Kate Shaffer

Kate Shaffer — Artist’s Biography

Studio: Ashburnham, MA
Born: Cortland, NY | 1957

Kate Shaffer was born in central New York and lived on a farm until the age of 10.

Kate Shaffer has loved creating her entire life. Texture, color, and the process of “making” has always been a passion. It was after her youngest daughter left home that Ms. Shaffer embraced the “empty nest” to begin a new chapter in her life, that of a professional artist. She paints with joy and exuberance bringing her love of texture, color, and the combining of elements to her work. Ms. Shaffer is inspired by nature but also want to show the emotions of life in her work. Using texture to show the ups and downs of the “texture” of life and color representation to symbolize the emotions we all experience as we traverse the terrain, she hopes to bring to the viewer a balance of the joy there is to find in the midst of increasingly fearful and tumultuous times.

Her techniques come from much experimentation and exploration of different media. Using a “no fear” approach, the biggest question for Ms. Shaffer is always “what if”. One experiment leads to more questions and more exploration. The never-ending process is what keeps her fascinated and keeps expanding her “palette” of media.

Ms. Shaffer has exhibited in local art shows and in her own gallery at 205 School Street in Gardner, MA. She has won two honorable mentions in her first two years of being a professional artist. Ms. Shaffer belongs to both the Gardner Area League of Artists and the Fitchburg Art Museum. She has a studio/gallery with twelve other artists in a community named the School Street Art Studios. The School Street Artists have an annual Open Studio event on the second Friday of October.

Artist’s Statement:

Only half of what an artist does is for themselves, the other half is to speak to the world and share their hearts. Many people wonder why an artist does art. For myself, I do it to express the joy, hope and wonder I see all around me. The world, with all its brokenness, is still a world of wonder. It is that which I speak to through my art. The many layers of media that I add to my canvas expresses the layers, both positive and negative, that we find in life. Some of them are a little grungy, some torn, and some rich in color, but all are full of the intricacies that only happen through the process of living our lives. It is through this process that we find the beauty that emerges from those intricacies.

I am greatly inspired by nature, but it is the process of making the art that inspires me the most.

In life, as we go through the day to day activities and then find ourselves, suddenly, in that perfect moment; so I am with my art. I begin to lay down my first layers and then respond to those as I lay down the next. As I proceed, the layers begin to combine and become the “moments” that reveal a subject I respond to and build upon. The work of any artist is unique because each artist is a unique individual.  My process and the way I use the tools of my trade are what make my work my own. I love texture, color, and the interactions that happen on the canvas. How the individual media responds to each other is always a source of surprise, like opening a present each and every time.

Doing my art allows me to share some of my heart with others. As with so many others, life has given me difficulties, heartbreaks, and painful experiences. My art is my way to claim joy in the midst of those difficulties.

Women of Jazz – Online Art Show

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