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    My artwork emerges from childhood longings: A little

    girl’s fascination with flowers. A greedy toddler’s

    lust for shiny objects. The wish that birds could talk, that

    trees could share their secrets. My walks to and from school

    took me through through an urban forest ruled by squirrels

    and cardinals, where oaks and maples crowded in on the

    houses, weeds invaded the alleys, and blades of grass

    muscled through sidewalk cracks. I drew inspiration from

    shapes and patterns in nature—seed pods, icicles, wood grains.

    I found myself entranced by desert plants and marine creatures,

    as well as textiles and other traditional designs.


    When it comes to other artists, I revel in the playful

    shape consciousness of early 20th-century experimenters such as Hilma af Klint,

    Sophie Tauber-Arp and Paul Klee, as carried forward in the work of later

    artists such as Alexander Calder. I admire many Japanese painters and

    Cape Dorset Inuit print makers, on the one hand, for the austerity and

    precision of their simplifications and contemporary artists Beatriz Milhazes

    and Melinda Hackett, on the other hand, for their unrestrained embrace of

    riotous ornamentation. Though my work little resembles theirs, I cherish the artists of the

    California figurative movement for their navigation of liminal space

    between representation and abstraction. Among other collagists, I look to

    Romare Bearden, Lee Krasner, and Conrad Marca-Relli.


    Over the years, I have developed an exploratory process of repainting, cutting,

    and fitting old paintings, drawings, and sketchbook pages. Though I

    work primarily in acrylic paint, I also collage with ink, pastel,

    watercolor, graphite, opaque marker, magazine pages,

    and junk mail.


    Email: Laura Shefler at Lshefler [dot] aol [dot] com