Donna Shaffer’s stunning works explore nature through the materiality of ink. Shaffer creates complex, layered pieces in which their very construction depends on the fluidity of her medium. She applies ink heavily to saturate and lightly to tint. She builds forms by teasing out pools of ink into shapes – not necessarily recognizable images, but evocative shapes that fill out the composition and suggest rather than define a scene. Shaffer also pushes her materials around and scrapes them off in streaks when she wants to create contrast. Her colors are vibrant, sometimes staying in the realm of the most joyful, saturated sunlight and sometimes spilling entirely beyond the shades of realism.
When she does work representationally, Shaffer depicts the beauty of plant life. Leaves, trees, grass, mud, flowers, are all painted in rich color with dynamic strokes. Shaffer zooms in on an individual patch of ground or a single plant stalk, celebrating the world one tiny bit at a time.
Shaffer was born in Bakersfield, California and has studied studio art in Pennsylvania and Florida. She has exhibited extensively throughout New England and Pennsylvania.