Bedford Artist Patricia Schappler

Patricia Schappler is an artist who works from her home studios in Bedford. She is also married with four children, teaches at both the NH Institute of Art and Rivier University, manages to hold individual and group workshops, and still finds the time to put her own compelling works on paper. Behind her is the fourth panel of a piece titled “Finding Home,” which measures nearly 20 feet across.

My choice of materials is a response to life.

Graphite is refined, delicate and poetic, but also dramatic and insistent, depending on the pressure and urgency of my hand.

Charcoals and pastels are softer materials with their base of dust, and in one moment appear solid, and in the next, fragile enough to disappear into the air one breathes.

I always look for both vulnerability and strength in the human face. Bottom line, I want people to care about those they’re viewing.

Often, the images are not small, and they aren’t simple. I like to keep the viewer within the image for a long time. I want to envelop them.

I work from a myriad of things, including life, abstract doodles, photos I’ve taken, images I’ve researched, sketches from dreams and memory, collage elements and textiles.  

They all come together.

My work is cyclical, and I feel every time it comes back around, I understand more.

My studio is rarely immaculate. There are usually cut papers, collage elements, strewn photos, lists of words, open books … things that I might have to step over when I’m in the thick of things.

None of the mess bothers me until the end when I need peace in order to see clearly … when I clean, I know I’m close.

Like many artists, Particia’s subject is often herself. At right is a self-portrait titled “Pandora.” It’s executed in oil stick and charcoal; the first medium being more immediate, the second more forgiving.

“I work with mirrors and memory, and just find my face changes every time I look at it, depending on what’s going on in my head.”

Credits: Wendy Mendolini for her unwavering help, patience and insight, and Jeanne McCartin for her knowledge and recommendations.


Categories: Q&A