Thursday, May 15, 2008

Phyllis Shafer :: Hope Valley Morning

Hope Valley Morning, 2007
Oil on Canvas
Collection of the NMA; Gift of Friends and Family of Phil Miller

Hope Valley, located south of Lake Tahoe off State Route 88, is the setting for this plein air landscape painting painted by Phyllis Shafer. But Shafer doesn’t just paint the landscape as it appears to most of us; she paints an arrangement of swirls and squiggles in a rainbow of colors that nearly jump off the canvas. She states that she is especially interested in doing compositional arrangements that juxtapose high altitude vistas with the intimate microcosm of the flora and fauna—for her, the ‘rhythms of nature.’

Phyllis Shafer has lived in several places but each move has brought her closer to nature and farther from the urban setting. She grew up in Buffalo, New York, studied at Empire State College and State University of New York. Shafer received a Master of Fine Arts from the University of California, Berkeley, and exhibited her work and taught part-time in the Bay Area. She now lives and teaches at Lake Tahoe.

Shafer states: “I’m definitely interested in the high desert and the alpine, high-altitude landscapes. I really want to capture the feeling of the space. I want to feel it. I want to smell it. I want to have the sun moving while I’m trying to catch it.”

Research note prepared by Kathleen Durham and Lois Smalley.