When my children were little I mainly painted in the kitchen or around the hub of the house as I felt it was most authentic to paint what I knew which was family and love. Although I knew I was an artist from the time I was living in Aix-en-Provence, France in 1984 and I took my first life drawing class, I hesitated in my own life and I did not consistently make art for decades.
In 2008, one of my children became gravely ill and painting was the only thing that calmed me. This was the beginning of some of my best work and “The Knitting Series”. I work in series, each focused on a different aspect of love, hope, and beauty. I believe that what we focus on, we amplify. I choose to focus on beauty. What is beautiful changes the world for the better and yet beauty is not always beautiful. I paint about choosing to find beauty. I paint about what I want to see, more than I paint about what it is that I do see. I paint what is behind the veil of this world. I record the present so that each painting will then document the past while having an eye towards a future and a hope.
Making art is as essential as breathing for me. Making art is how I embrace the chaos of the world without trying to control it. Everything that I paint goes back to “Blossom” from the Bountiful series. In 2011, when I was working my way through a painful divorce, I would get out of bed every morning and see the joyful pink flowers and promise myself out loud “I am going to blossom”. Every painting of mine since has been a visual intention of what I want to manifest in the world. My hope is that when you see my work something within you responds. With that resonance the art becomes yours. The painting is then your story.
My art business has been designated as a "Trusted Art Seller" with The Art Storefronts Organization, which means you can shop with confidence, and know that I stand behind the quality and value of my products.
"Although Claffy’s work is distinctively hers, you can feel the underlying presence of creative figures that she admires. Van Gogh’s sense of color is certainly there and so is a sense of the organic that might come from Celtic art or the architecture of Antonio Gaudi. During a visit to Paris, Claffy came under the spell of Claude Monet’s sweeping Nymphéas (water lily) murals. Monet’s paintings, which were made after the terrors of World War One were his way of trying to heal the world. Standing in front of them Claffy had an ephiphany: “Beauty is very powerful. It changes the world for the better. I believe in Beauty. That's why I paint." - John Seed, Professor of Art and Art History.
I work in a variety of media—including acrylic, ink, pencil and mixed media. I paint to encourage others to believe and to serve as a reminder that life is beautiful even when it doesn’t seem that way. I am primarily a watercolorist, who sometimes switches to fluid acrylics. I create format works on canvas, paper and birchwood.
The School of The Art Institute of Chicago, Certificate of Painting (2007-2014)
Atelier Studies and Private Instruction, Dublin, Ireland (2005-2006)
The American Academy of Art, Chicago, Illinois (1987-1989)
University of Illinois, B.A. English Literature & French (1982-1986)
L’Universite d’Aix-Marseille III, Aix-en-Provence, France, D.E.U.G Studies in Lettres Modernes (1984-1985)
The Sanctuary on Penn, Indianapolis, Indiana "For Doug" 2017,
Bistro 750, Chicago, Illinois "The Seed Series" 2017,
Village Antiques, Hinsdale, Illinois "Patterned Universes" 2016,
Reinvent Gallery, Lake Forest, Illinois "Heart and Soul" 2016,
Urban Edge Gallery, Waukegan, Illinois "Body and Soul" 2016,
The Bridgeport Art Center, Chicago, Illinois "Grand Opening" 2014,
Work in private collections in the United States, Ireland, France, England, Scotland, Dubai and the Czech Republic.
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