Nurture - the process of caring for and encouraging the growth or development of someone or something
Why I Feel the Need to Create
I create art because it quiets my mind and connects me to something greater than myself. It helps me understand who I am why I am here. Art is like breathing to me. It makes me feel alive and brings joy and peace into my life.
How Our Salon Nurtures Me
Moving somewhere new has both challenges and delights. When I first moved to Connecticut I found myself craving the community and friendship I once had, especially in the arts. Just transitioning from my role as a full time art educator to a full time artist I yearned for meaningful conversations about the creative process, ideas and the impact art can have on our culture. I found this with our Art Salon. Our dedication, open dialog and deep conversations bring clarity to my work. In addition to this my “Salonistas” help me navigate the entrepreneurial side of being an artist which is rarely taught in school. We set goals, hold each other accountable and celebrate our successes. This reinforces my strong belief in the thriving artist.
This group is my safe haven. It is a place I can be vulnerable, share my most tender ideas and feel nurtured. We each have something unique to contribute and learn from each other. I am grateful to have these amazing women in my life.
More About Laura
Laura Gaffke is a painter and mixed media artist known for her cheerful artwork, positive outlook and desire to help others find and use their unique gifts. She draws inspiration from the ever changing colors and textures in her garden, soulful conversations with friends and the beauty she sees in the shoreline of CT where she lives with her husband and their three cats. She has traveled to Italy, England, Norway, the Caribbean Islands and throughout the United States which ignites her imagination and fuels her artwork.
Laura graduated from Rivier College with both her BFA and Bachelors in Art Education. She taught art for 14 years at the Deerfield Community School in NH where she worked with innovative educators who understood and shared her philosophy of art as a process of ideas, experimentation and play rather than a product. Laura believes art is a catalyst for inquiry and teaches how it celebrates individuality, self-awareness and growth. Her thirst for knowledge and self-discovery led her to Goddard College where she earned her MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts. Here she fostered her love of Ecology, Spirituality and developed a Collaborative Art Practice. Laura co-authors a blog LauraTWOtina.com, with artist and creative partner Tina Hirsig. Together they share their individual creative processes as well as their collaborative artwork. Their work exemplifies a lasting creative partnership. Together they share how a lasting, creative partnership is nurtured.
She thrives sharing her knowledge and has been a Visiting Artist at the Holderness School (NH) as well as the Katherine Kolnaski School (CT). Her lectures on the creative process & peer learning have helped others understand how creativity connects us with our authentic self. Laura's artwork has been exhibited in a variety of galleries and featured in publications such as, Artful Blogging Magazine, Spark & Inspire: 30 Days of Meaningful Insight to Spark Your Business & Inspire your Soul, Blog Talk Radio, Groton Patch and the Narragansett Times. Her artwork can be seen on her website, and in her shop.
Art is my spiritual practice, a visual meditation where I find guidance, trust my intuition and gain greater self-awareness and compassion. My creative practice is present in all areas of my life which inform and influence my paintings. It is found in quiet moments in my garden, observing, listening, sketching, composing flower bouquets that become color inspirations and source material. It is found in nourishing friendships and connection, it is found at the beach absorbing the vastness of the sea and sky, experiencing the rhythm of nature, it is even found in my love for styling my personal spaces. My painting process is in turn a meditative journey where I make sense of what I experience and learn, unfurling and growing in much the same way as the flowers in my garden. Layers, color and recurring symbols like circles are important in my work as I contemplate optimism and the cyclical rhythm of growth. My paintings are a reflection of my deepest values: gratitude, growth, love, optimism, connection and joy.I
"I see the world as a reflection of who you are and your attitude about life. I am inspired by joy, and people following their passion. I believe happiness is contagious and kind acts have a ripple effect of love on humanity".
in the studio
inspired by nature
In the summer months, I love to take my studio outdoors where I can connect with my main source of my inspiration. I'm inspired by the subtle nuances of color found in a single flower. Peonies are one of my favorites!