Valerie Claff
I live in a hemlock forest in the densely wooded foothills of the Berkshires in Western Massachusetts. In my first years here, the subject of my work was the views from high ridges: the atmosphere and light at different times of day and weather. Working exclusively in watermedia, I developed a technique using bleeding and large, expansive washes with watercolor and ink that has become integral to my current large-scale watercolors.

After a decade here, I found myself drawn to making work about the forest where I spend much time walking, looking, being still, and listening. Hemlocks were one of the first species of trees to evolve on the earth, and seem to hold an ancient presence. The old myths and folk stories from my Celtic and European ancestors are rooted in the enchanted forest, and, as I walk here, it is as if they come alive in a misty theater of mosses, ferns, stone ledges and pools.

Follow me at and on Facebook at RavenWood Forest Studio of Mythic & Environmental Arts

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