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Valerie McCaffrey

Interview with the Artist

You say you are a painter of grace and mystery. How do you paint grace?
By painting the truth.

What would you say is your greatest talent as an artist?
It’s the mechanical ability to reassign perspective so I can replicate what I remember honestly. Also, I didn’t recognize that I had it until I was in my thirties.

Is that when you started painting?
No. That’s when I started painting the way that I wanted to, not in the way that I thought I should be painting. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t making a visual record of what I was thinking.

“Just Before Christmas”

What do you want me to see when I look at your paintings?
In the case of “Just Before Christmas” you see the village of Beverly Farms and the stores and churches. Then you see that it is dusk and that snow is gently falling, and that the town is decorated for Christmas. If you are looking at the actual painting you will notice that the paint is applied richly. Then you begin to access the mystery.

What do you mean by ‘mystery’?
Unexplained and unsolved elements in the narration: jokes, surprises, and secret appearances.

Would you say your work is influenced by Grandma Moses?
Oh yes. Mrs. Moses, Matisse, Gabrielle Münter, Monet, and Mark Rothko.