Laura Shefler, Berkeley/Pittsburgh Member Since January 2009 Artist Statement My artwork emerges from childhood longings… A little girl’s fascination with flowers. A greedy toddler’s lust for shiny objects. The wish that birds could talk, that trees could share their secrets. My long walks to and from school in Pittsburgh were not a slog through urban districts but rather a journey through a magical forest, a kingdom ruled over by squirrels and cardinals, streets populated by cats and dogs and bunnies. Oaks and maples crowded in on the houses, armies of weeds took over the alleys, and blades of grass muscled their up through the cracks in the sidewalks. In those days I observed the world around me with keen attention to detail—qualities that are hard to hang onto in our busy adult lives. In my paintings I try to recapture the intensity of childhood responses to places and people, to patterns both in nature and in the manmade environment, and to the magical possibilities there.