Valerie Claff

Valerie Claff is an artist living in a hemlock forest who seeks the solace of wild places. Growing up in a house full of Chinese and Japanese artwork, her aesthetic is highly influenced by the infinite spaces and mists in brush painting, and the use of minimal detail to evoke the spirit of place. Forests, hills and open spaces are inspiration for her landscapes, painted from memory, in a non-traditional watercolor style. Utilizing a wet on wet technique, she manipulates the bleeding paint to suggest fog, mist, reflections, light and atmosphere. Trees are important features in her work - forests with mysterious light and mists, stands of trees lining the edges of ponds, and solitary trees in open spaces, the linear branches creating contrasts to distant ridges and atmosphere. Her paintings seek to convey her relationship to the wild as a place of sanctuary and mystery and to capture the essence of natural places in different light situations and seasons. The rural foothills of the Berkshires, and the forest surrounding her home are the main inspirations for her work.