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Art & Life with Patricia Schappler

Today we’d like to introduce you to Patricia Schappler.

Patricia, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
I grew up with a large family and the noise that comes with it; both joyous and chaotic. As one of eleven there wasn’t a lot of quiet to be found unless actively sought, which I did through drawing. My mom was one of nineteen so there were always aunts and uncles and cousins around, I’m sure I found the figure as subject through this childhood of people watching! Mom made things; sewed, beaded,, drew a little, baked – creative in general, while my dad worked incredibly long hours.

I attended the University of New Hampshire with a leaning towards psychology, creative writing, human development, and sociology, clearly I loved all the liberal arts but I hadn’t declared anything when I took an elective with Arthur Balderacchi. I missed making things and Arthur seemed convinced that I belonged in the art department so he walked me over to declare my BFA. I had seen Sigmund Abeles work at the time and he was teaching at UNH as well. I felt an immediate kinship with his drawings, and the strength I saw there. In the same year, my dad died very suddenly in a car crash and I think for anyone that loses someone they love that much, one’s world collapses and there’s a choice to be made that’s either creative or destructive. Drawing became my life line.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
I work figuratively through narrative which nods to the fairy tales, myths, and biblical stories I grew up reading. My choice of materials is a sensual choice. I tend to use mixed media in my drawings as a reflection of the complexity and forgiveness of life (collage of patterned papers, shellac, soft pastels and charcoal intertwine in layers, much as I layer shape and form in my oil paintings) . These materials are immediate, but also require patience. Charcoal and pastel are essentially ash, there one moment, gone another, and I find the same in painting…that a mark that exists, is gone only to be reborn in another mark that is its echo. These applications to me reflect life; cyclical, beautiful, strong, deep, and poetic. There’s a quality of faith necessary to making which parallels life and encourages discovery. Materials that are forgiving, that change over time, continue to appeal to me. As I cut figures away from the field and place them about my studio floor, or rearrange masses of oil on board, pulling one forward, laying one back, abutting others, characters change, figures are reinvented, and my understanding of the figure, our strengths and weaknesses, our humanity, grows. ….

Any advice for aspiring or new artists?
Try to have a consistent space you call yours for your work. Work regularly, unfailingly through the ups and downs of making, just get up and do. Realize everyone else out there making things is experiencing successes and failures too and that what is not working at all in one moment, may in another if you hang in there. Be part of an artistic community, anything local that you can share ideas with, show with, pull you out of yourself on occasion. Put your work out there periodically on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, anyplace you like to look. Work towards your vision.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
You can find my work at: It will be updated throughout this year. I’ve exhibited regionally and nationally but one may find my work reasonably frequently at Galley 100, and the Robert Lincoln Levy Gallery, both in Portsmouth, and at Art 3 Gallery in Manchester, NH. Other sites I’ve exhibited with include the University Place Gallery in Cambridge, New England Biolabs in Ipswich, the Attleboro, Fitchburg, and Danforth Museums, Bromfield Gallery in Boston, Bowersock Gallery in Provincetown, and Twiggs Gallery in Boscawen. You may see my work in art magazines and books including Manifest, Aryis, Poets and Artists, the Cafe Review, Studio Visit, and North Light Books.

My images originate from my community. I frequently work from family and friends simply because they’re available, and less simply, because I love them. I believe this love may permeate what I make, and become layered and embedded in the struggles and successes of the image-making process… If you want to support my work, purchase it! Commission me! Invite me to join an exhibition! Reach out: My email is:

Contact Info:

  • Address: 33 Holbrook Road
    Bedford, New Hampshire
  • Website:
  • Email:
  • Instagram: patriciaschappler

Image Credit:
David Mendelsohn (me in front of the large drawing)

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