forget a practice fire drill when the baby goats were in class. We left the class with the first student holding one and the last student holding the other. The entire school quietly lined up outside, however the baby goats caused such a scene (baa…baa)!


I consider myself a landscape artist using plants, trees, rocks and water elements in my design. The tactile experience of digging in dirt is therapeutic and balances me. The quote “All gardening is a landscape painting” by Horace Walpole speaks to my soul.

I believe SHARING IS CARING which is why I open my garden/farm with the community for weddings, garden tours, tea parties, expressive arts events, school field trips, Cub Scouts/Boy Scouts camping trips, and Eagle Scout ceremonies. The garden and views of water soothes my soul with its constant seasonal reflections.

My journey through life hasn’t always been smooth sailing. In fact life has thrown numerous obstacles in my path such as a dysfunctional childhood and the tragic death of beloved individuals including two of my precious children. I was devastated. My outlook on life FOREVER changed! I’ve read that an authentic life often begins when experiencing traumatic and unexpected events in our life.

I researched books about grief and joined online support groups for parents who had also lost children. We ALL belonged to a club none of us wanted to be members of. During my grief journey, I was extremely fortunate to find compassionate people from all over the world who understood what I was feeling; who offered support and encouragement. But, most importantly during this time, I found that EXPRESSIVE ARTS especially INTUITIVE PROCESS PAINTING played a HUGE role in healing my heart. I believe the practice of using expressive arts and intuitive process painting is meditative, therapeutic and can over time help people discover the path to JOY, LOVE, RELAXATION; can HEAL hearts and ultimately TRANSFORM lives.

I’m a survivor who despite experiencing tragedy in life hasn’t been defined by that fact. Surviving the tragedy has EMPOWERED me to find my authentic voice encouraging me to speak truth.

After graduation from an Expressive Arts Teacher Training Program in California, I opened Soulful heART Studio in Rolesville, North Carolina offering a safe space for everyone to gift themselves time to honor the healing power of creativity. Using expressive arts encourages people to slow down and disconnect from daily stress to tap into their portal of creativity and imagination, while in a compassionate and creative circle. 

I consider creativity to be therapeutic to everyone in whatever form it takes. Living in the moment creatively means choosing favorite colors while painting, experiencing the tactile feel of clay creating pottery, choosing colors/textures of yarn creating fiber art, choosing colors and texture of plants designing gardens, choosing different ingredients creating meals, writing or sketching heartfelt emotions in journals and experiencing different genres of music and movement in our bodies while dancing. 

I believe one person can make a difference in the world. My goal is to encourage everyone to let go of their inner critic; to accept themselves as being ENOUGH just as they are; to practice living in the moment of “BE HERE NOW” to search for their BLISS, and to always be looking for MAGICAL adventures in this journey called LIFE.



  • BFA – Barton College – Magna Cum Laude
  • Certified K-12 Visual Arts
    • Retired:  Art Teacher
  • Post Graduate – Museum Field Studies
    • Paris, France  –  Portugal – Ireland
    • Venice, Florence, Rome – Italy
    • England, Wales, Scotland, Belgium and Germany
  • Certified – Master Facilitator of Expressive Arts from Chris Zydel Teacher Training Program California

Additional training listed below:

  • August 12-23 (British Columbia, Canada)

TRAVEL – Art Retreat w/Jeanne Bessette

  • March 15 – April 22 (California)

ART – Intuitive Painting w/Chris Zydel www.creativejuicesarts.com

  • November 6-14  (California)

ART – Expressive Arts Teacher Training Program w/Chris Zydel

  • November 1-6 (Hawaii)

TRAVEL – Painting Retreat w/Lara Printz

  • October 19-23 (North Carolina)

ART – REME Art Retreat w/Jodi Ohl

  • September 20-29 (California)

ART – Expressive Arts Teacher Training Program w/Chris Zydel

  • February 9-14 (Alabama)

ART – Workshop w/Ardith Goodwin

  • September 8 – 12 (Downey Studio)

ART – Portrait Study w/Ardith Goodwin 

  • June 8 – July 10 (Portugal)

TRAVEL – Painting w/Linda Chaves

  • June 1 – June 7 (Paris, France)

TRAVEL – Art History Study 

  • February 9-20  (Mountain Home Ranch  – California)

ART – Expressive Arts Teacher Training Program Graduation

  • YEARLONG CLASS (online study)

ART – Push Past Ordinary w/Ardith Goodwin

  • October 4 – 7 (Downey Studio Charlotte)

ART – Workshop w/Ardith Goodwin

    • June 10-16 (Mulranny Ireland)

    TRAVEL – Gather – Create Art Retreat EOM Studio

    • June 26 – July 8 (Pink Lily Boim – Portugal)

    ART – Journaling w/Linda Chaves

    • July 9 – July 12 (Paris, France)

    TRAVEL – Vincent van Gogh Immersion Experience

  • YEARLONG CLASS (online study)
  • ART – courses w/ Ardith Goodwin

  • YEARLONG CLASS (online study)
  • ART – courses w/ Ardith Goodwin


  • North Carolina Art Museum
  • Creative Arts Society
  • National Art Educators


  • Soulful heART Studio & Gallery – The Young Farm, 505 & 507 E. Young St., Rolesville
  • hOMe Yoga Studio & Winebrary – 6440 Rogers Road, Rolesville, NC
  • Soulful heART Shabby Chic space – Suzanna’s Antiques, 103 S. Main St., Rolesville, NC
  • Soulful heART Gallery space – The Creative Exchange, 101 E. Young St., Rolesville, NC
  • Soulful heART Gallery space – Main Street Collective, 100 N. Main St., Rolesville, NC