January 2014 Demonstration

Our demonstrator for January was Debra Claffey. She presented a demonstration using layered oil paint on paper.

The meeting was held in the Guild Hall, First Congregational Church (middle side door), Sanborn Street, Reading, Wednesday January 8th, 2014 at 7:30 p.m.

We have some photographs of the event in case you could not make it there in person. You can click on any of the images on this page to view a larger version of it. Then, use the Back button on your browser to return to this page.


Our demonstrator for January was Debra Claffey.
She showed us how she layers oils on paper to create her art.
She paints on paper because she likes the way it absorbs the paint.


Debra looks for shapes and patterns and does not
attempt to recreate a realistic perspective drawing.
After making the basic drawing, she fills in the colors.
Debra uses the colors that look correct to her at the time.


She continues to place the colors on the drawing.

Still More

You can see here she has done quite a bit more.

Almost Done

Here she is almost done with the basic first layer of the painting.


After finishing the first layer of the the painting, Debra
scores the lines of the drawing with a pencil.


Once scored with the pencil, she sets the painting aside to dry.
After the painting is dry, she paints over it with a glaze of thin paint.
She demonstrated the effect on a dry painting she brought with her.

Glaze Done

She painted the glaze over the entire painting.

Next Layer

After the glaze has dried, she re-paints the painting again in a new layer.
Once again, she had a different painting along to demonstrate the effect.


In this photo, you can see the different layers of the painting
sitting on the stage. The sequence is right to left in the photo.

You can see more of Debra's work at her web site, www.debraclaffey.com

Debra Claffey's Bio

Debra Claffey is a visual artist who uses encaustic, oil, and mixed media in her work. Raised in CT, schooled in MA, she now lives and works in New Boston, NH. She holds a BFA in Painting from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and Tufts University and a Associate's Degree in Horticultural Technology from the University of New Hampshire. After graduation she opened her first studio in Jamaica Plain in 1981 and helped begin the tradition of annual Open Studios there. She has exhibited across the country, especially here in New England, and her work can be seen at McGowan Fine Art in Concord, NH; the Hole in the Wall Gallery in Raymond, ME; and the Gerry Frazier Gallery at NHAA in Portsmouth, NH. Debra is a long-time member of the Women's Caucus for Art/NH and has served on the National WCA Board and the NH Chapter Board. She is also a juried member of the NH Art Association and of the New England Wax, a collective of artists who use encaustic.

Debra says excursions into color, form and texture are visual songs for her. She likes to combine opacity and translucence, scribbled line against an illusion of depth, thick surfaces with pale washes. The medium of encaustic wonderfully allows for all of this, plus carving and scraping back to reveal buried layers. Debra's subjects are often plants and every day objects from her life, arranged to accentuate their varied forms and shapes in complex compositions. She thinks of them as orchestrations of light and dark, shape and rhythm.

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Last updated October 30, 2016