Living in Africa and the Middle East, without access to a printing press, Stafford needed to find a “portable” medium to continue working as an artist. Watercolor suited the strong sunlight and hidden shadows of the light she saw. She found the people compelling – their decorative clothing, what and how they thought, their way of life, etc. “My fascination with texture and pattern remained from my printmaking days and so came the pleasure of creating the tension and the play between the flat designs in the fabric and clothing that enveloped my subjects, and the three-dimensional modeling of their faces and hands which told so much of their story.”
Once Stafford moved back to the United States she became reacquainted with printmaking. “Collographs (collaged plates/surfaces that are printed using an intaglio printing press) are the perfect medium to capture the rich woven fabrics, and emphasize the textures of their clothing. I then go back into the print with watercolor which really communicates the brilliant light and radiant colors of the decorative clothing.”
Most of the men and women represented in Stafford’s work are people she knows. “I love the designs and patterns of what they are wearing and their graceful presence. It’s beautiful not only aesthetically but beautiful because it’s so dynamic and alive with movement.”
Stafford studied art in Italy at the Scuola del Nudo in Rome and in Palermo, Sicily. She continues her studies with Discover Graphics at The Art League School in Alexandria, VA. Her work has been exhibited throughout Africa, Europe, and the Middle East and is held in private collections throughout the world.
In The Art League Gallery:
January 7 – February 1, 2010
Thursday, January 14, 6:30 – 8:00 pm
Saturday, January 23, 1:00 – 3:00 pm