Debra Claffey

The Singing Tree
24″ x 24″ oil monotype, paper, oil,pigment stick, oil, graphite on panel, 2016.


The biological intelligence, fractal design, and stunning beauty of plant systems are what intrigue me. The imagery I create from these complex forms is the carrier for a process–to transmit the experience of listening with all my senses.
I deconstruct vision into pattern and rhythm, color and form, then reform it into a personal and unique expression of my awareness. There is no separation between inner and outer. I am the natural world and it is also me.
I like to combine opacity and translucence, scribbled line against an illusion of depth, thick surfaces with pale washes, sometimes carving and scraping back to reveal buried layers. Each piece becomes an exploration of the tensions between flat surface and pictorial depth. I think of them as orchestrations of light and dark, shape and rhythm.


Debra Claffey is a visual artist who uses encaustic, oil, and mixed media in her work. Raised in Connecticut, schooled in Massachusetts, she now lives and works in New Boston, New Hampshire. She holds a BFA in Painting from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and Tufts University and an Associate’s Degree in Horticultural Technology from the University of New Hampshire. Claffey’s work has won several awards and, in 2011, received an Artist Entrepreneurial Grant from the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.