Growing up in the flat, farmland of central Indiana, I saw horizontal bands of color, bright, subdued, in every imaginable range of yellow, red, green and blue. The abstract patterns that exist in nature where everything is reduced to mass, shape, color, pattern and texture become universal and symbolic. Those early experiences influence and reflect in my artwork today.
The Maryland Eastern Shore produces its own seasonal color palette, but the effect is equally exciting. My first visit to the Assateague Seashore Dunes spawned an instant love affair; the unique characteristics of these dunes and marshes express a new reality. Shaped and reshaped every year by storms, sand, salt and wind, they have retained their natural sense of wilderness. The struggle to live is almost palpable.
My paintings capture this raw beauty, so visitors can see this treasure through different eyes. A bit edgy, they express what I see and feel. The dunes are rugged, unkempt and slightly wild. The ocean breeze seems a bit nippier than that inland. I get few warm, fuzzy feelings from these drifting waves of sand. Painted with a palette knife, detail of the subject is sacrificed to a mood; time and place every changing by the effect of light falling on the subject. If I ever tire of trying to capture the character of the dunes, the area is filled with graceful, meandering marshes to paint.
An earlier phase of my work is expressed in the design elements of two other series. Viewing open-heart surgery, as well as my personal health issues inspired the Heart Felt series. The Mythological series represents a transition of my work from two-dimensional abstract, surface designs to impressions and interpretations of landscapes that parallel my spirituality maturity.
After a full career in education, teaching art at levels ranging from elementary school through university and then advancing in administration to a fine arts college presidency, Ms. Jaffe responded to a call to ordained ministry. The response took her to Seabury-Western Theological Seminary for the Master of Theological Studies degree and to Wesley Theological Seminary for the Master of Divinity degree in search of connecting factors between art and spirituality. She served as Hospital Chaplaincy at the National Institute of Health, Bethesda, MD and Sibley Memorial Hospital and George Washington University Hospital, Washington, DC. Her professional preparation is grounded in art and education degrees from Ball State University, Michigan State University and Indiana University. Throughout her professional career, she produced and exhibited art at the local and national level. Friends, colleagues and a few art museums own her work. Retired, she paints and writes, while remaining active in regional arts organizations. She and her husband divide their time between Washington, DC and Salisbury, MD.
Jaffe has her BA degree in art from Ball State University, her doctorate from Indiana University and an Honorary Doctorate in Fine Arts from Kendall College of Art and Design.
After retirement from presidency of Kendall College of Art and Design, she worked for seven years as an international management consultant to developing countries where she set up new women’s craft programs and regional art centers. Her work took her to the Eastern European countries, including two projects in Russia. Her longest assignment out of the country was spent in Nepal and India. Following her husband’s death, she attended seminary, earning a Masters of Theological Studies and a Masters of Divinity. Before her ordination, she served as hospital Chaplain in the Washington DC area.
Jaffe’s style developed through a series of transformations from textile wall hangings to decorative symbolic images to landscape drawings and paintings. She has received recognition and awards in the mid-west and east coast. Art remains her primary interest, where she continues painting, concentrating on developing her Impressionist style, and writing. She currently divides her time between Washington, DC and the Eastern Shore of Maryland.