Artist Karen S. Schaffel

My work is rooted in landscape but breaks with the traditional paintings of the Hudson Valley. After settling in this area several decades ago, the distinct seasons, craggy mountains and vistas of sky inspired the direction of my work. Each art-piece explores a moment when a viewer may pause to notice the shift in the hue of the sky or the moving pattern on the forest floor. But unlike the traditional Hudson Valley landscape painters, I use unconventional perspective, abstracted forms and/or unusual found elements to capture these moments. Color and patterns evoke an emotion rooted in a cultural iconic concept or personal memory. Collage materials, sequins, ribbon, or a re-purposed lace tablecloth further evoke identity of culture, time and place. I enjoy the element of surprise resulting from applying common but irregular elements into my art. This process has a private reflective nature infusing itself into the finished piece. The juxtaposition of objects and imagery promote associations to create universal themes. Like a good tale each piece may only point towards the meaning in the absences of straightforward detail.  Through layers and textures I develop my own personal narrative and inner dialogue that is rooted in an appreciation of all that is offered if we take the time to stop and look.