Valerie Claff
My home and studio sit in a clearing in a hemlock forest, the surrounding hills offering high views of incoming storms, rising fog and the tops of distant trees. The nearby marshes and fields catch the mists, and trees are seen through wispy, flowing veils. My paintings explore the essence of forms obscured through various atmospheric events. I am fascinated with fog, mists and storms and the softening of edges they bring. In my newest work, I am interested in the contrast between the sharply defined lines of trees and branches and the blurred, mysterious spaces behind. The work is an exploration of atmosphere, space, light, color and the woodlands of the Berkshire foothills where I live.

The wild is tangible here as human made sounds are few. Wandering the forest the old stories and myths of my Celtic and Northern European ancestors seem to come alive in the misty glades and through my frequent encounters with the woodland creatures. Though inspired by the forest around me, my painted forests are imagined, archetypal forests - journeys into the primeval forest where the numinous spirit of place is encountered. My work is an attempt to capture the mysterious spirit of the forest and to shape a terrain where the mythic imagination comes alive.

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